A big name in AEW made reference to CM Punk during the company’s return to Chicago.
CM Punk was fired by AEW in September 2023 due to a backstage fight with Jack Perry at the AEW All In London event. In addition to that, CM Punk allegedly did something to Tony Khan that was so bad that it led AEW’s boss to go on national television to say that he was in fear for his life.
Wrestling fans know that Chicago is CM Punk’s hometown. When Punk debuted in AEW in 2021 they had him show up at the United Center in Chicago. When Punk worked for WWE, he had many big moments in the city of Chicago including his infamous WWE Title victory over John Cena at Money in the Bank 2011.
It has become something of a tradition for AEW to hold the Dynamite episode before American Thanksgiving in Chicago. That’s because AEW Owner, CEO & GM Tony Khan grew up with his family in the state of Illinois, so he likes to bring his wrestling show to his home state right before Thanksgiving time.
On Dynamite in Chicago, AEW World Champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF) was in the ring doing a promo with Samoa Joe, who just so happened to be Punk’s last opponent in AEW. Joe is also a Ring of Honor legend like Punk.
While talking to Samoa Joe, MJF uttered these words as a reference to CM Punk.
“You wouldn’t be the first Ring of Honor legend I beat here in Chicago…twice.”
"You wouldn’t be the first Ring of Honor legend I beat here in Chicago. TWICE!"
— Public Enemies Podcast (@TheEnemiesPE3) November 23, 2023
The fans in Chicago let out a reaction as if to say “ooohhh” because they knew exactly who the AEW World Champion was referencing.
When Did MJF Beat CM Punk Twice?
It was on February 2nd, 2022 when CM Punk faced MJF for the first time ever on AEW Dynamite in Chicago. During the match, MJF won by using some wrist tape to choke out CM Punk. The referee never saw the tape initially and MJF got the win. However, the referee realized what happened and the match restarted.
After the match restarted, it was back and forth for a long time. Eventually, MJF used the Dynamite Diamond Ring to knock out Punk with a punch and got the pinfall win.
Clearly, MJF has not forgotten one of his big rivals in AEW or the fact that MJF got such a big win in Punk’s hometown.