AEW president Tony Khan sat down with The New York Post this week and was asked to address the numerous reports and rumors of both CM Punk and Daniel Bryan signing with All Elite Wrestling. The speculation started last week when Fightful Select‘s Sean Ross Sapp reported Punk was in serious negotiations about a return and that AEW was the “likely” landing spot, while BodySlam‘s Cassidy Haynes wrote that Bryan had already signed with the company. Since then a slew of reports and rumors have come out, ranging from AEW supposedly changing up plans on how to debut the two to Khan and various AEW higher-ups flying to Chicago (Punk’s home and the host of September’s All Out event).
Khan responded with, “I have no comment on those, but those are good questions but I can’t comment on those.” When asked a hypothetical question, he shot down the answer again by saying, “I can’t comment on those two guys, but I think there are certainly a lot of exciting rumors right now.”
Punk has not wrestled since 2014 but has openly said that between the two companies AEW interests him more. Meanwhile, Bryan had his last match in WWE back in late April and saw his contract expire shortly after. He openly pushed in interviews beforehand for WWE stars to have the freedom to work for multiple companies and the deciding factor on signing with AEW reportedly had to do with his freedom to work for New Japan as well.
“I think the landscape currently is much different than when I left,” Punk said while on Oral Sessions late last year.”You can play the game where you’re like, ‘Oh, AEW was an option, would you have gone right after you left WWE?’ If you are going to play that game, there is no way they (WWE) would have handled it the way they handled it with suspending me for two months and nobody contacting me and the next thing I know, I got my release papers on my wedding day. That wouldn’t have happened if there was an AEW. Because then they probably would have approached me and been like, ‘Hey, your suspension is up. Ready to come back to work? Let’s work this out.’ Or handle it like any other sports organization would have handled [a] star pitcher f—ing going home. They’re not just going to let him leave the team, go to a rival organization.”
“What would it take? Oh gosh. Without wanting to insult anybody on either side of the fence, any WWE talent or AEW talent, it would take, above all, an interesting scenario,” he said. “A story that would be fun to tell and also just the stupidest amount of money. But, they can save themselves a lot of money if they present a fun storyline. Now, what that is, I don’t know. I’m a pretty picky guy, especially at this point. I think there are more interesting people on the AEW side of things for me to wrestle and that’s because I’ve never wrestled them before. Young Bucks, Kenny Omega.”