CM Punk Reveals One Of AEW’s Biggest Obstacles And What They Need To Get Better At

When AEW first started out, there were questions about whether it would compete with wrestling juggernaut WWE. Fast forward to now and Tony Khan’s company is thriving with the help of a roster that boasts homegrown talent and even some key WWE alumni. It even managed to pull legendary superstar CM Punk out of retirement. AEW has the talent to do great things, but according to Punk, there’s still an obstacle to overcome. 

CinemaBlend spoke to CM Punk and other AEW superstars at San Diego Comic-Con and discussed the next challenges for the company now that it has massive talent like former WWE superstar Bryan Danielson in its ranks. Punk explained that the challenge now is finding time to highlight their deep roster and make everyone involved feel important:

Honestly, to me, the biggest obstacle we face right now is the most talented roster I think I’ve ever been a part of in any way. It’s hard to get everybody to shine as bright as they think they all can.

Even with AEW seemingly on the outs with one of its biggest homegrown superstars like MJF (his merchandise was even pulled), the wrestling organization is hardly lacking talent. That’s thanks to Tony Khan’s eye for snagging popular free agents from independent wrestling organizations, as well as promising WWE talent who never got quite the push they deserved while Vince McMahon was in charge. 

AEW has a loaded roster with plenty of male and female superstars that can carry the organization for years to come. The problem is that there are only so many hours AEW can devote to its television programming each month with AEW: Dynamite, Rampage, pay-per-views, and now the newly acquired Ring of Honor. CM Punk laid it all out below and how the issue even makes him question his opinions on wrestling shows:

It’s difficult, right? I definitely don’t think a wrestling show needs to be three hours. I think two hours sometimes might be a little long. But then I’ll watch a Rampage, and then an hour feels like it’s too hairy and rushed. Then, Tony acquired Ring of Honor, and now we’re kind of splitting time with Ring of Honor pay-per-views we’re trying to focus and spotlight like that. There’s just a lot of talent, and he keeps just adding more and more talented people and I’m not against that. I just think that we need to do better at spotlighting some of the more talented people that we have.

AEW has faced criticism from fans, especially around not highlighting the talented women’s division. Only select stars get television time every week, and while that’s not necessarily uncommon in wrestling organizations, having such a deep roster requires spreading the love to highlight more talent. This is especially true if they ever hope to have someone like John Cena on the show, which CM Punk and Bryan Danielson both spoke to CinemaBlend about. 

And while we may never fully know what led to Cody Rhodes leaving AEW (an organization he helped found) to return to the WWE, it’s obvious that AEW also has challenges it needs to work through. For now, though, most fans seem to be a lot more positive than negative, and while they'll need to continue to work on spreading the TV time, that's likely going to be a long-term balancing act.

AEW: Dynamite airs on TBS on Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET, and Rampage runs on Fridays at 10:00 p.m. ET over on TNT. Be sure to keep it saved on the DVR, especially as new shows appear on television every day, so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.