Amidst the Firing of CM Punk After the All In Backstage Brawl, Former WWE Superstar Gives a Nod to the Former World Champion

Published Sep 3, 2023 | 7:30 AM EDT

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A few hours ago, AEW made an official announcement that they will release CM Punk. The decision came after an investigation was initiated into the wrestler following a backstage brawl with Jack Perry on the night of AEW All In.

This news came out as a shocker to fans as well as to Punk’s fellow pro wrestlers at AEW. In response, one of Punk’s close friends and one-half of the AEW World Tag Team Champion Daniel Marshall Wheeler, fondly known by fans as Cash Wheeler, gave a nod to Punk. The nod was not something that fans were expecting on the night of the AEW Collision. 

Cash Wheeler’s nod to Punk


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It was the night of the AEW Collision. FTR’s Drax Harwood entered the ring for his singles match against Jay White for the main event. While walking down the ramp, he was accompanied by his tag team partner, Cash Wheeler. In a gesture seemingly aimed at Punk, Wheeler threw up his hands in X, replicating Punk’s signature gesture.

This was different from Wheeler’s usual gesture when he enters the ring. Fans loved the nod as it showed the respect Wheeler has for Punk, as he had previously teamed up with the tag team.


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For Punk, this is not the first time he’s come to blows with AEW. Back in September 2022, he was suspended from AEW and made his comeback again in June 2023. After being released from his contract only three months later, fans are hoping that Punk may return to WWE. But sadly, this might not be the case.

Why CM Punk won’t be returning to WWE

Punk was fired only hours before AEW Collision, with Tony Khan stating that the incident had made him fear for his life and he did not want that kind of environment to pervade at AEW. The AEW bigwig stated that Punk’s contract as a wrestler and employee had both been terminated.


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Quick to move on, though, fans were making guesses as to where Punk may end up next, even possibly making a return to WWE. However, this might not be the case for him. In particular, Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful said that while there was a chance, it was unlikely that Punk would return to WWE.


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While this is an unfortunate turn of events for Punk, only time will tell how things will go for him. Do you think he deserves another chance either at AEW or WWE?

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Written by:

Shaikh Aerajuddin


One take at a time

Shaikh Aerajuddin is a WWE writer at EssentiallySports. With a Masters degree in Sports Science, Aeraj always carries a keen eye for detail and understands the various nuances of pro wrestling beyond the ring. Being a pro wrestling fan from his childhood, Aeraj now uses his analytical mind to tell a story in his articles for ES.
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Edited by:

Donna Eva