The up-and-down career of professional wrestler CM Punk shows no signs of wavering after it was announced by All Elite Wrestling (AEW) that the former WWE champion has been fired with cause.
It comes after Punk - real name Phillip Brooks - was investigated over an incident which took place at the promotion's All In London show last weekend. The former UFC star had been suspended after an altercation behind-the-scenes with fellow AEW wrestler Jack Perry, who was also punished with a suspension.
Both men reportedly came to blows after Perry used real glass for a car windshield spot in his match against Hook on the Zero Hour pre-show. CM Punk had allegedly advised him to use 'fake glass' instead to ensure his safety, but Jungle Boy instead continued and decided to stare directly at the camera during the show to say "real glass. Go cry me a river".
Fightful Select say that Punk went up to Perry to ask him whether they had a problem and then punches were thrown. With Samoa Joe acting as peacemaker, the situation was calmed down and the pair were told to leave Wembley before being subsequently suspended.
The incident is said to have also involved AEW founder Tony Khan and during his post-All In London press conference, he acknowledged the altercation and said: "I can't comment on it at this time beyond what I'm about to say. Yes, there was an incident backstage before we went live on tonight's show. We are investigating it. Until I learn more about what happened, I can't really address it at this time so I can't comment, but I did want to be honest with you and tell you that is the case."
CM Punk's future at AEW was decided late on Saturday following the results of an internal investigation, bringing an end to his run of just over two years. The circumstances of Jack Perry and whether he will be punished further is yet to be confirmed at the time of publication.
As a result of the decision, the main event of All Out - which was due to take place on Sunday, September 3 and possibly involve CM Punk - was up in the air. It is now understood that Jon Moxley - formerly Dean Ambrose at WWE - will close out the show in a match against Orange Cassidy for the AEW International Title instead.
What did AEW's statement about firing CM Punk say?
In a statement posted on Saturday (September 2), an AEW spokesperson explained : "Following the investigation, the AEW Discipline Committee met and later convened with outside legal counsel before making a unanimous recommendation to Tony Khan that CM Punk be terminated with cause."
Khan, who is also head of creative at the promotion, added: "Phil played an important role within AEW and I thank him for his contributions. The termination of his AEW contracts with cause is ultimately my decision, and mine alone.
"Of course, I wish I didn’t 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 many others whose efforts are unsung but essential to bringing our fans great shows on television and at arenas and stadiums throughout the world.”