As we've previously reported, several talent from AEW were unexpectedly absent from the AEW Collision event. Names such as “Hangman” Adam Page, Ryan Nemeth, Matt Hardy, and Christopher Daniels were notably missing, sparking rumors that their absence may be linked to CM Punk.
Matt Hardy took to his podcast to discuss the speculation surrounding his absence from the AEW Collision taping in Hamilton on June 30, 2023. Hardy recounted that while he was in Hamilton for live Dynamite and Rampage tapings, he was initially slated to stay on for Collision. He mentioned that he had been asked a few days before if he would be available for the event, and had changed his flight accordingly after confirmation from Tony Khan.
“I’m actually gonna go into that a little bit because people ask about what happened. So whenever we were in Hamilton, we were there on Wednesday live for Dynamite and Rampage taping for Friday, and then there was a Collision the next night. So I had been asked a few days before I would be willing and free to stay for Collision because Ethan Page was officially turning babyface on that Wednesday night on Rampage. We were gonna be together in solidarity. We were gonna be buddies and have each other’s back. He was gonna protect me in the match we had there. Then that evening, about six p.m., it was clear. They said, ‘Oh, it’s gonna be good.’ From Tony, he says, ‘Oh, that’s great. Thank you so much for doing this, I appreciate it.’ MJF, ‘Thank you so much for doing this, it’s gonna be great. It’s gonna add so much to do it.’ Ethan Page, ‘Thank you so much for doing this. It’s gonna add so much to it.’ Then we do our bit on Rampage. We get out of there, we leave. I drive back to my hotel in Toronto, and it’s almost midnight. Then I get a message from someone in the creative process, and they said, ‘Just so you know, you and Isiah aren’t needed tomorrow.’ I already changed my flight to Friday with the travel prior and everything else, and it was already confirmed by Tony Khan that I was gonna be there. Then we found out that night that I wasn’t gonna be there.”
“Then the next day, I couldn’t fly out until four p.m. that day, and then I got to Charlotte. Then my flight to Raleigh kept getting delayed, and eventually It was canceled, so then I had to get a car and rent it and drive home and go to Raleigh the next day and get my car. It ended up being a travel nightmare. I was flying home that morning at 8:30 or 9 a.m to get home and spend the day with my family, but then it cost me a total day and then half the other day because I had to go back to Raleigh and get my car and whatever else. So someone changed that during the day, and it wasn’t Tony Khan. So I don’t know. I can’t point the fingers at any names. But I’ll let people come to their own conclusion. You can make your own deductions out of this. That’s what ended up happening, and that’s why myself and Isiah, we weren’t needed at Collision when everyone had asked us to do it for days on end, and then I said I would, and Tony Khan approved it. Five to six hours later, it was not happening. Which was very strange. So you can make your own deductions on what happened.”
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