Where there’s smoke, there’s fire and since reports started to circulate in July that CM Punk was in talks to sign with upstart All Elite Wrestling, the buzz has only amplified in the wrestling world with the former WWE champion’s return to the ring feeling imminent.
News and rumors about both his and Daniel Bryan’s potential arrivals have swirled for the last several weeks with AEW themselves leaning into it and doing everything short of outright admitting it on their weekly TNT show Dynamite:
- In an interview with the New York Post on July 28. AEW president Tony Khan was asked about potentially signing Punk and Bryan and gave the classic “no comment” non-denial answer.
- On the July 28 episode of Dynamite, Khan and announcer Tony Schiavone announced a special episode of AEW Rampage taking place from the United Center in Chicago on Aug. 20. entitled ‘The First Dance’. This is notable because 1. CM Punk is from Chicago. 2. It’s taking place the night before WWE Summerslam, so a Punk debut here would potentially steal the WWE’s shine during the weekend of one of their biggest shows of the year.
- That same episode of Dynamite, AEW superstars made numerous subtle hints and references to Punk throughout the show.
- It was reported on Tuesday, Aug. 10 that Punk is currently preparing for his in-ring return in addition to training for the Starz show “Heels”.
- Of course, AEW’s All Out pay-per-view is set to take place at the Now Arena in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates on Sep. 5.
Punk, real name Phil Brooks, infamously walked out on the WWE in 2014 and has publicly spurned the idea of returning to the squared circle ever since, instead focusing on endeavors in MMA, comic books, and acting. However, hardcore wrestling fans have itched for the “Best in the World” to grace his presence in a wrestling ring ever since, going as far as hijacking WWE segments with “CM Punk” chants for several years. We’ll continue to deliver updates as his return draws near.