This weekend, AEW announced that the decision had been taken to fire CM Punk. The response to the news has been mixed, with some fans supporting the decision and others scratching their heads over what feels like the company's biggest blunder to date.
However, it seems everyone can agree that Tony Khan's poor management style and the fact he frequently kowtows to The Elite is just as big an issue as Punk's apparent inability to hold his temper and not be provoked by those who clearly didn't want him in AEW.
Now, though, Khan is being ridiculed for his attempt to explain his actions prior to Saturday night's AEW Collision.
"Today I had to make one of the toughest decisions of my professional career. Today I terminated Phil Brooks, CM Punk, for cause," he says in the video above, later adding, "This stems from a backstage incident at AEW All In last Sunday. The incident was regrettable, and it endangered people backstage."
"That includes the production staff, the people who help put the show on every week, innocent people who had nothing to do with it. I’ve been going to wrestling shows for over 30 years. I’ve been producing them on this network for nearly four years. Never, in all that time, have I ever felt, until last Sunday, that my security, my safety, my life, was in danger at a wrestling show."
Yes, Khan felt his very life was in danger from Punk, a laughable claim that's since been used as an excuse by certain pro wrestling pundits (who typically fawn over AEW as it's the only company to treat them like real journalists) to sling mud in the former AEW Champion's direction.
That includes some pretty laughable claims Punk "lunged" at Khan, the son of a billionaire who later found himself mercilessly booed by a Chicago crowd as he attempted to be real with them in a shoot promo which proved the executive really shouldn't be on TV.
AEW is said to be bracing itself for an explosive response from Punk, so this situation likely isn't over yet. Reiterating the lack of professionalism within the company was the fact that, on Saturday, The Young Bucks took a lap of victory around the ring to seemingly celebrate Punk's departure. It's no wonder the fanbase is divided.
As for terror struck into Khan's heart by Punk, we'd say legendary manager Jim Cornette (an often divisive figure) summed it up best...