Why? Who honestly knows. It’s CM Punk, being unhappy and bitter is kind-of his thing.
Supposedly there was concern if he would even show up at the most recent AEW Dynamite, where he seemingly went into business for himself in calling out and disparaging Hangman Page.
Others have said that Punk has “threatened to quit.”
While this is probably all much ado about nothing, one can’t help but wonder if AEW would be better-off with CM Punk.
There’s no denying that Punk is a fantastic wrestler and talker, both of which are important traits in the wrestling industry. But they’re not the most important things to consider.
I have no idea how much CM Punk is making with AEW. There have been reports that it is as high as three million a year for three years. I would like to not believe that.
It doesn’t matter how much money the family that owns the company has; a still young promotion shouldn’t be paying anyone three million a year.
Especially not when that performer isn’t a true needle mover. I like Punk the performer, but he just isn’t the draw he thinks he is. And never has been.
Did he bring eyeballs to AEW last year when debuted? Yeah. His debut on Rampage brought in over a million viewers to that show in a terrible time slot. Where’s Rampage at now, nowhere close that number.
Prior to his debut, and after, Dynamite was hitting a million viewers fairly often. Nowadays, it’s getting to be pretty rare.
This past Dynamite opened with CM Punk, back after his surprise return the week before. Did his return the previous week bring viewers in this week?
The show brought in 957,000 viewers and did a 0.3 rating. Second for the night behind Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. That’s down from the previous weeks 972,000 viewers and .33 rating. If you go back a year, they did 975,000 viewers with a 0.35 rating.
So, the answer to the previous question, no.
Now on the next Dynamite, AEW is hot-shotting the Championship match between Champion Punk and Interim Champion Jon Moxley. Meanwhile, they have a big pay-per-event coming up on September 4th called All Out that doesn’t have an AEW Championship match announced.
Will that match break a million again? It should. After all, on paper Punk and Moxley are the two biggest stars in AEW. But you can’t run that match on free TV and then expect people to pay for it a couple of weeks later when it doesn’t mean as much.
So where does that leave the AEW Championship on All Out?
The hot-shotting of this match onto the next Dynamite tells me there’s definitely some problems between AEW and CM Punk. Do they fear him quitting and walking out like he did WWE?
It’s possible. Unlikely, but possible.
Last year, AEW did their biggest ever PPV buyrate with All Out. It featured CM Punk’s first match in the company where he defeated Darby Allin. It did over 205,000 buys.
A very impressive number, and one that no other AEW pay-per-view has come close to. The closest was Revolution back in March of this year. Double or Nothing IV, which saw CM Punk defeat Hangman Page for the AEW Championship did 155,000 buys.
The curiosity over CM Punk in AEW is gone. There was an audience interested, but they’re gone. And they really only stuck around for a couple of months.
If you can get the same numbers with younger talent that you don’t have to pay three million a year, then what exactly is the point of paying an older talent way more than his worth to the company?
Beyond the numbers, and lack of any sustained/grown positive movement, is it worth having a narcissist in the lockerroom?
To answer the question asked in the title, would AEW be better off without CM Punk?
Yes, I think the company would be. AEW doesn’t need CM Punk. It would’ve been better for AEW to have had him in 2019 or early 2020. Now they definitely don’t need him.
In a company with very limited TV, time would be better served building newer stars and making sure the younger talent is happy and satisfied.
It’s the “pillars” of the company, and Wardlow, Daniel Garcia, etc that you should want to keep happy and not let them get disgruntled. Guys that WWE would love to snatch away and would have a better chance of doing with Triple H in charge.
And while AEW doesn’t need CM Punk, to his credit Punk certainly doesn’t need AEW. If he’s unhappy or displeased with how things are, then bounce. That’s a luxury afforded to those who have made a lot of money and been smart with it instead of pissing it all away like so many wrestlers have.
What do you think, is CM Punk an asset to AEW worth millions or would the company be better served spending that money elsewhere? Let us know in the comments below.