CM Punk Has Joined AEW; Return Match Set
The massive rumour that we couldn't be sure was true turned out to be the worst kept secret in professional wrestling. On the second episode of AEW Rampage, CM Punk returned to wrestling after a 7 and a half year hiatus.
The United Center was sold out from pure speculation and teasing of Punk's arrival, and the broadcast began with thunderous "CM Punk" chants. Rather than save it until the end of the show, Living Color's "Cult Of Personality" blared over the speakers, and the Best In The World walked out to one of the loudest pops ever from his hometown crowd. Punk was clearly overcome with emotion, as was the capacity Chicago crowd. Punk hugged fans and even dove over the barricade into the adoring sea of people. He then took the microphone, speaking about his happiness to be back for the fans and for himself. He then switched into setting up what looks to be his first match in AEW- CM Punk vs. Darby Allin at All Out. Later in the show, Punk was also promoted to appear on next week's Dynamite.
CM Punk last wrestled in an official match at the 2014 Royal Rumble. He's allegedly done a few indy spots under a mask, and recently had a role in Stephen Amell's wrestling drama TV series "Heels". He was linked to WWE in late 2019 as he appeared as an analyst for the show WWE Backstage, but the contract was with FOX rather than WWE, and the show was dropped after only a few months, with the pandemic likely playing a factor.
CM Punk looks energised to be back. He's heard the chants over the last 7.5 years, and he has a new home in All Elite Wrestling.
By Mick Robson