In one of wrestling’s great emotional moments, CM Punk returned to the sport on AEW Rampage and reveals a simple “welcome back” nearly brought him to tears before his debut.
Speaking during an appearance on The Angi Taylor Show, Punk reflected on his AEW debut on August 20th in his home city of Chicago. The former WWE Champion admitted that he was “freaking out” but all of his nerves washed away as his music hit:
“I was freaking out a lot. It’s like riding a bike, but also you don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s doubts. I think when you’re an entertainer and you’re on that stage, that doubt always creeps in. Because I think as human beings, we want everybody to like us. And I think you come to terms pretty quickly with that and you develop the tough skin. I’ve also developed the courage to be disliked in a way. But in my hometown, there’s no way that was going to happen. It was like a big party. I was nervous, but as soon as my music hit, that all washed away, it all washed away.”
During the seven years that CM Punk was away from wrestling, he was consistently asked about a return, despite saying that his in-ring career was firmly in his rear-view mirror. Punk explained that until relatively recently he never considered coming back, adding that a return to WWE was never “logically on the table:”
“I don’t think I considered it. Three years ago, five years ago I don’t think AEW even existed. I don’t think going back to WWE was ever really, logically, on the table.”
When Punk walked through the curtain and made his way to the ring to a deafening ovation on Rampage, he appeared visibly moved by the reception. Recalling the moments before he stepped out on stage, Punk said that Thunder Rosa almost made him lose his composure before he even saw the crowd:
“I’m going to call out Thunder Rosa. I was a nervous wreck the whole time, I’m pacing the hallway, I can’t sit still, I can’t watch a monitor, I can’t talk to people, I’m running around. And then I’m waiting to go out, waiting for my music to hit and she (Rosa) just looks at me says ‘hey, welcome back!’ I almost just burst into tears. She got me pretty good with that one. I don’t know if that was her intention, but yeah, she got me.”
At AEW All Out, CM Punk will face off against Daby Allin in his first match since the 2014 Royal Rumble. Elsewhere on the show, Chris Jericho puts his career on the line against MJF and Kenny Omega puts his AEW World Championship up for grabs against Christian Cage.
H/T Wrestling Inc