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CM Punk Recalls AEW All In Altercation, Original Argument With Jack Perry, Dealing With Tony Khan

April 1, 2024 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
CM Punk AEW All In 1 Image Credit: AEW

CM Punk went into detail on the backstage confrontation at AEW All In that led to his exit, his disagreement with Jack Perry and more. Punk spoke with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour and was asked about his exit from the company, which officially came when Khan announced his termination the week after the incident. You can check out highlights from the conversation below, per Fightful:

On not having anyone there to pick him up when he arrived at the airport: “There is nobody there to pick me up. It’s not a big deal. I got on the two, ‘adventure.’ That part was fun, but it’s completely irresponsible as a company to leave somebody stranded at an airport. I understand the sentiments and the smarties on Twitter, ‘Take an Uber you big crybaby.’ I never cried about it once. Not once.”

On Perry’s on-camera comment about ‘real glass’ at All In and his issues with people backstage: “Yes, obviously was directed at me. There are always these rumors about NDAs. There is a big difference between not being allowed to talk about some shit, or not wanting to talk about some shit. I don’t necessarily want to litigate this again. Tony’s big idea was a separate show. We’re going to separate everybody. I said, ‘That’ll never work, just let me go. Get me out of here. Pay me money. I’ve been off TV. Just let me out of here.’ ‘No, I can’t let you go.’ ‘Why? Just let me go. Who cares? It’s best. These guys don’t want me here. This isn’t a real business. This isn’t a business predicated on making money, drawing money, selling tickets. Doing business. It’s not what it was sold to me as. Let me go.’ ‘No, I can’t let you go. I’m going to do this new show.’”

On his original disagreement with Perry over breaking the glass of a rental car: “The second day, we have this show, I’m sitting in catering, minding my own business, and Tony Schiavone comes and gets me, ‘I really need your help.’ ‘What?’ ‘Jack is cussing me out, he cussed out Mike Mansury, he cussed out Daryl from production, he’s cussing out the doctor right now.’ ‘Why?’ I was immediately like, ‘Dude isn’t supposed to be here. I was told people are getting separated so there are not problems. You don’t want me involved in this. Just like everything I explained before, y’all need to handle this. If you don’t, I’m going to handle it and you’re not going to like the way I handle it.’ He’s begging me. He drags me out of catering. HOOK and Jack are doing an angle. I don’t know anything about Jack going on vacation. All I know is there are a litany of people that work one day a week and they don’t want to. They want to show up, wrestle, and film vignettes then sit at home for four weeks. Great. Not my company, do what you want, but not on my show. That was my attitude. I said, ‘Tony, you really want me doing this?’ ‘Yeah.’ I walked up to Jack, he’s sitting in the car. What he wanted to do was smash the window of the rental car with a pipe. I was like, ‘It’s a rental car.’ I very politely, because I like Jack, ‘Doc has told you no. Daryl has told you no. Mike has told you no. Schiavone has told you no. Now, I have to tell you no. Apparently, you’ve cussed them all out. I’m telling you no. We don’t do that here. You want to do this, go to Wednesday and do it.’ He had no problem. He said, ‘Okay. I just thought it was a cool idea.’ I said, ’It might be. This is a rental car. The boys are in it for the boys. You’re going to smash the window of a rental car and return it with no window? Now, National Budget is going to be like, ‘Don’t rent cars to pro wrestlers anymore.’ This is a thing that has happened.

“I wasn’t trying to throw my weight around, ‘this is my show, you have to get out of here.’ It’s just f**king dumb. He wanted to do it so he didn’t have to fly back to Canada. Sorry man, we’re privileged to be in this business and do this for a living. I get it. I didn’t want to go to Canada either. All the flights were delayed, canceled. Everyone’s traveling sucked. To come to this new show when everyone is supposed to be separated, to get rid of all the drama. Swearing at the doctor. The doctor is like, ‘it’s real glass. Shit is going to go in your eye.’ I get it. I used to be that kid who was young and wanted to do this. There is a safe way to do this. I politely explained that to him. I didn’t raise my voice. I didn’t cuss at him. I was just like, ‘We don’t do that here. This is Saturday. You want to do stuff like this, do it on Wednesday.’ That was it. I didn’t think it was going to be a problem. He obviously took something very business-minded, very personally. That’s fine. I’ve done that before too. It’s very much who he is friends with and shit never got squashed. Nobody is in charge. It turned into what it turned into.”

On telling Khan to handle things with Perry at All In: “I went to Tony Khan and was like, ‘Please handle that. Please.’ He’s like, ‘What do you want me to do?’ ‘I’m not telling you what to do. Just be the boss, please. I’m tired of this shit. I told you it was a mistake. I told you separate shows wasn’t going to work and now we’re all here. Please, handle it. If you don’t, you’re not going to like the way I handle it.’”

On the backstage altercation: “Jack came back from his match. I’m the next match, I’m sitting there. I got people with me. I’m not going to say who they are because I have a lot of friends who work there and I wish them all well and I don’t want them to be punished because they’re friends with me,” he said. “I walk up to him and I’m like, ‘Jack, why do you insist on doing this dumb internet shit on TV?’ He’s like, if you have a problem, do something about it.’ I was like, ‘Come on man. I can f**king kill you. What are we doing?’ It’s like Chael [Chael Sonnen] says, ‘I can’t let you get close.’ I thought I was doing the responsible thing. I didn’t punch anybody. I just choked somebody a little bit. Samoa Joe was there, told me to stop. I quit. I turned to Tony and said, ‘This place is a f**king joke. You’re a clown. I quit.’ I went to my room, Joe and Jerry Lynn came and got me and we’re like, ‘Let’s go out there and kill it.’ I was too fired up. I’m fired up now. I’m probably going to regret talking about all this shit, but that’s what happened,” he said. “That match, I’m like, this is the last time I’m ever going to wrestle Samoa Joe. This is my last match in this company.”

On if he knew it was his last match: “Yeah. I said, ‘I f**king quit.’”

On the rest of that night at All In: “They told me Jack was told to leave. I was like, ‘Do I have to leave? I want to watch the show.’ ‘No, it’s fine.’ Then, a couple of matches later, a very nice man by the name of Sam, who is in charge of security was like, ‘What are your plans for the rest of the night?’ ‘I was going to shower and hang out, watch the show.’ The whole solo locker room thing is f**king lame. I had Joe, House of Black, all these guys with me. I just wanted to watch the match. He looked at me and I went, ‘Is it easier for you and your job if I leave?’ He’s like, ‘It might be, but nobody is telling you that you have to go.’ I was like, ‘Sam, I’m a man. Man to man, I’m not trying to f**k up your day. You have a job to do. if it’s easier for you if I split, I’ll split.’ I went, got Nandos for a bunch of the boys, and went to my hotel. When the show was over, they came by and we ate chicken.”

On Khan saying he feared for his life: “I can’t tell you what Tony felt or what he was thinking, but I never did anything that would make him fear for his life. He’s who he is.”:

On believing there was an effort to slander him: “There was a concerted effort to slander me and ruin my character. That’s kind of the genesis of all the drama. Don’t do that. Why are you doing that to a guy who works for your company? Why are you lying? Why are you spreading rumors, lies, and bullshit about your top guy? It doesn’t make any sense. You’re only hurting yourself. Jealousy, envy, I don’t know. It’s an unfortunate situation. I have a lot of friends there. There are a lot of good people who work there. I hope they continue to get paid. I wish them well.”

On working for Tony Khan: “It’s a loaded question. I don’t like the drama, but the truth is the truth. He is not a boss. He’s a nice guy. Ultimately, that is a detriment to the company, but it’s not my company. I’m an outsider. I thought I was brought in to sell merchandise and tickets and draw numbers for pay-per-view. I clearly did that, but that’s not what the place is about, and some people didn’t like that.”