All Elite Wrestling Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes recently spoke with ComicBook.com and discussed speculation on CM Punk possibly returning to pro wrestling to work for the new company.
There has been a lot of speculation on Punk signing with AEW ever since the promotion was announced. AEW President Tony Khan previously stated that Punk was his first choice to build a wrestling company with, before he got into business with the wrestlers from The Elite. The speculation ramped up when AEW’s big All Out pay-per-view was announced for Saturday, August 31 from near Punk’s hometown of Chicago.
Cody said AEW would do anything they can to bring Punk in, if he wanted to come in, but they are focused on building the stars AEW already has.
“Last year something with All In that we noticed is that at the actual show there wasn’t a single CM Punk chant,” Cody said. “I thought, ‘Great, OK. It’s not that they don’t like Punk, but they know that we’re here and we’re putting on this show.’ This year I don’t expect anything different. I’ve been very honest about that door remains opened. The fans have never given up on CM Punk and if he wanted to be part of AEW we would do everything in our power to make him part of it.
“But I have 25 to 35 brand new stars. Guys like Jungle Boy. Guys like MJF. Ladies like Kylie Rae, Britt Baker. If I was to spend all my time in trying to recruit just one CM Punk, I would be doing a disservice to them. I felt, in the past, with my own career that a disservice that has happened to me on occasion about putting someone ahead of me. You always hear the discussion of part-time, this and that. I don’t want to go too far there, but I want to make AEW about performers we have.”
Cody also commented on his history with Punk, and said the door remains open for Punk to come in. Cody added that the focus for All Out is the Chris Jericho vs. “Hangman” Adam Page match to crown the first-ever AEW World Heavyweight Champion.
“That door will forever remain open to CM Punk,” Rhodes said. “He was very good to me in OVW. He was a great person to learn from in the ring. I had a good relationship with him. That door will remain open, but for All Out, the main focus for me is Hangman Page and Chris Jericho to determine the very first AEW World Champion.”