CM Punk, real name Phil Brooks, has been fired from All Elite Wrestling just over two years after returning to wrestling by signing with the company. AEW shared the news on social media Saturday afternoon. Brooks' firing, which was described as "with cause," comes after his second backstage physical altercation during his time with the promotion.
Brooks reportedly got into a fight with "Jungle Boy" Jack Perry at AEW's record-breaking All In event at Wembley Stadium in London.
Brooks and Perry had a prior argument when Brooks reportedly tried to talk Perry out of a planned spot in a match in which Perry intended to use "real glass" and would result in his being written off of television for a week. Punk reportedly told Perry the spot was too dangerous.
After wrestling on the All In pre-show, Perry spoke into a camera, saying, "It's real glass, cry me a river." This led to a confrontation between the two before Brooks opened the pay-per-view with a match against Samoa Joe. Rumors have swirled about the extent of the physicality of that confrontation, though most reports have suggested Brooks punched Perry.
"The termination follows a weeklong internal investigation of an incident occurring back stage at AEW -- All In London on Sunday, August 27," the AEW statement read. "Following the investigation, the AEW Discipline Committee met and later convened with outside legal counsel before making a unanimous recommendation to [AEW CEO Tony] Khan that CM Punk be terminated with cause."
Brooks retired from wrestling in a messy split with WWE in 2014 before making a return to wrestling when he signed with AEW in August 2021.
The following May, Brooks won the AEW world title but suffered a broken foot that sidelined him until August. One month later, after defeating interim champion Jon Moxley in the main event of All In to unify the titles, Brooks made comments at the post-event press conference stating that roster members and AEW executive vice presidents The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega had spread rumors about him. This led to a situation where Brooks and trainer and friend Ace Steel legitimately brawled with the Bucks and Omega.
All involved in the brawl were suspended and Brooks chose to undergo surgery on his tricep after tearing it in the match with Moxley.
Brooks returned to action in June, appearing on the debut episode of AEW Collision, a new Saturday show that was planned to largely feature Brooks. Just months later, Brooks' time with AEW is over.
"Phil played an important role within AEW and I thank him for his contributions," Khan said in the AEW statement. "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."