Notes on AEW Collision & CM Punk
Warner Bros. Discovery may have spoiled CM Punk’s return for the new AEW Saturday Collision show.
We noted earlier how WBD and AEW officially announced Collision for Saturday nights at 8-10pm on TNT, beginning on Saturday, June 17. The press release named the following wrestlers as the headliners for Collision – Miro, ROH World Television Champion Samoa Joe (without the champion billing), Thunder Rosa, Powerhouse Hobbs, and Andrade El Idolo. Furthermore, promotional graphics for Collision also featured AEW World Champion MJF, AEW World Trios Champions The House of Black, AEW World Tag Team Champions FTR, and AEW International Champion Orange Cassidy, which is in line with a new report that said champions will be featured on both shows despite the now-planned hard roster split.
Punk’s AEW return for Collision has been expected for weeks, but there was no mention of the former AEW Champion in today’s Upfront presentation, or in AEW’s press release and promotional graphics. However, WBD issued an official press release to recap their Upfront presentation, with links to all of today’s show announcement, and there was a mention of Punk that was soon edited.
The link to the AEW Collision announcement said, “TNT Launches a Second Night of Wrestling with ‘AEW: COLLISION’ Featuring Headliners CM Punk, Thunder Rosa, Miro, Samoa Joe and Powerhouse Hobbs on Saturday, June 17.”
The link went to the official Collision press release, which did not have Punk’s name on it.
“CM Punk is not affiliated with TNT’s AEW Collision,” said a WBD representative when asked about the removed Punk reference by Connor Casey of ComicBook.com.
As noted earlier, Punk’s AEW return is expected to be announced imminently, perhaps as soon as tonight’s live AEW Dynamite.
Regarding the AEW brand split, it was reported earlier today how a hard brand split is planned, excluding champions and special exceptions. In an update, Fightful Select adds that as of today, “all recognized champions in AEW or any other major wrestling organization” are exempt from the roster splits.
WBD included AEW footage in video reels that played before today’s Upfront presentation inside The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. AEW TBS Champion Jade Cargill was shown after WBD CEO David Zaslav welcomed everyone, while TBS was being promoted. AEW actually announced Collision on social media right before the official reveal at the Upfront presentation by Kathleen Finch, Chairwoman & Chief Content Officer of Warner Bros. Discovery’s US Networks Group.
Punk was rumored to be featured in the Upfront presentation but he obviously was not. Fightful reports that WBD made the decision to not feature network talent at the Upfront due to the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike. Despite WBD saying Punk is not affiliated with AEW Collision, word is that Punk is still planned for the show and that AEW had “active content plans with Punk as of this week,” though it was noted that as with anything else, that can change.
Punk reportedly did not want to be announced for the Collision brand ahead of time, but there’s no word on if that played a factor into the aforementioned edited press release.
There’s been recent talk on Punk pushing for former AEW Producer Ace Steel to be brought back to the company to work Collision. Steel was let go following the All Out backstage fight from last September. There’s no word yet on if Steel will be re-hired, but Punk was also pushing for Andrade and FTR to be involved with Collision, and that is the plan.
Regarding Punk’s status, PWInsider adds that there’s been a belief among AEW sources that as late as this past weekend, Punk was back “in” and would be one of the main forces in front of and behind-the-scenes for the new Collision series.
We’d noted how there were conflicting reports on if today’s announcement would be for just the new Collision show, or for Collision and a new AEW – WBD TV deal. In an update, PWInsider adds that a WBD source says there was “never, ever” a plan for either side to announce a new TV deal, and no announcement is expected at this point.
AEW will have to announce tickets for the Collision premiere soon. While still not announced by AEW as of this writing, the premiere is expected to air live from the United Center in Chicago. The first episode will reportedly be titled “The Second Coming,” which is related to the premiere episode of AEW Rampage on August 21, 2021, which was billed as “The First Dance” for CM Punk’s AEW debut. The Rampage premiere also took place at the United Center in Punk’s hometown.
The venue announcement may come during tonight’s live AEW Dynamite. Tonight’s episode will feature a follow-up to the Collision announcement, as promised last week by Khan
It is an amazing day to be a fan of pro wrestling
Wrestling on Saturday nights is back#AEWCollision 6/17/23 only on @TNTDrama pic.twitter.com/xpPkS9ts3x
— AEW on TV (@AEWonTV) May 17, 2023
As announced at the Warner Bros. Discovery 2023 Upfront presentation today, TNT will launch a second night of professional wrestling with a new 2-hour series, #AEWCollision, starting on Saturday, June 17th LIVE at 8pm ET/7pm CT on @tntdrama!
To read the full press release:… pic.twitter.com/roOipqNDD6
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 17, 2023
A “hard brand split.” Except for champions and, you know, any other exception they want to make. Sounds familiar.
my only concern is is Canada gets it on tv or not, it’s bad enough we dont get Rampage, so now we might not get Collision as well, i think that is total BS, but make the BS 50 feet tall & full version of the word to make my point acrossed