AEW has seemingly lifted the ban regarding on-air mentions and references as it pertains to the suspended CM Punk and The Elite.
On the 10/18 episode of “AEW Dynamite,” prior to Death Triangle’s title defense against Best Friends, Tony Schiavone acknowledged the fact that Kenny Omega & Young Bucks were crowed the inaugural AEW World Trios Champions at the All Out pay-per-view last month. In contrast, there was no mention of The Elite when Death Triangles captured the vacated titles on September 7, or even when they defended the titles against Dark Order on the October 7 “AEW Rampage” episode. Similarly, AEW President Tony Khan didn’t make any mention of The Elite’s status or being stripped of the titles when he announced a match to crown new champions last month.
Later in the show, Punk appeared in a video package honoring the legacy of the ROH World Championship, prior to the Chris Jericho vs. Dalton Castle title bout. This was the first instance of Punk appearing on AEW TV since the backstage altercation. Punk was left off similar video packages (on the Road to AEW YouTube shows) prior to the recent Jericho vs. Bryan Danielson and Jericho vs. Bandido title matches. Furthermore, ROH announcer Ian Riccaboni specifically left off Punk from the list of “greatest ROH World Champions” prior to the Jericho vs. Claudio Castagnoli ROH Title Match at “AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam” last month.
While it’s unknown if the on-air mentions are a sign of AEW gradually welcoming The Elite and Punk back into the fold, it’s worth noting that the wrestlers are still not featured in any AEW promotional material on TV and were recently removed from the poster for the Full Gear pay-per-view. According to reports, AEW President Tony Khan has refrained from speaking on the infamous backstage melee involving Punk and The Elite due to legal ramifications stemming from an ongoing investigation.