Backstage WWE and AEW News: Latest on CM Punk, Thunder Rosa and More
CM Punk has dominated the headlines since AEW All Out on Sunday; not for winning the world title for a second time but for events that unfolded after the show finished.
While his involvement in a contentious media scrum and a reported backstage skirmish with The Elite were at the forefront of the rumors, it is an injury suffered in his match with Jon Moxley that is the topic of discussion in this collection of backstage reports.
Joining the latest on Punk is an update on Thunder Rosa's status with All Elite Wrestling, plans for Braun Strowman after his return to WWE, and news on who produced the great Sheamus vs. Gunther match at Clash at the Castle.
CM Punk Suffered Significant Injury at All Out
On top of the controversy surrounding the post-show incidents, CM Punk suffered a serious injury in the All Out main event that would have led to him vacating the AEW World Championship anyway, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
It is believed to be some sort of arm injury suffered during a tope suicida to Jon Moxley in the AEW World Championship match.
This is the latest setback for a star who is undeniably the biggest AEW has on its roster and the guy around whom Tony Khan has clearly planned to book the main event scene.
That main event scene also features MJF, whose long-awaited main event run was scheduled to be with Punk but will now be retooled to feature another top-tier competitor.
There is no timetable on a return for Punk, who reportedly could also be facing disciplinary action for his role in a backstage melee with The Elite.
Thunder Rosa Has Not Asked For AEW Release
Thunder Rosa's removal from the AEW Women's World Championship match at All Out due to an undisclosed injury created a ton of buzz.
A later tweet, in which La Mera Mera exclaimed "It's time for a change" only exacerbated the situation and led to some believing she is unhappy with the company.
If that is the case, it hasn't caused her to request her release from AEW, according to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select.
In a week of tumultuous backstage happenings and Malakai Black reportedly being given his conditional release, it has to be a relief for the promotion that one of its most prominent female stars is not also looking to leave.
Rosa has reason to be frustrated with management, if for no other reason than the inconsistent booking and lack of spotlight that has plagued her title run to this point.
A star whose matches with Britt Baker set the standard for the women's division, she watched as AEW officials focused on other female wrestlers rather than giving her quality storylines and contests to enhance her reign.
There is plenty of time to right that wrong and ensure the talented performer remains happy and invested in AEW. It will be up to Tony Khan to give the women's division—an area he has neglected too often over the course of the company's existence—the attention it deserves.
Update on Braun Strowman's Return to WWE
Braun Strowman exploded back into WWE Monday night on Raw, attacking four of the company's top tag teams in a moment that popped the crowd but left fans wondering what role he will play moving forward.
According to Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com, the former universal champion will be a babyface on the SmackDown.
A bona fide main event star for WWE just two years ago, Strowman is a welcome addition to a blue brand that does not have a ton of babyface depth. His arrival strengthens that area of the roster and gives Roman Reigns someone to work with between now and WrestleMania 39.
Strowman has a long history with Reigns, against whom he competed both during his time as a member of The Wyatt Family and early in his singles run. He was part of the Triple Threat match at Clash of Champions 2020 in which Reigns captured the Universal Championship and began a two-year run that continues today.
The continuation of their rivalry should dominate Friday nights sooner rather than later.
Update on Who Produced Sheamus vs. Gunther
Johnson also reported that Chris "Abyss" Park was the producer behind the critically acclaimed Intercontinental Championship match between Sheamus and Gunther at Saturday's Clash at the Castle.
"Park has been getting great reviews for his producer work literally since he came to WWE, but yesterday was easily his best received work to date behind the scenes," Johnson wrote.
It is not a surprise that the 48-year-old has succeeded in his role with the company. He is at the top of the list of great modern big men and always showed an ability to work a strong match against competitors of different styles and backgrounds.
His adaptability and willingness to work with others, including the selflessness that comes with bumping for smaller wrestlers like AJ Styles and Chris Sabin, are unteachable traits that a guy tasked with laying out matches that fit the vision of the creative team should be expected to have.
It is no wonder that Park has remained an influential part of WWE's backstage efforts.