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Tony Khan was flying high with AEW’s All In event in London. After months of heat due to poor management, this felt like a breath of fresh air for the AEW CEO. However, right after the event, news broke that CM Punk had a backstage altercation with Jack Perry and as a result both stars were suspended. Within a week Punk was fired from the company. This did not sit well with some fans, and what Khan did next irked one WWE legend.

The AEW All In show at Wembley Stadium opened to a record-breaking 80,000+ fans in attendance. The show was filled with great matches, but no one could predict it would be the last show for Punk. The follow-up AEW Collision was to take place in his hometown.

Vince Russo criticizes Tony Khan’s actions in Chicago

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The September 2, 2023, episode of AEW Collision was taped in Chicago, CM Punk’s hometown. Since his time in the WWE, he’s been a hometown hero. Both AEW and Punk’s fans gather to watch him. However, this episode came after Punk was terminated from AEW following his backstage altercation with Jack Perry at AEW’s London event All In.

Before the show started, Khan addressed the crowd in Chicago on Punk’s recent actions and current situation. However, the fans in attendance were not having it. They booed Khan heavily and did not allow him to speak. This drew mixed reactions from online fans, some of whom criticized Khan’s actions while others praised it.

Vince Russo, former WWE head writer, took to social media to give his opinion. He said, “This was far and away the absolute worst thing Khan has ever done.” According to Russo, engaging with the fans in Chicago wasn’t ideal. He also added that it was a wrong move on Khan.

Reminiscing when he worked for major promotions, Russo said, “I literally would have tackled him to prevent him from going out there.” These statements by Russo show just how much he did not appreciate the move and the stance Khan took against Punk. During the show, Khan even said his life was in danger during AEW All In.

 As a veteran of the industry, Russo claimed that this happened daily back in the day. He said, “It was desperate, embarrassing, weak, meager, and 100% unnecessary.” Russo and Khan have never seen eye-to-eye, and this would not be the first time Russo spoke out against Khan.

Russo explains Khan can’t please everybody

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While still on the subject matter, Russo explained that while Khan tried to give his side of the story, he couldn’t please everybody. Russo said a press release stating Punk’s departure from the company would have been enough.

According to Russo walking out into Punk’s hometown to announce his firing was not the right move. Russo explained how Punk became a beloved figure in pro wrestling over the years. 

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Russo also claimed that during his time in promotions, situations like this would happen during his time. The only major difference was that looker room issues during Russo’s time stayed and were solved in the locker room. While many blame Punk for the heat AEW is getting, Russo believes it is due to Khan’s lack of understanding of the wrestling business. 

Watch This Story: Days After CM Punk’s Firing, Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett Offers Help to Tony Khan to Keep AEW’s Backstage Disciplined: ‘I Can Promise You

Written by

Christopher Paul

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Christopher Paul is a WWE writer who was recruited in the recent round of the 'ES Draft' for his strong passion for the sport. He is drawn to WWE for the storytelling and drama that surround the pro wrestling world. Christopher grew up admiring Jeff Hardy and the WWE's Attitude Era made a fan of him which he proudly exhibits to this day.
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Edited by

Sherjeel Malik