Home Matt, Nick Jackson still trying to kneecap CM Punk, to Tony Khan’s, AEW’s detriment

Matt, Nick Jackson still trying to kneecap CM Punk, to Tony Khan’s, AEW’s detriment

Chris Graham
young bucks
Photo: All Elite Wrestling

One thing Dave Meltzer would know with certainty is what Matt and Nick Jackson have on their mind, so Meltzer’s explanation for why Dana Massie, Matt’s wife, is stepping down from her paid job in AEW is about as solid as solid gets.

“She was someone who was at one point expecting to do this forever, and I think what happened is that everything that happened over the last year, her husband, her brother-in-law, vilified and never defended, and never allowed to defend themselves, and the company never defending them, it made it really difficult,” Meltzer said on a recent edition of “Wrestling Observer Radio.”

Massie, to reset the story, was the head of merchandising at AEW, a job that she was considered qualified for because she handled merchandising for her husband and brother-in-law back when they were on the indies.

Now, to be clear here, Massie stepping down from her job is just as likely the result of Tony Khan, the money man behind AEW, deciding that he needs to professionalize the merchandising part of the core business, and by letting her say she’s the one who decided to move on, he’s letting her leave with some dignity.

The business reality to this is the common complaint from AEW fans regarding the noticeable lack of available merch at live events – both in terms of selection, i.e., items for more than a handful of AEW performers, and the number of locations set up in the host arenas, usually, one, leading to interminably long lines.

Against that backdrop, consider what Meltzer had to say about Massie leaving the job to be more spin than an actual reason.

Even so, Meltzer, being a Matt and Nick Jackson whisperer, no doubt has the spin down 100 percent.

The spin here is that Massie is butt-hurt over the suspensions handed down to the Jacksons and Kenny Omega for their role in the post-“All Out” 2022 locker-room brawl with then-AEW world champ CM Punk and Punk’s friend, Ace Steel.

Punk and Steel were also suspended, and both are no longer with the company, following another backstage incident involving Punk, moments before the opening match of the main card of the 2023 “All In” event in Wembley Stadium.

Punk, notably, has since moved on to return to WWE, where he has provided a massive ratings boost to that company’s weekly shows, “Raw” and “Smackdown,” as the booking seems to foretell having him in the Wrestlemania main-event picture into 2024.

Meanwhile, TV viewer numbers for AEW’s three weekly shows, “Dynamite,” “Rampage” and “Collision,” are stagnant, with the best of the three, “Dynamite,” drawing roughly half the weekly audience of “Raw,” and closer to 40 percent of what “Smackdown” gets.

This is the context as Khan is in the midst of negotiating the next TV deal for the company that he has personally committed nine figures to getting off the ground, with the next TV deal the key to the company’s survival.

It’s basically existential crisis time for Khan and the company, but the Jacksons – who claim to be the company’s founders and were given executive vice president titles despite not having to put any money into the business – are more focused on personal slights.

Back to the personal slights being talked up by Meltzer:

“I’m sure it just got too tough,” Melzter said, referring to Massie’s hurt feelings over the suspensions. “She just felt that they were never defended at a time when they probably should’ve been defended by the company. Punk went after her, too, and she was never defended.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].