CM Punk debuts with AEW at Rampage Show ‘The First Dance’ in Chicago | Launderer report
Evan Agostini / Associated press
CM Punk made their long-awaited return to professional wrestling on Friday night at Rampage’s “The First Dance” show for All Elite Wrestling.
With the rowdy Chicago crowd chanting his name, Punk didn’t keep them waiting long, as he stepped out to open the show.
The first order of business was to explain why, after a seven-year absence from wrestling, Punk decided it was now time to come back.
“There is a bunch of young talent that I would have liked to be surrounded by 10 years ago, ”Punk told the crowd. “I said they are here now and why not you?” I am here.”
The Best in the World also debuted their first challenge at AEW, Darby Allin at All Out on September 5th.
The arrival of Punk AEW was somewhat anticipated due to rumors linking him to the company, but it was a huge moment for Punk and AEW nonetheless.
Since leaving WWE in January 2014, Punk had virtually no involvement in the professional wrestling world for over seven years until Friday.
Instead, he focused on mixed martial arts, as he competed in a pair of fights for the UFC.
After losing to Mickey Gall by first round submission at UFC 203 in 2016, Punk fell to Mike Jackson at UFC 225 in Chicago in June 2018.
With the 42-year-old MMA’s future uncertain, attention has shifted to whether he would potentially be interested in returning to the world of pro wrestling.
The whispers of a wrestling comeback started as early as the All In event near his hometown of Chicago in 2018, which was the forerunner of All Elite Wrestling.
Ahead of the event, co-promoter Cody Rhodes said he spoke “vaguely” to Punk about the possibility of being a part of the show, according to Raj giri of WrestlingInc.com.
Rhodes added that while fellow promoter Matt Jackson of The Young Bucks was trying to negotiate with Punk, it didn’t look like he was planning on performing at All In:
“Matt actually made a full offer or a full pitch for his services and I think Punk is focusing on the mixed martial arts element of his career. One of the reasons we didn’t say first is : “This is who we want you to fight”, because I think we just wanted him to be part of the event for a lot of fans, he captured their imaginations even with the time he spent. a mythical presence for them. I thought it would be good if he hooked up with them, but it’s me, you know?
“Nobody owns punk but punk, so if he wants to do mixed martial arts, go ahead. He’s always been really nice to me and helped me out at OVW. I’ve always watched All In. with the perspective that it’s about the present and future of the industry and not really about cheap pops, although I’m sure there will be plenty of them on the show. [Punk] and made him a real offer. I think Punk is determined not to be a part of it. “
Punk did not appear at All In, but discussions of a possible appearance at subsequent Double or Nothing or All Out events began to gain momentum after he apparently did a break-in under a mask at the MKE Wrestling in Wisconsin in April 2019:
While fans have never said it was Punk in Mask and was never confirmed, it is widely believed that it was him since he used the GTS.
Additionally, MKE Wrestling owner Silas Young suggested it was Punk Under the Mask in a subsequent tweet:
young silas @lastrealmanROH
Here’s some PUNK running in a match last night @MKE_Wrestling, you never know who is going to show up at our shows. Former world champions have made a stopover at the last shows !!! Don’t miss May 17th in our new house Buenavista Banquets 76 & oklahoma next to AMF lanes https://t.co/rr8xVH8UJ0
Punk’s first real foray into wrestling came as an analyst rather than a performer, as he was announced as a contributor to Behind the Scenes of WWE on FS1 in November 2019. He made periodic appearances on the show, but it ceased to be a weekly show in June 2020.
With Punk showing some desire to let go of the wrestling itch and AEW emerging as an alternative to WWE, there was finally a platform for the Straight Edge Savior to make his return to a big stage outside of the WWE. WWE.
Prior to his abrupt departure from WWE in 2014, Punk established himself as one of the best stars in the company’s history.
In addition to his exploits in the Ring of Honor and the Indie scene, he is a five-time WWE World Champion, once Intercontinental Champion, and a two-time Money in the Bank Ladder Match winner.
It’s unclear what Punk’s appearance at Rampage means for his wrestling future, but he received a massive reaction from the fans in attendance.
Assuming Punk is now under contract with AEW, this represents a huge blow to the company since he is the biggest non-WWE star she could have landed.
It remains to be seen who Punk will quarrel with and precisely how he will be used, but there is no doubt that AEW has won a major victory in their attempts to be considered on the same level as WWE.