Tony Schiavone Explains How CM Punk Elevated Darby Allin In AEW
On the latest episode of AEW Unrestricted, Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards took some time to reflect on the wild moments in AEW so far. They looked back at CM Punk’s debut at AEW Rampage, and Schiavone revealed how Punk was referred to backstage.
“CM Punk walking out will be an unforgettable night. A couple of behind the scenes things: Tony Khan, true to his word, never used the word ‘CM Punk’ at all, to anybody,” Schiavone revealed. “During the meeting, he called him ‘our special guest.’ Backstage, CM Punk’s room, it just said ‘special guest,’ but we kind of knew. And then we got the meeting backstage. Having him aboard on this team has been wonderful on so many levels. Not only what he has done as far as viewership, but how he approaches his work backstage.
“Meeting him and seeing how kind and excited he has to be here, it’s absolutely incredible and a good testament to what we’ve built,” Edwards added.
Edwards noted that Punk’s “Pipe Bomb” promo was what helped her become a hardcore wrestling fan. She recalled what her reaction was when she heard Punk was at the United Center.
“I remember walking around backstage at the United Center, and Daryl, one of the guys on our production team, he does our live shots, comes up to me and goes, ‘He’s here!’ And I’m just like, ‘Oh my god!’ I’m sitting there, and I actually drink a Pepsi that day in catering just because I was like, hoping,” Edwards recalled. “I was like, I’m gonna put good karma in the universe because I never drink Pepsi. And then I saw him walking around the back, and I saw the back of his head first.
“And I’m like, ‘Oh god, oh god, and I’ve never panicked meeting someone. To me, everyone is just like, ‘Oh, they’re a person who happens to be someone on TV. But to me, this is the celebrity. And I was talking to Punk a little bit about it after, and I told him, ‘You were the reason I got into wrestling.’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, wait, you’re serious?’ I’m like, Yeah, no sh*t, dude. Legit’ and I explained the whole thing. He’s like, ‘Oh, normally I apologize, but I guess for you, it worked out real well.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, it did,’ but I told him, ‘Dude, there’s a lot of young people here that grew up watching you.’ It was just a thing that he hadn’t really thought about, and it’s insane that he’s come here and he’s helping put our younger talent over.
“It’s well known at this point we’re building Darby Allin, Jungle Boy, MJF. All these guys are future stars, and to have someone come in like CM Punk and just immediately put over Darby the way that he did is just absolutely incredible, and I’m incredibly grateful because something like that is just going to help build our company success. Yeah, it was a match between Punk and Darby, but it was a match for all of us.”
Schiavone elaborated on Edwards’ point on Punk putting Allin over. He addressed the criticism over Punk beating Allin at All Out.
“I know there’s a lot of a lot of trolls on here, as they are on social media,” Schiavone stated. “They’re gonna say, ‘CM Punk put Darby over? No he didn’t. CM Punk beat Darby.’ It’s not about wins and losses you freaking dumb asses. It’s about making stars, and CM Punk made Darby an even bigger star, elevated Darby’s career that night. What she’s talking about, and I wholeheartedly agree that, these veterans and known stars coming in working with our younger talent is making everybody better. It’s not wins or losses anymore.”
“We saw Sting doing the same thing,” Edwards noted. “He came in, immediately started associating himself with Darby, and the running joke is that he’s Darby’s dad. That’s intentional, right? That’s building Darby as as a legitimate future contender.”