Over the past few days, rumors regarding CM Punk's potential involvement in All Elite Wrestling's upcoming All Out pay-per-view on August 31 have been heating up. Aside from reports that confirmed his participation in the Starrcast III convention during the same weekend as All Out, Punk suggested in an interview with ESPN that someone from the recently-launched promotion reached out to him with a contract offer via text message. He then added that texting such offers "isn't really a way to do good business."
As explained by Cultaholic, Punk's remarks to ESPN led to speculation that he may be setting up an angle at All Out involving Cody Rhodes or The Young Bucks. But on Sunday's edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer clarified that the former WWE Champion is only booked to appear at Starrcast III and still has no plans to compete at All Out.
"Everybody's like, 'Oh this is a work', and all that – this is not a work. He doesn't want to wrestle," Meltzer said, per quotes published by Cultaholic.
"And he doesn't have to wrestle. When he got signed to Starrcast, there was a lot of speculation, but he said stuff like, essentially, the guys at AEW were using his name, fanning the flames and all this."In a separate report that also cited Meltzer's remarks on Wrestling Observer Radio, WrestlingNews.co wrote on Sunday that CM Punk's interview with ESPN represented his "true feelings" about his supposed dealings with AEW and his still-troubled relationship with the wrestling business in general. The publication added that Rhodes' recent social media comments about Punk were similarly genuine and "not a work." As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Rhodes held a Twitter Q&A on Friday, where he said that he wouldn't be surprised if Punk eventually returns to WWE, but added that AEW's doors will be open if he chooses to sign with the new company. However, Meltzer explained in the aforementioned update that when Punk left WWE in 2014 and retired from pro wrestling shortly thereafter, he severed ties with multiple people in the company, including current Monday Night Raw executive director Paul Heyman.
Per WrestlingNews.co, Heyman was instrumental in convincing WWE not to release Punk during his time as a developmental wrestler in the mid 2000s. The two had also worked together extensively onscreen, with Heyman managing Punk during his last major WWE run as a heel competitor.
With little more than a month remaining before Starrcast III and All Out both take place in Punk's hometown of Chicago, Meltzer added on Wrestling Observer Radio that AEW reportedly "made another pitch" in hopes of getting Punk to wrestle at All Out. The veteran wrestling journalist also believes AEW will try once again to lure the 40-year-old ex-WWE superstar in time for the October debut of its weekly television show on TNT, though he remains highly skeptical that Punk will accept this potential offer.