CM Punk Opens Up About Backstage Altercation With Jack Perry At AEW All In

CM Punk has opened up concerning the timeline of events prompting his AEW departure in September 2023. Per AEW CEO Tony Khan, Punk was fired with cause after an alleged backstage altercation with Jack Perry. The "Second City Saint" finally explained his side of things during an interview with Ariel Helwani for "MMA Hour".


"There are always these rumors about NDAs," said Punk. "There is a big difference between not being allowed to talk about some s*** or not wanting to talk about some s***. I don't necessarily want to litigate this again." Punk spoke of his issues with Perry in the lead-up to the situation boiling over in London, confirming that he had been asked by Tony Schiavone to intervene in a disagreement between himself, other management, and Perry over the idea of using real glass for an upcoming segment. Punk said that he questioned why this was even an argument occurring at "AEW Collision" tapings, since Perry wasn't supposed to be at the show. 

"I was told people are getting separated so there are not problems. You don't want me involved in this. Just like everything I explained before, y'all need to handle this. If you don't, I'm going to handle it and you're not going to like the way I handle it.' He's begging me. He drags me out of catering ... I walked up to Jack, he's sitting in the car. What he wanted to do was smash the window of the rental car with a pipe. I was like, 'It's a rental car.' I very politely, because I like Jack, 'Doc has told you no. Darryl [Marshall] has told you no. Mike [Mansury] has told you no. Schiavone has told you no. Now, I have to tell you no. Apparently, you've cussed them all out. I'm telling you no. We don't do that here. You want to do this, go to Wednesday and do it.'" 


CM Punk says he called on Tony Khan to fix things

According to Punk, Perry was amenable in their initial discussion, merely feeling it could have been a cool idea. However, Punk reasoned that smashing a rental car would have come at the detriment of the business, casting a bad light on the profession from the side of the rental companies. In any case, he wasn't pleased with issues arising so quickly after a solution had been devised. 


"To come to this new show when everyone is supposed to be separated, to get rid of all the drama. Swearing at the doctor. The doctor is like, 'It's real glass. S*** is going to go in your eye.' I get it. I used to be that kid who was young and wanted to do this. There is a safe way to do this. I politely explained that to him. I didn't raise my voice. I didn't cuss at him. I was just like, 'We don't do that here. This is Saturday. You want to do stuff like this, do it on Wednesday.' That was it. I didn't think it was going to be a problem ... He obviously took something very business-minded, very personally. That's fine. I've done that before too. It's very much who he is friends with and s*** never got squashed. Nobody is in charge. It turned into what it turned into."


Punk explained that he called on Khan to "be the boss" and sort out the escalating issues between himself and Perry: I went to Tony Khan and was like, 'Please handle that. Please.' He's like, 'What do you want me to do?' 'I'm not telling you what to do. Just be the boss, please. I'm tired of this s***. I told you it was a mistake. I told you separate shows wasn't going to work and now we're all here. Please, handle it. If you don't, you're not going to like the way I handle it.'"

CM Punk explains the actual altercation with Jack Perry

The issues between Punk and Perry were clearly unresolved as All In hit the air, and Punk took matters into his own hands after Perry's call out during his match. Moments before Punk was set to wrestle Samoa Joe for the "Real" AEW World Championship, he confronted the former "Jungle Boy".


"Jack came back from his match. I'm the next match, I'm sitting there. I got people with me ... I walk up to him and I'm like, 'Jack, why do you insist on doing this dumb internet s*** on TV?' He's like, if you have a problem, do something about it.' I was like, 'Come on man. I can f***ing kill you. What are we doing? ... I thought I was doing the responsible thing. I didn't punch anybody. I just choked somebody a little bit. Samoa Joe was there, told me to stop. I quit. I turned to Tony and said, 'This place is a f**king joke. You're a clown. I quit.' I went to my room, Joe and Jerry Lynn came and got me and we're like, 'Let's go out there and kill it.' I was too fired up. I'm fired up now. I'm probably going to regret talking about all this s***, but that's what happened."


Punk claimed he knew from that moment that his match with Joe would be his final in AEW, and that he had made the decision to leave. He was later dismissed by AEW with cause after a decision was reportedly made by AEW's disciplinary committee. Khan announced Punk's firing on-air, claiming he had feared for his life. But Punk insisted that he didn't do anything to invoke such a feeling. Punk had positive things to say about his former boss as a person, but he felt he left much to be desired from an employee's perspective.