CM Punk Debuts in AEW: ‘It’s Limitless Prospects’

CM Punk Debuts in AEW: ‘It’s Limitless Prospects’

CM Punk is again in professional wrestling.However it isn’t with WWE.Seven years after leaving WWE, Punk lastly made his highly-anticipated return. He debuted on Friday night time with AEW, bringing a uncommon presence to the corporate that’s an equal mix of charisma and toughness.Broadcast dwell on TNT, AEW Rampage opened with Dwelling Color’s “The Cult of Character” blasting all through the United Middle in Chicago, Illinois, a music that has change into synonymous with Punk. The response was electrical, and Punk then reduce a passionate promo within the ring. It felt as if Punk have been talking to previous mates, reminiscing about his departure from Ring of Honor in 2005—which he described because the day he left skilled wrestling—and formally declared this second in AEW his return. “I get excited concerning the prospect of me working with [Brian] Pillman [Jr.], [Powerhouse] Hobbs, Ricky Starks, Jungle Boy, Darby Allin, Jon Moxley–I’ve by no means labored a Jon Moxley earlier than,” stated Punk, talking throughout a post-show press convention. “Actually, it’s everyone. I’ve by no means executed something with the Younger Bucks. I’ve by no means stepped within the ring with Kenny Omega.“I believe there are such a lot of dream matches, [which] is what folks will name them, or dream conditions, and who is aware of who else is coming… I’m excited to be right here. I stated it on the market within the promo–I’m right here for the followers, I’m right here for me. I’m not a liar, I’m not going to lie–should you inform me that is going to be enjoyable once more, and I can go on the market and have the time of my life, that’s the juice for me.”Throughout Rampage, Punk referred to as out Darby Allin, who was watching beside Sting from the rafters, for a match on September 5 on the All Out pay per view again in Chicago. “I wish to backtrack to the very first thing I did,” stated Punk. “I hadn’t been in a hoop for seven years, and the very first thing I did was point out Britt Baker. This must be paid consideration to. That is the way you get expertise over, that is the way you assist folks. I believe Britt’s nice. I believe everyone right here’s nice. If I might have name-dropped everybody right here, I’d have, however that popped into my head. “The Darby factor was [Tony Khan’s] concept. I did a Twitter Q&A a 12 months, a year-and-a-half in the past, and [the question was], ‘Hey Punk, who do you see that you simply assume you’d prefer to work with?’ It was all younger guys that I noticed potential in. Darby was certainly one of them.”Then, in a style completely becoming Punk, he exited his promo on Rampage by expressing his gratitude to the group, providing free ice cream bars as folks left the venue on the finish of the night time.“These ice cream bars, to me, signify an concept, an concept that was gift-wrapped to those who didn’t trouble to take the time to attempt to perceive their viewers,” stated Punk. “That is the best residence run I’ve ever hit, and this can be a legit thank-you. Jon Lester got here to the Chicago Cubs and received us a World Sequence. When he received traded away, he opened up a tab at a bunch of bars as a technique to say thanks to the followers. That is my technique to say thanks to the followers.”Punk—who’s 42-year-old Phil Brooks—stays a singular entity in professional wrestling. He was an indie wrestling icon earlier than elevating himself to an entire new tier of stardom in WWE. His promos are a number of the most compelling within the historical past of the trade, together with his “Pipe Bomb” promo from June 2011 standing the check time as a signature second of Monday Evening Uncooked.Punk left WWE below particularly acrimonious phrases in 2014, which he attributed to authentic considerations over his well being. His termination was notably galling, as he was fired in 2014 on his wedding ceremony day. Vince McMahon later publicly apologized for the poor timing throughout an interview with Steve Austin on the WWE Community, however the injury between the 2 events was irrevocable. His relationship with WWE was additional derailed after a tension-filled lawsuit in 2018, the place a jury dominated in his favor in a defamation lawsuit filed by WWE physician Chris Amann.That lawsuit centered round Punk’s criticism of his WWE medical therapy, which he spoke of throughout a 2014 podcast with Colt Cabana. To say that the Punk/Cabana podcast went viral could be an understatement, because it was an interview that reverberated all through the complete trade. It made sense that Punk did the interview with Cabana contemplating their long-standing friendship. That took a flip, nonetheless, in 2018, as Cabana sued Punk for authorized charges stemming from the defamation go well with. This was settled out of court docket, and has appeared to place an finish to any sort of constructive rapport between Punk and Cabana. Curiously, Cabana can also be a part of the AEW roster.In his time away from professional wrestling, Punk competed in blended martial arts, preventing for the UFC on two completely different events. He additionally dabbled in writing and appearing, all whereas an awesome quantity of wrestling followers impatiently chanted his identify and demanded his return. He briefly returned to WWE programming in November of 2019 as a part of the WWE Backstage present, the place he was contracted by way of Fox and never WWE. Punk now has the potential to be a large star for AEW, permitting the corporate to achieve an excellent wider viewers because it seeks to say itself in a terrain lengthy managed by WWE.Punk’s AEW debut befell an evening earlier than SummerSlam, a signature occasion for WWE. Whereas events from each side typically contend that WWE and AEW will not be in direct competitors, there isn’t any mistaking that WWE officers are properly conscious that the Punk look takes headlines away from their weekend, whereas AEW is ecstatic to be the highest general story in a weekend historically dominated by WWE.“Timing is every little thing,” stated Punk. “It felt proper. Once I was sick and drained and damage [in WWE], and I noticed that these folks wouldn’t care if I died immediately—there could be one other present tomorrow. I knew I needed to take away myself from the scenario. I didn’t understand how lengthy it was going to take for me to heal. Then this got here alongside, and credit score to everybody in AEW. It jogged my memory of locations I used to work that I liked, the place it was extra concerning the spirit of the factor. This, as an alternative of feeling like a home, it felt like a house.”The way forward for wrestling has modified its course. AEW’s latest acquisition helps place them on equal footing with WWE when it comes to storylines, and, maybe quickly, rankings, as CM Punk is now All Elite.Extra Wrestling Protection:• Ric Aptitude Continues to Seize Submit-WWE Alternatives• Roman Reigns Nonetheless Goals to Be a Supply of Inspiration, Even After Turning Heel• Bobby Lashley on ‘SummerSlam’ Match vs. Goldberg: ‘I Welcome This Problem’• Samoa Joe on the Verge of Lengthy-Awaited Return to the Ring at ‘NXT TakeOver 36’

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