CM Punk has not been seen in any capacity on AEW programming since the now-infamous post-All Out media scrum where he blasted Hangman Page, The Elite, Colt Cabana and any members of the media he deemed to be spreading lies about him. It has been well-documented that a brawl broke out between Punk, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega and Ace Steel in Punk's locker room afterward, prompting everyone involved to be suspended. All of the backstage officials who were trying to break up the fight have been brought back and Matt Jackson indicated The Elite's suspension will be up soon, but Punk's status with the company remains a mystery.
There's been plenty of speculation that AEW could buy out the remainder of Punk's contract and promptly boot him from the company. But AEW President Tony Khan has remained quiet on the issue due to the ongoing investigation and pending legal issues. On top of all of that, Punk suffered a surgery-requiring arm injury (believed to be a torn triceps) during his All Out match with Jon Moxley and will be out of action until well into 2023 even if he isn't fired.
And yet a fan on the Squared Circle subreddit made an interesting observation on Wednesday night when AEW Dynamite was back at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia — AEW is still selling Punk's merchandise. One of the attendants running the merchandise stand was even wearing one of Punk's shirts.
Do you think this is a sign that Punk will eventually be back on AEW programming? Or is AEW simply looking to get rid of the rest of its stock of Punk merchandise? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments!
One thing Khan has opened up about in the wake of all the chaos from that weekend was the big lesson he learned from the experience. He recently explained on Busted Open Radio, "Don't forget that you have great people around you. No matter who you are, there are people around you. Everyone has different situations, family, friends, people at work, people at school, but don't forget there are people who care about you and want to see you succeed. We had a lot of stuff happening, but there are a lot of great people at AEW that want to make the company go and no matter what the problem is, those are people who want to be here and make the company work."