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AEW COLLISION: Billy Gunn Takes Off His Boots! Is He Done with Wrestling or Done with ‘The Acclaimed’?

Photo: ABowensIG

The takeaway from the Saturday July 22nd episode of TNT’s AEW Collision was that there is a major shake-up coming for two, perhaps three major wrestlers on the roster.

First and foremost, Billy Gunn took off his wrestling boots and left them in the center of the ring.  Historically, when a wrestler does this, it signifies he is retiring or ‘hanging up their boots’. However, how Gunn ended up here leaves much in question.

Gunn AKA “Daddy Ass” was wrestling alongside The Acclaimed (Max Caster and Anthony Bowens) as the challengers for the AEW Trios Belts held by the House of Black (Malakai Black, Buddy Matthews and Brody King).

Courtesy/AEW

During the end of their match, after Caster and Bowens were both left on the outside of the ring and recovering from blows from the House of Black, it left Gunn in the ring with no one to save him and outnumbered against all three House of Black members.  In the end, Malakai Black delivered a “Black Mass’ Kick and pinned Gunn to win the match.

Immediately following, Black whispered something into Gunn’s ear, and Matthews and King seem to also extend peace offerings to him. As they exited the ring, Billy began to unlace his boots with a very upset look on this face, while The Acclaimed looked shocked at ringside.  Even the crowd started chanting to Gunn, “You still got it”.

When The Acclaimed tried to console Gunn on the ramp, he pushed them aside, most likely signaling he is done with them. For months, we have been waiting for a turn with this happy trio, who’s “Scissor Me, Daddy” gimmick has been a ground-pleaser. However, could “Daddy Ass” be on his way out? Could he end up joining his sons in the Bullet Club, or could he decide to make a singles run and not be a part of a tag team or trio?  Stay tuned.

In other key developments, it was hard to pick who was the heel, Absolute Ricky Starks, CM Punk, or both? At the top of the show, Ricky Starks, now super cocky after cheating to win the Owen Hart Foundation Men’s Tournament, said he will win by any means possible. He also didn’t say much when questioned by Tony Schiavone why he pushed Jushin Tiger Liger aside when Liger was presenting him with the trophy last week.

Eventually, Starks was interrupted by CM Punk who took pot shots at New Jersey since the show was emanating from Newark.  Punk said he was not upset with Starks for winning, but more with himself.  That was until things took a turn and suddenly in the main event, Darby Allin was paired with Punk against Starks and Christian Cage.  In the twist, Starks cheated the same way he done the week before holding on to the ropes for leverage while he had his opponent in a roll-up for the pin. This time, it was Allin who got the loss from Ricky’s skullduggery.

So, where does Starks go from here? Are we about to see a full Starks heel turn on ‘Collision’ as Jack Perry had made very evident and clear on ‘Dynamite’? Is CM Punk, who is still getting just as many boo’s as positive chants in the audience, flip into full heel mode shortly? Those are the questions on AEW Collision viewers minds.

So, what do you think is up with Billy Gunn? Did he retire, or is he departing The Acclaimed? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

AEW

AEW Fires CM Punk; Terminates Contract ‘With Cause’ Following Backstage Altercations at ‘All In’

In a shocking development, but left with no choice, AEW has decided to fire CM Punk (Phil Brooks) effective immediately. The news came via an official press release on Saturday afternoon, just ahead of two key live events on television and pay-per-view this Labor Day weekend.

With both AEW Collision and the pay-per-view All Out, both in Punk’s hometown of Chicago, tonight and Sunday night, respectively, the timing of this couldn’t be worse for the company, as many were hoping somehow Punk might somehow wind up on those shows.

However, going into this week, CM Punk and Jack Perry were suspended by AEW after their backstage fight at AEW All in London last Saturday. Additional reports supported that Punk got into a verbal altercation with AEW Owner and CEO, Tony Khan in the Guerilla production position before going out for his match against Samoa Joe. At that time, Punk yelled at Khan that he was quitting AEW.

Photo: AEW

As to the fate of Jack Perry (the son of 90210’s late Luke Perry) has not yet revealed, as it is believed he incited the incident by first making a statement live on All In during his match with Hook.  On camera close-up, Perry made a snide comment directed at Punk, about Punk’s refusal the week prior, to let Perry break actual glass for the safety of everyone in a match.  Backstage reports since the incident shared that Punk and Perry went ‘nose to nose’ after Perry’s match. Then, Punk shoved and punched Perry before choking him.

Here is what AEW said on their cutting ties with Punk effective immediately:

“All Elite Wrestling (AEW) has terminated the wrestler and employment agreements between Phillip Brooks (CM Punk) and AEW with cause, effective immediately. The termination was confirmed today by Tony Khan, CEO, General Manager and Head of Creative AEW.  The termination follows a weeklong internet investigation of an incident occurring backstage at AEW – All In London on Sunday, August 27. Following the investigation, the AEW Discipline Committee met and later convened with outside legal counsel before making a unanimous recommendation to Khan that CM Punk be terminated with cause.”

Photo: AEW

Khan offered the following statement: “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.”

So, what does this mean for Warner Brothers/Discovery’s investment in a Saturday night pro wrestling show on television, now that the biggest name familiar to audiences all over the world has been dropped from the organization? Share your thoughts, are you glad Punk was fired … or do you think anything else could have been done by the company after Punk one-year ago delivered shocking comments at the All Out pay per view which he trashed The Elite, Hangman Page and Colt Cabana?

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AEW

AEW: CM Punk and Jack Perry Face Suspensions, Taken Off ‘All Out’, Reports of More Backstage Incidents

CM Punk made headlines over the weekend again, which caused a distraction to what should have been purely about AEW: All In London as a well-done record-breaking event.

However, as the pay-per-view was going down, reports surfaced of another backstage altercation between Punk and Jack Perry.  It began on the Zero Hour buy-in show, prior to All In.  During Jack Perry’s match against Hook, there was a spot that involved a car window. Perry looked into  the camera and said, “It’s real glass, cry me a river.”  That remark appeared to be directed at Punk, who had previously raised concerns of Perry’s desire to use real glass on a recent episode of AEW Collision.

Next, another altercation was reported.  After Punk’s match with Samoa Joe, that opened All In, Miro asked Punk what had happened with Perry. This, resulted in an argument where Punk essentially asked Miro if he had a problem with him now and if he wanted to “step outside”.  However, other sources are saying this Miro story, “Isn’t true.”

Photo: AEW

In addition, according to PW Torch:  Punk “chewed out” AEW President Tony Khan in a confrontation that was said to be “intense,” while both where in the gorilla position backstage, and then later in Punk’s locker room. Reports incidicated, Punk threatened to quit AEW, which had been previously reported putting his opening match with Samoa Joe in jeopardy just moments before the start of All In.

Now. with AEW about to go live on Wednesday night with Dynamite, Saturday night with Collision and All Out on Sunday in which each show is emanating from Chicago this week, it seems Punk’s suspension will prevent him from being part of the cards in front of his own hometown.

We will keep you updated on this developing story,.

So, what do you think is going on with CM Punk? Why is he continually at the epicenter of backstage brawls and altercations? Do you believe all of this will turn out to be true, pending AEW’s investigation on the matter? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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AEW

‘AEW: All In London’: MJF and Adam Cole, Will Ospreay, Saraya, Standouts in Multi Record-Breaking Event

On Sunday night, at AEW: All In, All Elite Wrestling not only had a worldwide audience on pay-per view, but also a sold-out live event at Wembley Stadium in London, England that shattered multiple records across the professional wrestling industry. With 81,035 fans from more than 70 countries converging at Wembley, it marked the largest crowd in history to ever attend a pro wrestling event in Europe.

The card was super-packed, moved super-fast and ended roughly under four hours. Let’s take a look at some of the highpoints of the night.

MJF vs. Adam Cole – AEW World Heavyweight Championship

In the main event, “best buds on the cusp of backstabbing each other” was the storyline that played out in the ring, and out of the ring, with plenty of pro wrestling tropes along the way.

After Cole and MJF won the ROH Tag Team Titles on the Zero Hour buy in before the pay-per-view, you had a feeling that their house of cards was going to implode. While both men were wearing their top-selling tank tops on AEW Shop.com the “Better Than You, Bay-Bay” boys slowly mounted the tension between them with Cole looking more like he would do anything to win the title from Max, including double-crossing him.  Many times throughout the match, MJF teased he would fall back on his ‘scumbag’ and cheating ways, but he never did. He couldn’t bring himself to do it to his best friend.

After the duo knocked each other out, the ref called it a double-pin and a draw.  Next, Cole asked MJF to extend the match and he did till there was a winner between them.  As referees were knocked out … twice, Roderick Strong (Cole’s ‘best friend’) came to the ring to help Cole win illegally.  But Cole wanted Strong to leave the ring.  In the end, MJF secured the win with a quick roll up on Cole.  MJF tried to console Adam with the ROH belts, but Cole tossed his away. This time, MJF turned his back to give Cole an opportunity to clock him with the belt to prove he didn’t really want to be his friend after all. But like MJF previously, Cole couldn’t smash him with the title, and the show ended with the guys hugging it out and the crowd went wild.

MJF is the best total-package wrestler in the world going right now, and the fact that Adam Cole main-evented All In after a serious brain injury almost a year ago is a feat on to itself.  GRADE A

Will Ospreay vs. Chris Jericho

After All In, we can confirm what we already knew, Will Ospreay is the best wrestler in the world. No one his size, can hit the high-flying maneuvers like he can, and deliver his spots with such athletic precision and intensity. For that reason alone, this match was must-see.

We could have done without Chris Jericho singing live to his band Fozzy, playing his entrance theme track, “Judas in My Mind”, but we guess All In being a spectacle and all, they tried to work it in.  However, try as Jericho might, his entrance was upstaged by Ospreay’s stunning one.

In the match, while Jericho still continues to deliver high-quality matches at this stage of his career, he was the heel on this night as the crowd was behind England’s Ospreay.  Eventually, a second Oscutter put down Jericho.  After the match, the only member left from the Jericho Appreciation Society, Sammy Guevera, was pushed away by Jericho. Is this now the final crack in their friendship that dates back to the beginning of AEW?   

Ospreay’s contract is up in February of 2024 with New Japan Pro Wrestling. Will he sign with AEW and become a major star here in the US? Stay tuned.  GRADE A for Ospreay!

Photo: AEW

Saraya vs. Britt Baker vs. Toni Storm vs. Hikaru Shida – AEW World’s Women’s Championship

This match brought the emotional highpoint of the night.  For Saraya was wrestling in front of her family in the front row and in her country of England and with the hometown crowd 100% behind her. Saraya’s journey to even getting here had been nothing short of remarkable. She had what was believed to be career-ending neck injury and surgery and was also let go by the WWE. Now with second chance at success in the biggest AEW stage of them all, this was her night to triumph.

The four-way for the Women’s belt delivered in several instances, but none more so than the implosion of the Outcasts. During the match Toni Storm mistakenly struck Saraya’s mother in the crowd.  That set the stage for tension to overflow and the two went at it, including Storm trying to re-injure Saraya’s neck.  Running out to save the day was Outcast member, Ruby Soho, who helped prevent Saraya from a vengeful Storm,

Meanwhile, Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. was trying to use dental pressure points to make Shida give-up and become the title holder. However, in the end, Saraya used the Outcasts spray paint and sprayed in Toni Storm’s eyes and followed it up with the pin becoming the champ.

Throughout the match, the camera showed none other than Mercedes Mone’, (AKA Sasha Banks) attending the All In event.  It should be noted that Mone’, accidentally caused the injury that put Saraya out of action. Might Mercedes come to AEW and challenge Saraya for the title … or, tag team with her against Soho and Storm? Stay tuned.   GRADE A

AEW: All In  became AEW’s highest grossing event ever and one of the largest pro wrestling gates of all time, generating more than $10 million.

In other key matches:

CM Punk def, Samoa Joe.  GRADE C-

Bullet Club Gold def. Bullet Club Elite  GRADE B+

FTR def. The Young Bucks and retained the AEW World Tag Team Championship in a amazing match of spots and tag wrestling. GRADE A

Best Friends, Orange Cassidy, Penta El Zero M, Eddie Kingston and Orange Cassidy won the Stadium Stampede Match vs. The Blackpool Combat Club along with Santana and Ortiz. GRADE B

Sting And Darby Allin def. Strickland And Christian Cage in a  Coffin Match GRADE B+

The Acclaimed and Billy Gun def. House of Black for the AEW Trios Championship GRADE D

Hook def. Jack Perry for the FTR Championship GRADE B-

So, what did you think of AEW All in London? Did your favorite win or retain their championships? Comment below. But first, check out Michael Fairman and pro wrestling report Luis Ruiz “All In After-Show” on You Tube’s “What’s Up? Wrestling” series below.

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