Wrestlers Are Not Holding Back On CM Punk & Jack Perry's AEW All In Altercation Footage

The All In altercation between former AEW wrestler CM Punk and — now back with WWE — and "Jungle Boy" Jack Perry was again the talk of the wrestling world, nearly eight months later, after it was announced during WrestleMania weekend that The Young Bucks would present backstage footage of the altercation it live on-air. In what turned out not to be a swerve, the footage was indeed shown on "AEW Dynamite." It showed Punk confronting Perry, pushing him, then putting him in a chokehold after the two appeared to have exchanged words following Perry's match. Punk also appeared to yell at AEW President Tony Khan, who is off-screen in the majority of the video. The incident took place after Perry slammed his All In opponent, HOOK, through the windshield of a vehicle, then said, "Real glass. Cry me a river" to the camera.

Punk has publicly said he told Perry it would be dangerous to utilize real glass in matches, and was against him using a rental car for the spot. The altercation led to Punk getting fired from the company with cause, with Khan appearing before an episode of "AEW Collision" in Punk's hometown of Chicago to say he "feared for his life." The decision to release the video came after Punk appeared on the "MMA Hour" and ran down AEW and his time there, as well as Khan himself. Punk said Khan is a "nice guy, but not a boss" during the interview. He said he believes Khan is a "detriment to the company," and he never did anything to make his former employer "fear for his life."

The decision to release footage of the incident, long after the fact, was polarizing not just with wrestling fans, but with wrestlers themselves, especially within WWE, where Punk returned at Survivor Series: War Games. Many stars, including Punk himself as well as his current rival, Drew McIntyre, took to social media to subtly address Khan's decision.


Punk did not hold back on the "MMA Hour" when host Ariel Helwani asked him about his backstage incidents within AEW. While Punk was unable to speak about the previous "Brawl Out" situation where he got into an altercation with The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega, due to a non-disclosure agreement he signed, he was able to talk about the incident with Perry at Wembley Stadium in London.

All In was AEW's biggest show to date with over 80,000 tickets sold, and Punk almost didn't make it out to the ring for his match against Samoa Joe following the fight with Perry backstage. On "MMA Hour," Punk said he told Khan he quit right then and there, but went out to do the match because it wasn't fair to the producer of the match, Joe, and the fans in attendance. Punk ended up winning the match over Joe, despite the altercation that happened just a short time before.

In response to Khan releasing the footage to further the Bucks versus FTR storyline, Punk's reaction was subtle. He simply posted a photo to his Instagram stories without context, as he's been known to do, of George W. Bush. The photo depicts the "mission accomplished" speech the former president gave following the United States' invasion of Iraq. President Bush said that the US and its allies had "prevailed." Punk has yet to respond to the release of the footage in more than just the photo.


There was, of course, a response backstage after the airing of the controversial footage on "Dynamite." According to a Fightful Select report, the response was "tepid" and the backstage attitude was "deflated" following the segment where the Young Bucks presented the video. The report said that it wasn't entirely due to Khan's decision to make the footage public, but rather the knowledge of the inevitable "online backlash" that would follow the segment. According to Fightful Select, some talent in AEW expressed their opinions that the time devoted to the Perry-Punk video, neither of whom are on AEW television, could have "been better utilized by someone else." While the report mentions the general backstage atmosphere, no specific AEW talent have come out publicly on social media to comment on the decision or the footage itself.

Matt and Nick Jackson were reportedly fine with the segment, as was FTR, who are known friends of Punk, who responded to the airing of the clip in storyline in the ring immediately following it being shown. The Young Bucks said that they showed the footage because they believed FTR orchestrated the entire brawl to distract them from their own match, in which FTR got the win over them.

In their segment, Cash Wheeler asked why The Bucks were showing the footage in the first place and what they were trying to accomplish. He said he was done with the entire situation. He said FTR will beat The Bucks in their match at the upcoming Dynasty pay-per-view, because they're sick of them being petty. Dax Harwood said their match isn't about All In or anything that happened backstage, and The Bucks are just trying to blow the roof off the foundation of AEW and are more concerned about their EVP status.


In the Fightful Select report, it was said that inside WWE, the airing of the footage was described as a "self-own." Some within the company told the outlet that they "simply didn't care." Punk is reportedly not receiving any kind of blowback or issues from the video internally. Fightful reported that one person who spent time in both companies downplayed the controversy and compared it to the same kind of "promotional ploy" used during the Monday Night Wars when the then-WWF was competing against WCW.

One talent within WWE who made his opinions known in a snarky social media post was new tag team champion Grayson Waller. The host of the "Grayson Waller Effect" posted on X (formerly Twitter) that he would be "sharing exclusive security camera footage" of himself and tag team partner Austin Theory "beating up the entire WWE locker room backstage."

"It's time the world knows how tough the Smackdown Tag Champs really are!" Waller posted. "WWE NXT" star Dijak, who has become known for his own snarky social media posts, responded to Waller

"It's true, I saw it. There was real glass everywhere," he posted.

Fellow "NXT" talent Shawn Spears, who debuted for the company after leaving AEW when he became a free agent in January, seemingly responded to the segment as it was airing, posting a GIF of a person throwing a yoga ball at the wall and knocking himself out. Outside of the social media posts from Waller, Dijak, Spears, and Punk himself, only one other person has responded to the incident and its subsequent footage.


If there was anyone outside of CM Punk who was going to have a comment about the "Brawl In" footage airing, it would be his current rival, Drew McIntyre. "The Scottish Warrior" has had heat with "The Second City Saint" since Punk returned at Survivor Series and in storyline, McIntyre was the person to injure Punk at the Royal Rumble. McIntyre reportedly even stormed out of the arena following Punk's return. Their feud came to a head at WrestleMania 40 after McIntyre captured the World Heavyweight Championship from Seth Rollins, and Punk was on commentary for the match. Following the win, McIntyre took the title and sat on the announce desk, bad-mouthing and gesturing at Punk. When he stood up, Punk swept his legs from underneath him and beat him down, allowing an opening for Damian Priest to cash in his Money in the Bank contract and take McIntyre's newly-won title for himself.

Even prior to WrestleMania, McIntyre was constantly trolling Punk, not just online and in promos, but in interviews as well. Back in March, when speaking to The Ringer, McIntyre referenced the "Brawl In" incident. He said that he didn't believe Punk would ever be in physical condition to wrestler him because "he's literally made of glass, real glass" and McIntyre would "break him." On Wednesday, a half hour before "Dynamite" went on the air, McIntyre was back at it again on X, referencing the fact the video was to be shown later that night.

"Time for tape study," McIntyre posted. "Where can I hurt him? Weak spots? What's his hand speed like? I want to humiliate... Damian Priest."


Former WWE talent Ryback also commented on the video being aired on his own social media. Ryback and Punk have a history, with neither man liking the other. During Punk's infamous appearance on former friend Colt Cabana's "Art of Wrestling" podcast, Punk called Ryback an "unsafe wrestler" who "took years" off his career after the pair faced off several times in 2012 and 2013, including a "Hell in a Cell" main event title match where Punk retained. Since Punk made the comments, Ryback has been taking shots at him for years.

Following the release of the video on "Dynamite," Ryback went on a rant on social media targeted more at Punk than anything Perry did. He said the "level of incompetence" in the footage is unreal, called Punk the aggressor and said he did "some sort of weird kangaroo-like attack/lunge" before grabbing Perry.

"Jack was 100 percent unphased and Fragile Phil proceeded to throw a hissy fit," Ryback wrote, in part. "Now just imagine if an agent behaved in this manner at a talent, they would be fired immediately and despite Phil being 55 years old, he has the maturity level of a middle school dropout."

Ryback ended the post by saying that anyone who said Punk told the truth failed to understand "fine details" and Punk's "inability to control his hissy fit temper tantrums." Despite the two's years-long ongoing feud, Punk had no words in response to Ryback on his Instagram account.