POLLOCK'S UPDATE: CM Punk speaks on WWE return, Jack Perry, Tony Khan

Originally published at POLLOCK'S UPDATE: CM Punk on WWE, Jack Perry, Tony Khan


**Rewind-A-Raw is live at 11:05 p.m. ET and we will discuss the NY Post story on Janel Grant, CM Punk’s appearance on The MMA Hour, and the final Raw before WrestleMania.

**Wai Ting and I will be doing an extra show this week with The Double Shot covering the Bray Wyatt: Becoming Immortal documentary on the POST Wrestling Café.

**We are heading to Philadelphia on Thursday and will be starting daily shows on Friday on the POST Café.


Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Tuesday: The Double Shot – Bray Wyatt Documentary (POST Wrestling Café)
Tuesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Wednesday: Pollock & Thurston
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite
Thursday: WrestleMania Coverage from Philadelphia begins (POST Wrestling Café)
Saturday: WrestleMania 40 – Night 1
Sunday: WrestleMania 40 – Night 2


**CM Punk appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani for nearly two hours and covered his AEW run and his return to WWE last November. The interview had lots of details regarding the incident with Jack Perry that led to a fight at All In where Punk admitted he choked him before telling Tony Khan that he quit. Punk said he has not spoken with Tony Khan since that day at Wembley Stadium and was fired with cause.

"I didn't punch anybody. I just choked somebody a little bit."

CM Punk talks about the backstage incident with Jack Perry.

▶️ https://t.co/blBMtV599e #TheMMAHour pic.twitter.com/aTwDUatbS0

— MMA Fighting (@MMAFighting) April 1, 2024

He confirmed he signed a non-disclosure agreement after the Brawl Out incident in September 2022 but did not appear to have any restrictions regarding the All In fight with Perry.

He dismissed AEW as being in a different business and claimed it was not in the business of selling tickets or making money, which is going to infuriate many people and will be a statement that won’t have any validity if they score a sizable increase in their upcoming domestic television rights negotiations. He was not complimentary of Tony Khan stating, “He’s not a boss but he’s a nice guy” but was a detriment to the business.

CM Punk says AEW is “not a real business” and explains why.

▶️ https://t.co/blBMtV599e #TheMMAHour pic.twitter.com/4TWBv61htA

— MMA Fighting (@MMAFighting) April 1, 2024

The deal for a WWE return did not come together until the week of Survivor Series when he spoke with Nick Khan on that Monday (five days before the show) and then had a lengthy FaceTime call with Paul Levesque and called their existing problems, “water under the bridge”. He arrived at the Allstate Arena and signed his contract before going to the Gorilla position and walking out at the end.

Punk spoke as openly as any current WWE performer has on Vince McMahon and was revolted by the charges in Janel Grant’s lawsuit. Punk said he didn’t read the entire lawsuit and just based on the text messages in the suit, he was repulsed, and his concern was for the victims that McMahon had harmed. After his return last November, he had one face-to-face interaction with McMahon at the gym inside of WWE’s headquarters and he hugged Punk. Punk said that McMahon had “ruined his life (by) ruining other people’s lives.”

CM Punk talks about his initial reaction to the allegations against Vince McMahon and his concern for the alleged victims.

▶️ https://t.co/blBMtV599e #TheMMAHour pic.twitter.com/Ss8WFTUE8P

— MMA Fighting (@MMAFighting) April 1, 2024

There was a lot from this interview, and we will be chatting about it on Rewind-A-Raw tonight.

**After the Punk interview, Rhea Ripley was a guest, and they shot an angle with Becky Lynch storming into the studio and having a pull-apart.

Becky Lynch confronts Rhea Ripley on the set of #TheMMAHour 👀 pic.twitter.com/GLtSQSOjN4

— MMA Fighting (@MMAFighting) April 1, 2024

**The biggest week of the year kicks off with WWE’s final episode of Raw before WrestleMania 40. While the final of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament isn’t until next week, tonight’s competition will be gigantic as they air against the Iowa vs. LSU women’s game featuring superstar Caitlin Clark. There are predictions of millions watching tonight’s game with tipoff at 7:15 p.m. ET. WWE is countering with a commercial-free first hour and appearances by The Rock and Roman Reigns. The Barclays Centers is sold out with WrestleTix reporting 13,345 tickets distributed. Below are the announced matches and segments:
*The Rock and Roman Reigns to appear
*Sami Zayn vs. Bronson Reed
*Finn Balor, Damian Priest, Dominik Mysterio & JD McDonagh vs. New Day & DIY
*Ivy Nile vs. Candice LeRae  

**Ronda Rousey was on Good Morning America to promote her book “Our Fight”, which comes out on Tuesday. Rousey stated she would not return to WWE unless things “drastically change” from how they are run and said she would “highly doubt it”. I have read the book and will hopefully have something out later this week as there is a lot in it and she is not shy about her disdain for her time in WWE, and felt like a nearly impossible working relationship where her expectations and the realities of what the job entailed were on different planets.

“I was on the road 18 months with my baby. There was nothing we could sustain forever.”

UFC and WWE superstar @RondaRousey talks about her new memoir, “Our Fight,” stepping away from fighting and finding meaning in her life’s journey. pic.twitter.com/uy6gL3vmJV

— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 1, 2024

**In Canada, Friday Night SmackDown ranked third for the night among sports programming behind the Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays and shoulder programming for the Jays. SmackDown averaged 253,500 viewers and 73,900 in the 25-54 demographic on Sportsnet 360. WWE Main Event at 10 p.m. ET averaged 79,700 viewers and 28,000 in the demo, which ranked eighth for the evening.

**Tokyo Sports reports that Katsuhiko Nakajima’s future with Pro Wrestling NOAH is unknown with a representative from All Japan telling the outlet there are no plans for Nakajima and a source at NOAH stating they don’t expect Nakajima to return to their company either. Nakajima dropped the Triple Crown over the weekend to Yuma Anzai, who became the youngest wrestler to win the championship at 24 years of age.

**CM Punk and Randy Orton did a re-watch of their match from WrestleMania 27 in 2011. They two shared that they had some contentious issues with one another. This included a story from that year’s Royal Rumble where Punk popped out from underneath the ring to deliver a GTS on Orton. Punk said he was going fast because he had been under the ring for so long and had to pee. He checked with Orton after, who said the knee was fine, but Punk later saw Orton complaining about the spot to the producers.

**Cody Rhodes will be on NBC’s Today Show on Wednesday to promote WrestleMania.

**Ortiz disclosed that he recently tore his pectoral muscle and is undergoing surgery soon. He was on Isiah Kassidy’s YouTube vlog and said he tore his pec executing a clothesline and expects to be out of action for four months. Ortiz has been used sparingly by AEW and has only had two matches on AEW programming since last August. He last wrestled on January 10 in a tag with Eddie Kingston against Bryan Danielson & Claudio Castagnoli on Collision.

**Tuesday’s episode of NXT will include an appearance by Natalya, who will be in the corner of Karmen Petrovic for her match against Lola Vice. The show will include Axiom & Nathan Frazer vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows vs. Cruz Del Toro & Joaquin Wilde (the winners will challenge Bron Breakker & Baron Corbin for the tag titles at Stand & Deliver), Oba Femi vs. Joe Gacy, Lexis King vs. Von Wagner, Blair Davenport vs. Sol Ruca, and Jacy Jayne vs. Fallon Henley.

**NJPW’s Road to Sakura Genesis tour continues Wednesday with a card at Korakuen Hall headlined by Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi vs. Yota Tsuji & BUSHI in a battle of LIJ members. They will hold an event in Ibaraki on Thursday before Saturday’s Sakura Genesis event at Sumo Hall.

**A ‘Grab the Brass Ring Ladder Match’ has been added to Joey Janela’s Spring Break 8 this Friday night. The match will feature six participants, who have not been revealed yet.

**Guerrero Maya Jr. will appear at MLW’s Aztec Lucha on May 11 at Cicero Stadium in Illinois.

**Arn Anderson is launching the Four Horsemen YouTube channel featuring episodes of his show along with a new show called Straight Talk with The Boss featuring Magnum T.A. and Greg Gagne.

**The TKO stock closed at $86.18 on Monday.


**The most debated outcome from Saturday night was Chris Weidman’s unanimous decision victory against Bruno Silva. Weidman had poked Silva in the eyes twice in the first two rounds and followed with two additional eye pokes in the third, which led to Silva being grazed by a strike and going to the ground where referee Gary Copeland stopped the fight and initially awarded the fight to Weidman by TKO. Later, it was determined that the fight would go to the judges due to the foul leading to the fight-ending sequence and since Weidman was up on the cards, he was awarded a technical decision. Because the fight had entered the third round, it had to go to the judges, however, Copeland had the option of deducting points from Weidman and if he had taken away two points (which he was well in his right to do since Weidman had already been warned and had delivered two prior eye pokes) it would have been a draw. Silva had every right to protest, and I don’t think this loss will be held against him, but it was a really ugly fight. Silva has stated he plans to appeal the decision to the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board.

**Amazon is trumpeting the success of its “Road House” remake starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Conor McGregor. The streaming service states that fifty million viewers have watched the film since its release on March 21 and would be the “biggest global movie launch ever.” The Hollywood Reporter notes that Amazon did not provide clarity regarding how they reached that number and how they tabulate views. The article states that Netflix and Disney+ calculate their viewership by taking the run time of a film and dividing it by the total number of views.

**A heavyweight fight between Derrick Lewis and Rodrigo Nascimento will headline the UFC Fight Night event on May 11 in St. Louis, Missouri at the Enterprise Center. Lewis (27-12, 1 NC) has lost four of his last five fights and is coming off a decision loss to Jailton Almeida last November. Nascimento (11-1, 1 NC) has won his last three fights and beat Don’Tale Mayes last November by TKO on the same card where Lewis fought Almeida in Brazil.

**The UFC confirmed that UFC 302 will be at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on June 1. They have not announced a main event for the card but have listed Anthony Hernandez vs. Roman Dolidze, Jake Matthews vs. Phil Rowe, Mickey Gall vs. Bassil Hafez, Grant Dawson vs. Joe Solecki, and Joselyne Edwards vs. Ailin Perez.

**The UFC returns to the Apex this Saturday with an ESPN+ card headlined by Brendan Allen (23-5) and Chris Curtis (31-10, 1 NC). Allen has won six fights in a row while Curtis is coming off a split-decision victory against Marc-Andre Barriault at UFC 297 in January.  

**The UFC has released a trailer for UFC 300 featuring some of the classic fighters and moments from the promotion’s history.

It will be here before you know it 👊

Will you be a part of history?#UFC300 is just 2 weeks away 💥 pic.twitter.com/GRzBcXLe6b

— UFC (@ufc) March 31, 2024

John & Kate review AEW Collision featuring Claudio Castagnoli, Bryan Danielson, and Katsuyori Shibata teaming against The Righteous and Lance Archer.
John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE SmackDown with Jade Cargill’s first appearance after joining the SmackDown brand.
Rich Fann and WH Park are joined by John Siino to review Marvel Animation’s X-Men ’97 Episode 3, “Fire Made Flesh”.
John Pollock & Wai Ting discuss children’s TV, the art of negotiation, Naked News, WrestleMania Week in Philadelphia, and more.
John Pollock and Brandon Thurston discuss their report on WWE’s Consensual Relationship Policy and welcome guests CJ Donald and Brad Balukjian to the show.

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Becky and Rhea doing some kayfabe BS brawl after that Punk interview was just cringe and awful. Helwani should be ashamed for allowing that garbage.


The Bucks will get back at him by sipping a Coke on Wednesday :yawning_face:


Oh man that is embarrassing, especially after I thought he was great with Punk.

As with most things, the truth is somewhere in between. Punk is probably a dick and Tony is probably a shitty boss who made a ton of mistakes handling him.


Gotta admire Punk for making everybody talk about AEW, the week of WrestleMania.


Yeah that completely blew my mind. He was there to talk Mania and 90 per cent was AEW :joy:


To be fair, Helwani had to ask those questions. I’m glad Punk provided as many answers as he did. His experiences in AEW are his own (and he did say that the positives outweighed the negatives for him there), but I vehemently disagree with his assessment that AEW isn’t in the business of drawing money when it’s a company running venues like Wembley Stadium and has been in league with WBD from nearly the beginning and is negotiating new TV rights.

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I think what’s being said is that it’s just Tony’s playbox. Tony spends money to play at running a wrestling company.

And what is the difference between him and LITERALLY EVERY OTHER PROMOTER EVER?


True or not true, I believe the accusation if you read between the lines is that Tony is more interested in satisfying his personal tastes as a wrestling fan opposed to making money. The insinuation is that others make/made decisions based on what they believe will draw, not what they enjoy on a personal level.

I’m not agreeing or disagreeing, but that’s how I interpret Punks comments as well as what I’m reading out there.


Punk really is in a no win situation here. If he talks AEW he’s going to be dragged for it. If he doesn’t talk AEW, people are going to think he’s skirting the topic and not willing to be held accountable for his part.


Other promoters make decisions based on maximizing profit. Tony does not. He doesn’t have to.

Punk of course, didn’t phrase it that way because he is apparently required to come across like a ton of bricks, no matter what he’s saying.


Vince McMahon for decades booked professional wrestling the way he enjoyed it.

Literally every promoter and booker from the top down, do the same.

There is nobody out there in these positions saying “I really hate what I’m promoting, but hey, it makes money!”

Also, why are we acting like Tony / AEW is failing? WWE is the hottest they’ve been in 20 year. Nobody is debating thism. At the same time AEW is drawing about 6-8K fans a week between two shows. They’re gearing up for a massive rights increase. They’ve sold 40K tickets for Wembley with nearly five months until showtime. They’re consistently in the top three to five cable spots for their night on Wednesdays. They’re doing things that NO other company has managed to do in the last 24 years.

This idea that his taste isn’t shared by an audience that follows and supports his vision for a company is simply untrue.

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One of my big questions on this is why did Adam Page shoot on Punk? Was he put up to it or was he stupid enough to actually believe Punk was getting Colt fired?

It all went to shit after that decision.


Jack Perry swearing back stage and making TS comfortable like that is disturbing. He’s clearly a turd and hopefully done with the major promotions.

Punk is Punk. Nothing surprising here


Yup Jack Perry disrespecting Schiavone is gross. Should have fired him after that

I assume that the points you are giving are being aimed at general comments online as many of your point I don’t oppose and agree with. I was just interpreting Punk’s comments.

As for my personal perspectives in relation to your post;

Vince is a unique one as I agree that he 100% booked what he liked ALOT, but I also think he was delusional near the end and thought that what he liked others liked. I think Vince’s main issue creatively was inaccurate perception of the fans and stubbornness. He did at times go against what he wanted for money, examples are bringing people back he hated or that sued him and there were times he listened to the audience eventually, sure it was after fighting them tooth and nail but sometimes he budged. To be crystal clear, this isn’t a compliment I’m just stating that he sometimes came around when it meant money was on the table. Time will only tell with Tony if he’s willing to do the same.

I agree with your second statement and I don’t believe AEW is failing. What they have managed to accomplish in only 5ish years is truly an amazing feat. Tony, Kenny, The Bucks, even Cody etc. should all be incredibly proud of what they created as it has changed the business forever for the better and has evened up the landscape for the first time since WCW was doing well (sorry TNA). If I had to critique them, it would be that I think they have hit a wall. I can relate personally to my own business with this as I am at a very similar place right now. We are doing well and making money, but we need something to get to that next level and in business they say if you are not moving forward you are falling behind. Now I dont think AEW is falling behind, but I don’t think they are moving forward either. You mentioned the TV deal, I’ll give them credit for that once they get it done but that hasnt happened yet. I do think Tony needs to look at things and determine how to get to that next level, and quite frankly I’m sure he is doing this. You can both appreciate what you have accomplished AND strive to improve, its not either/or.

As far as his taste being shared with the audience, I think its partially true. I think Tony connects to a certain group very well and he’s been able to sustain that group for 5 years which is not easy (look no further than TNA). To grow past where they are now he may need to think outside the box, I’m not sure to be honest but I think its fair to ask the question if Tony can do this. I lean towards yes, but I don’t know for sure. I do agree though that the WWE being so hot right now is definitely going to make it harder to grow, but its not impossible as there are always ways to grow, you just need to figure them out.

I appreciate you speaking up so I can hear you.

The difference would be that other wrestling promoters have to worry about the bottom line. That income should outdraw expenses. However, Tony’s got a bottomless war chest. As such, he’s just doing the fantasy booking side without worrying about the bottom line.

I’m not saying I agree with him; I’m just giving you the crux of Punk’s argument.


I do wish Helwani had asked Punk about when he shot on Page and challenged him to a match on Dynamite. Would have liked to see his response to that especially after he had just whined about how you shouldn’t waste valuable TV time.

I’m guessing that, just like Page, nothing happened to Punk for doing that. Again it comes down to a Tony problem. You have to be a boss at some point