Dave Meltzer believes that CM Punk returning to AEW could still happen.
With Punk no longer a part of the company following Tony Khan’s decision to fire the former World Champion, an AEW return in 2023 currently looks as unlikely as a WWE return did back in 2014. But according to Meltzer, other factors may come into play.
As reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Meltzer believes that the drawing power, merchandise sales and keeping Punk away from WWE could override any issues that AEW currently has with their former World Champion. It is stated that historically when someone can draw a rating and the promotion is not doing as good, they will consider a return to give them a boost and that time does heal all wounds. As seen with Collision drawing an extremely low rating for its latest show, Khan may need a boost sooner rather than later. However, in the case of Punk, it might not be that straightforward.
The situation is described in the newsletter as “unique” due to the nature of Punk’s behaviour at All In. AEW President Tony Khan has gone on record to say that he felt that his “life was in danger” when Punk was backstage at All In and the altercation between himself and Jack Perry occurred.
Dave Meltzer Questions If CM Punk Would Return To WWE?
Also in the newsletter, Meltzer speculates the pros and cons of Punk making a return to his old employer. With the nature of the non-compete clause kept under wraps and Punk remaining quiet following the sudden departure, only the man himself truly knows what lies in his wrestling future. Despite leaving on bad terms in 2014, the drawing power, potential for additional revenue and the impact it could have on AEW may be enough for higher-ups in WWE to bring back their former Word Champion after a lengthy hiatus.