HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 01: AJ Mendez and Phil "CM Punk" Brooks attend the Beyond Fest Premiere Of "Girl On The Third Floor"at the Egyptian Theatre on October 01, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by John Wolfsohn/Getty Images)
CM Punk's Drawing Power Reportedly Alienated Him From AEW Locker Room
Pro Wrestling Torch's Wade Keller claimed that CM Punk lacked the locker room leverage that many thought he would have, adding, "[Punk was] a difference maker [...] but it wasn't 'game changing.'" Keller says that other AEW wrestlers put up with Punk's "idiosyncrasies and eccentricities" because they thought that he'd bring a high level of attention to AEW.
However, the patience of other wrestlers in the locker room waned when numbers didn't climb the way people expected. Keller continued, "There was some jealousy of his rumored salary, upwards of $3 million per year with some wrestlers thinking their spot on the card moved down a notch, and their potential push was delayed a year or two because of him."
Keller notes that for the young AEW wrestlers, Punk could never be the "erudite locker room leader he might have seen himself as." He also described Punk's now-infamous rant at All Out's post-show press conference as "both calculated and unhinged," and with him being absent from AEW currently, the company is doing well, with Jon Moxley being "seen as a leader."