Cody Rhodes Explains Why AEW's Negotiations With CM Punk Broke Down

As much as some wrestling fans have begged for it, CM Punk has not signed on the dotted line and returned to the world of professional wrestling via All Elite Wrestling. The two sides have traded comments over the past year about negotiations that either did or didn't happen, and last week Konnan shed some more light on the situation via his Keepin' It 100 podcast. The promoter claimed that Punk approached the promotion asking for "an astronomical amount of money," and AEW had to turn it down as a result.

In a new interview with TalkSport this week, Cody Rhodes cleared the air on the situation.

"As far as the CM Punk negotiations go, everyone heard the famous 'he got a text from us'. Yeah, of course there were negotiations and he did ask for a great amount of money and Punk is worth a great deal of money But you also have to — and this isn't speaking to Punk specifically, this is speaking to recruitment and what we've learned in wrestling in general — a lot of people think 'these wrestlers are running this wrestling company'. These wrestlers are doing everything they can to run the creative, the brand and the marketing and things, but there are some very smart and fiscally conservative people who surround us and flank us because this isn't my money. At all."

Rhodes explained the company doesn't want to make the same mistake previous promotions did and spend too much on signing established stars.

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"And I don't want a situation that happened with WCW or Jim Crockett promotions where we think we're flying so high that we can do anything. No — this is a business. And we have to turn a profit," Rhodes continued. "The fact we were able to turn a profit as a company within only two years of being alive, very few other companies within wrestling -- it's real limited, you can count on one hand who's been able to do that versus who has bled money -- but in that situation the negotiations, I don't think they ever got too serious. Doesn't mean they won't one day, but they never got entirely too serious. I think there is a good relationship there. I think I have a good relationship with Phil, I believe Tony does too and I'm not sure really when it comes to him, it's not so much about the money. It's about are you interested in doing this?

"Because the price tag becomes a lot more justifiable if you're genuinely interested in what we're doing at the high speed we're doing it," he said. "And again, that's not even specific to him, just in general, if the passion is not there, the money is not there."

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