Speculation On CM Punk's AEW Contract, Potential Non-Compete After Termination

With CM Punk's AEW departure starting to truly sink in, many have begun wondering what could possibly be next for the 44-year-old wrestling star. Speaking on today's "Wrestling Observer Radio," Dave Meltzer conceded that he didn't have the details on Punk's AEW contract, but offered up some information on what might be expected when someone is fired for cause based on historical evidence.


"This is not WWE, so this probably doesn't apply but perhaps it does — [in a] standard WWE contract, if you are fired for cause, you have a one-year non-compete [clause]," Meltzer said. "I am sure if somebody went to court and was not being paid for a year, even if they screwed up and were fired for cause, I can't imagine any judge not saying, 'Look, you can't do a non-compete.'"

Meltzer then said he's under the assumption that Punk will be a free agent moving forward, while co-host Bryan Alvarez pushed back against Meltzer's argument, stating that non-competes exist in a variety of different industries and are widely accepted as legally valid. In response, Meltzer said judges are continuing to push back against non-compete clauses all the time. In the end, Meltzer felt that a year-long non-compete would not hold up in court, while Alvarez disagreed.


Whether Punk is under a non-compete clause or not, his return to professional wrestling is far from a sure thing. In the fallout of his AEW firing, reports have emerged that there are still important people backstage in WWE who have problems with Punk. However, there's no denying that a Punk return to WWE would draw a number of eyeballs, and with WWE entering a new era as the UFC merger approaches a close, it's impossible to say for sure what the future holds for the relationship between Punk and WWE.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Wrestling Observer Radio" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.