CM Punk is back in the world of professional wrestling, back in Chicago and coming for Darby Allin.
After seven long years, CM Punk has made his long-awaited return to the squared circle on the August 20th edition of AEW Rampage.
For several weeks, since it was first reported by Fightful, Punk has been the talk of the wrestling world as it looked increasingly likely that he was set for a return to the ring.
The expectations of a return to wrestling for the former WWE Champion were escalated when AEW announced that they’d be running the second edition of their new Friday night Rampage show from the United Center in Punk’s hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Tickets for the event sold out in minutes after going on general release as the consensus seemed to be something historic was set to happen at the event.
That something came when CM Punk made his entrance to the deafening roar of the Chicago crowd with Cult Of Personality ringing around the jam-packed arena.
The hometown hero came home. CM Punk is All Elite.
Punk opened maybe the most anticipated promo in recent memory by saying that the crowd sure know how to make a man feel like he’s Britt Baker in Pittsburgh. The hometown boy then thanked the fans, saying that he heard their chants for seven long years. But he said he had to leave WWE because he couldn’t “get better in the same place that made him sick.”
Sitting cross-legged reminiscent of his legendary pipe bomb promo, Punk recalled leaving Ring Of Honor in 2005. The Chicago native said that he left ROH with tears in his eyes because on August 15th, 2005, he knew he was leaving professional wrestling. However, on August 20th, 2021, he’s back.
The former WWE Champion continued, saying that he was back to work with the young talent who have the same passion he had stamped out of him. At this point, Punk switched tact and turned his attention to Darby Allin and Sting watching from the rafters. He praised Allin for being tough, before saying that “there’s nothing more dangerous you can do than wrestle CM Punk. Except wrestle CM Punk in Chicago.”
The veteran laying down the challenge for All Out on September 5th.
"I'm BACK! – @CMPunk
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) August 21, 2021
Punk’s last wrestling appearance came at the 2014 Royal Rumble, he famously walked out of WWE the next day after growing ever more disillusioned with the company.
A spell in UFC beckoned but CM Punk was unsuccessful in both his pro MMA fights – the second of which was retroactively declared a no contest after Punk’s opponent failed a drugs test.
AEW President Tony Khan had earlier given his biggest hint as to Punk’s appearance on Rampage, saying that a new era for AEW is about to begin. After CM Punk’s appearance in Chicago, it looks likely the third Summer Of Punk could be on the horizon as well.