Backstage Responses In WWE And AEW To CM Punk-Ariel Helwani Interview

CM Punk was on "The MMA Hour" with Ariel Helwani on Monday, and the former AEW World Champion's comments about his former employer were incendiary, but not as surprising as some would think. According to "Fightful Select," sources within AEW were hurt but not surprised by Punk's comments about quitting AEW after his fight with Jack Perry at All In.

"More than anything, what the interview showed was that this was preventable from all sides," said one AEW veteran to "Fightful." "Punk is happy, AEW talent moved on, so hopefully everyone just learns from it and makes amends in the future." 

Several AEW sources were said to have been expecting an interview like the one Punk had with Helwani and simply hope that it will be the last either side hears of the incident for some time. Sammy Guevara tweeted in support of the company, which was reportedly about supporting the company itself as opposed to taking any kind of shot at Punk.

WWE sources shared a similar stance, as "Fightful" said that WWE talent and executives expected Punk to have to address his departure from AEW, as the injured WWE star has little more to do during WrestleMania season than do interviews and make media appearances. One talent said they were relieved the interview happened so soon into the week, as now fans will have likely moved on by the time WrestleMania 40 kicks off on Saturday.

Punk was fired from AEW in September last year, after the altercation with Perry. In the recent interview, Punk said that he quit the company immediately before his AEW All In match against Samoa Joe in Wembley Stadium.