Several AEW Suspensions Lifted As Backstage Fight Investigation Continues

As All Elite Wrestling returns to normalcy on television, the backstage atmosphere is still feeling the effects of the AEW All Out backstage fight. The promotion brought in an independent firm to investigate the situation and determine the actual story, as parties involved have conflicting recollections. From CM Punk and Ace Steel's perspective, the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega barged into Punk's locker room and posed an immediate threat, which is why things turned physical. From the Bucks and Omega's point of view, they simply opened Punk's locker room door, and Punk began throwing punches almost immediately.

The five aforementioned men were physically involved in the fight, but a number of others also have ties to what went down. AEW personnel Brandon Cutler, Christopher Daniels, Michael Nakazawa, and Pat Buck all reportedly attempted to break up the altercation, as neutral observers such as AEW Chief Legal Officer Megha Parekh and AEW star Maxwell Jacob Friedman witnessed the events transpire.

This third-party investigation officially kicked off earlier this week. While the majority of the conduction methods are unknown, it has been reported that the independent firm will hold video interviews with all parties involved. 

Since this investigation began, Vice President of Talent Development Pat Buck has returned to work, as he was backstage in Albany, NY for AEW Dynamite on Wednesday. From there, Executive Producer of Content Brandon Cutler has also been cleared to resume work. Cutler is mostly seen on television alongside the Young Bucks and also is the primary videographer for Being The Elite, which is currently on "hiatus until further notice." Dave Meltzer has now added on the Wrestling Observer Radio that both Christopher Daniels and Michael Nakazawa's suspensions have also been lifted. 

While the five men who actually fought remain suspended, the immediateness of clearing those who only attempted to break up the fight is a good indication of the investigation's progress. The lifting of suspensions this early also indicates that resolutions to the investigation will come in waves, rather than waiting to lift all suspensions until the investigation concluded, as some had speculated.

While those four men have had their suspensions lifted, this does not necessarily mean they will no longer be part of the investigation. It's unclear how many times people will be interviewed, meaning Buck, Cutler, Daniels, or Nakazawa could be called back to answer more questions.

For now, Punk is recovering from his torn triceps surgery, and will be out of action until deep into 2023 regardless of the investigation's verdict. The Bucks have seemingly returned to their homes in Rancho Cucamonga, California, while Omega is in Japan for the Tokyo Game Show. Omega was scheduled to be in the Far East well before AEW All Out to promote the upcoming AEW: Fight Forever video game. It remains to be seen if he will still do public promotion or if he only travelled to visit his former home.

Stay tuned to for updates on this story.