wrestling / News

Tony Khan on How Important CM Punk Is to AEW, Forbidden Door II Will be AEW’s Best Event Ever

June 7, 2023 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
CM Punk AEW All Out Image Credit: AEW

– During an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso, AEW President & CEO Tony Khan discussed the return of CM Punk for AEW Collision, the next Forbidden Door pay-per-view, and more. Below are some highlights:

On his expectations for this year’s Forbidden Door: “Last year’s Forbidden Door was a challenging time with a number of injuries and travel obstacles, and we were able to come together to put together the best event of the year in wrestling. This year’s Forbidden Door will be the best event either company has ever participated in.”

Tony Khan on the return of CM Punk: “We haven’t seen CM Punk in a long time, since All Out last September. He looked great in his last match. To the fans, he’s very important. He’s very important to the company, too. He’s been a big draw for us and historically throughout his career, and the launch of the new show happens to line up with the schedule on his rehab of his triceps injury.”

On AEW’s new weekly Collision show: “We have an amazing opportunity with AEW on Saturday nights on TNT, starting June 17, and it was truly the brainchild of [Warner Bros. Discovery CEO and president] David Zaslav. He asked about more AEW, specifically Saturday nights, on TNT. When it was pitched to us by TNT, I was so excited. It’s so exciting the timing [of Punk’s return from injury] coincides with the launch of Collision.”

On Bryan Danielson’s role in AEW: “Bryan and I have had a very close relationship since he came to AEW. He’s one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, and he’s one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever known. He has a great mind, and I love talking to him about stories, matches, ideas and psychology. I work with a number of people closely to bounce ideas off, and Bryan has been involved with us in the office more than ever lately. He had some very complimentary things to say about our relationship and working together, and to receive that type of praise from someone I respect so much, those are quotes I’d want on my tombstone.”

CM Punk returns to AEW on June 17 on the debut episode of Collision at the United Center in Punk’s hometown of Chicago. The show will be broadcast live on TNT at 8:00 pm EST. AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door II will be held on Sunday, June 25 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It will be broadcast live on pay-per-view.