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Tony Khan reportedly offered ‘a lot of money’ to CM Punk to join AEW

CM Punk

CM Punk made his WWE return at the latest episode of WWE Backstage but as it turns out, All Elite Wrestling was also on the chase and they had tried to get Punk signed to the company.

Bryan Alvarez talked about Punk’s return during the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Live and revealed that the AEW president Tony Khan himself had met the former WWE Champion.

According to the wrestling journalist, the former ROH Champion did negotiate with the upstart promotion and he was offered a ‘lot of money’ by them but he still chose the Fox gig over the AEW contract:

“Punk did, in fact, negotiate with AEW. [He] met in person with Tony Khan about AEW and they offered him a lot of money and he ended up with this WWE on Fox gig.”

It’s unknown why Punk chose the WWE return over AEW debut but it’s likely that he isn’t thinking about making an in-ring return anytime soon which would have been the main feature of his deal with Tony Khan’s company opposed to the Backstage gig where he will be working as an on-air personality only.


  • Nicholas Giambattista

    I wonder if this is not the last time Fox helps WWE in negotiations.

  • Keith Learmonth

    I agree that Punk would be the bigger signing.

  • CC

    Lets be totally honest here, and this is coming from someone who has been a huge Jericho fan for around 20 years now, and will always class him as one of my top three favourites of all time, if Punk had signed with AEW he would have blown Jericho away as far as being the biggest deal in the company. Jericho has been consistantly great since his on/off days with WWE, but the pure hype that would surround a Punk wrestling return would be one of the biggest deals in current day wrestling and would probably rival the formation of AEW as being one of the biggest things in the last year.

    Whether that would be sustainable beyond a few months to a year is debatable, but initially Jericho would actually be small fry compared to Punk.

  • Keith Learmonth

    Even if he -does- get back in the ring, in WWE, it’ll probably be as a special attraction, only when absolutely necessary, while I’ll bet you that AEW were looking for him to be another Jericho, another huge name they can build the entire brand around.

  • David Keller

    I kind of thinking the same thing. When Punk left WWE and started training for MMA, he had to have back surgery to repair a herniated disc so we know his body has a fair amount of wear and tear on it. He seems like the kind of guy who does not crave the spotlight and keeps on wrestling well past the point of his peak capabilities. He knows when to walk away so why go to AEW and take high risk when he can work for Fox/ WWE at low risk. Of course, should he start physically participating in angles then my position flies right out the window.

  • CC

    Firstly his deal is with WWE, so while he is on a WWE based show he did not “return to WWE”, and secondly in typical Meltzer/Alvarez style, they are reporting news that has absolutely no way of being verified.
    If there was indeed a meeting and an offer, the only two people who should know this if AEW is a professional company, is Kahn and Punk. Punk, I very much doubt would discuss this and if Kahn has told anyone, then he is a total douche and unprofessional as hell.

    Fact is, there is no way to verify this, so once again like most things those two say, should be taken with a huge pinch of salt.

    History between Punk and AEW has so far told us that Punk was upset with AEW over the texts. Cody had said that if Punk returned it would only be with WWE. And finally, all previous reports from so called insiders, were that AEW had no interest in working with Punk because they were upset with him over the text claims.
    So many different stories, and all of them conflicting (and most came from the wonder twins of Alvarez & Meltzer)

  • Keith Learmonth

    Maybe because Fox didn’t try to start negotiations by texting him a contract offer?
    Like, he seemed pretty offended by that, I’m guessing it would’ve taken more than some money and kind words from Tony to smooth that over.

    Or perhaps he simply doesn’t want to wrestle, and AEW offered him a wrestling deal.

  • Nicholas Giambattista

    This just show me what I already know about the Dirt sheet you don’t know anything about Pro Wrestling. Heck you don’t even listen when these wrestler do interviews CM Punk has said many times it not WWE he is working for it is Fox. You see it Fox that paying CM Punk big money not WWE.