A new report has shed light on the impact made by CM Punk in AEW since he debuted for the company on a memorable edition of Rampage in August 2021.
CM Punk put his seven-year wrestling exile behind him when he walked out into his hometown of Chicago on the second edition of AEW Rampage to a hero’s welcome. Punk returned to action at All Out in 2021 with a match against his hand-picked opponent for the occasion, former TNT Champion, Darby Allin.
Punk went on to have memorable feuds with the likes of Eddie Kingston and MJF before becoming AEW World Champion at Double Or Nothing in 2022. An injury put him on the shelf for several months but he reclaimed his crown at 2022’s All Out before chaos erupted following his infamous appearance at the post-show media scrum.
Involved in a fight with Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, Ace Steel, and several others, CM Punk was suspended from AEW as a direct result and stripped of the AEW World Championship. He’s remained absent since, though he’s also nursing an arm injury, and is reported to likely be on his way out of the promotion.
Wrestlenomics has now given an insight into Punk’s effect on AEW’s business during his time so far in the company. According to their analysis, Punk’s presence increased quarter-hour ratings on television and the five pay-per-views he wrestled on are the company’s top five most bought pay-per-views ever. This includes the most bought PPV which was 2021’s All Out where Punk re-debuted in the ring for the first time since he competed in WWE in 2014.
Their report also highlights that CM Punk headlined two of the company’s million-dollar live gates – 2022’s Double Or Nothing and All Out – while it also suggests that he may have helped towards the million-dollar live gate earned from the Forbidden Door event co-promoted with New Japan Pro Wrestling. It was originally announced that Punk would face Hiroshi Tanahashi at the event before having to pull out due to injury – although most of the tickets for the show in Chicago were sold before the injury announcement.
CM Punk’s impressive merchandise sales were also touted with four of the top ten items sold on ShopAEW and ProWrestlingTees in 2022 being Punk’s. Including the top-selling white t-shirt that was released for his debut.