Is CM Punk WWE-bound now that AEW has fired him?

FILE - In this Sept. 10, 2016, file photo, CM Punk stands in his corner before a welterweight bout at UFC 203 in Cleveland. Punk went 0-2 in UFC and has given himself until the new year to decide if he wants to keep fighting. Punk hopes to stick in the sport as a mixed martial arts announcer. (AP Photo/David Dermer, File)
CM Punk (David Dermer / Associated Press)

All Elite Wrestling fired one of its top wrestlers, CM Punk, just days after he got involved in a backstage confrontation with fellow wrestler Jack Perry.

AEW released the following statement Saturday:

"All Elite Wrestling (AEW) has terminated the wrestler and employment agreements between Phillip Brooks (CM Punk) and AEW with cause, effective immediately. The termination was confirmed today by Tony Khan, CEO, General Manager, and Head of Creative of AEW.

"The termination follows a weeklong internal investigation of an incident occurring back stage at AEW All In London on Sunday, August 27. Following the investigation, the AEW Discipline Committee met and later convened with outside legal counsel before making a unanimous recommendation to Khan that CM Punk be terminated with cause."

Khan then released the following:

“Phil played an important role within AEW and I thank him for his contributions. The termination of his AEW contracts with cause was ultimately my decision, and mine alone. Of course, I wish I did not have to share this news, which may come as a disappointment to many of our fans. Nevertheless, I am making the decision in the best interests of the many amazing people who make AEW possible every week — our talent, staff, venue operators, and others whose efforts are unsung but essential to bringing our great shows on television and at arena and stadiums throughout the world.”

Punk and Perry tangled at the AEW pay-per-view "All In" in Wembley Stadium last weekend. Punk recently derided Perry for wanting to use real glass during a wrestling segment, which increases the chance of injury. During Perry's match with Hook, he sent Hook through a car windshield, then turned to the camera and said, "Real glass. Cry me a river."

Punk met Perry backstage afterward, and there was a physical altercation. The next day Khan said both men had been suspended and announced an investigation into the matter. No punishment, other than the suspension, has been announced for Perry.

Punk signed with AEW in 2021 after years away from wrestling. He was involved in a backstage fight with the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega in September 2022 and had just returned in June for the first episode of "AEW Collision," a show that was built around him.

Speculation is growing that Punk will return to WWE, but that seems unlikely, as trouble seems to follow Punk wherever he goes and he had his own stormy departure from WWE in 2014. But, the chance for both sides to make money heals all wounds, so never say never.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.