CM Punk's Reference To David Zaslav On AEW Collision Was Tony Khan's Idea

On the premiere episode of "AEW Collision," former AEW World Champion CM Punk referred to himself as "One Bill Phil," saying it was a nickname bestowed upon him by Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav. Shockingly, Punk may have been exaggerating a bit.


AEW President Tony Khan was asked about the nickname by The Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer during today's pre-Forbidden Door media call. In his response, Khan indicated that the line was his idea, a nod to the days of WCW stars mentioning the name of Ted Turner in the 1990s.

"I thought it was pretty cool to turn forward to clock to the present day and have a big wrestling star of the moment on TV referencing Mr. Zaslav," Khan said.

Khan also felt the comment was appropriate, as the Saturday night "Collision" program was reportedly Zaslav's idea. 

"He was the one who said 'Give two hours, 8pm Eastern, 7pm Central, every Saturday night, to AEW.'" Khan explained.

While Zaslav has drawn the ire of the film and television world for gutting staff at Turner Classic Movies, wrestling fans are clearly in favor of at least one of his ideas, as the premiere episode of "Collision" drew over 800,000 viewers to TNT on a Saturday night, often a tough night for weekly television due to sports games and general weekend plans. However, the return of CM Punk after months away from the promotion likely helped give the ratings a shot in the arm, and much like the early ratings for "AEW Rampage" are likely not indicative of the program's future success.


Khan also noted that the "One Bill" part of Punk's moniker (presumably referencing Punk generating a billion dollars in media rights revenue) wasn't quite accurate from a financial standpoint, as the company has yet to actually reach one billion dollars in revenue, but says the company is aiming for that figure.