CM Punk allegedly clashed with Ryan Nemeth over a tweet he sent out the night of Punk’s AEW return at a June Collision event, resulting in an intense backstage confrontation.
As PWExclusive.com previously reported, the young AEW wrestler was flown in for Collision, but he was told he wasn’t needed and that a flight home would be booked for him once he arrived at the arena.
Punk was upset with Nemeth because he tweeted, “Literally the softest man alive.” The tweet came after Punk’s return promo, in which he mentioned “Counterfeit Bucks.” Other stars have also been sent home from Collision events.
PWTorch reports that at the June 21 Dynamite, Punk confronted Nemeth in the locker room. According to sources, “Punk cornered Nemeth in the locker room, got inches from his face, and angrily and aggressively asked if they had a problem or if they needed to settle things outside.”
Punk told Nemeth that his Twitter comments inflamed already existing tensions between him and certain people in the company. He also stated that the tweet’s optics sent a negative message.
Several wrestlers witnessed the altercation, which they described as awkward and strange. Punk continued to berate Nemeth after he moved the argument outside of the locker room. Nemeth attempted to defend himself, noting that he had called Punk “soft” since Punk fired the first shots at the Bucks, prompting Punk to object to the timing, which worked against the public image they were going for, which was to have everyone on the same page or not reignite old feuds.
“Nemeth then asked Punk if he shouldn’t react to things Punk says on TV and Punk said that’d be the right choice at that time. Then they shook hands, but apparently, the tension was still high as they went their separate ways,” according to the report.
Backstage, Nemeth discussed the incident with friends and asked about how to handle the situation.
Not everyone is opposed to Punk. According to the report, Punk has received positive feedback for his behind-the-scenes leadership and is fiercely protective of Collision’s low-drama environment. Punk reportedly sees the show as his and wants to demonstrate that he can provide the type of leadership that he criticizes in The Elite’s EVPs.