CM Punk believes that his reign as AEW Champion could top his infamous “Summer of Punk” reigns in both ROH and WWE.
Double or Nothing was an eventful night for CM Punk as he was able to pin Adam Page and become the new AEW Champion. Speaking in a media scrum after the show, Punk was asked if this big win could be kicking off another “Summer of Punk,” alluding to both his 2005 reign as Ring of Honor Champion and his 2011 reign as WWE Champion.
CM Punk believes it’s possible for this reign to be even better if they tell great stories and keep the focus on wrestling.
“Oh god, I don’t know. I mean that’s the goal, right. And it’s weird, too because I’m a fall guy. I like Halloween, I like the cooler weather. But summer seems to be my time of year. I think we top it by telling great stories and making the focus wrestling. And I have a crazy sandbox full of talent that I get to wrestle and I think that’s how we try to top it.”
Continuing, CM Punk says that this is the first time in his career that he’s felt comfortable in a fan favorite role and that he feels more connected to his fans than any time previously in his career.
“I feel like this is the first time in my career I’m more comfortable being the good guy. I’ve always felt a little shy about it. I feel more connected more to the audience than ever before. Probably has a lot to do with me disappearing for so long. And every day, really, is a gift. And I think that the fans feel that, and I think I project that.
“It’s just like this could all be gone tomorrow, and I’m just really trying to really relish every single moment I have in the ring and make everything special. That’s how we make that the best Summer of Punk. Just try to make every moment count.”
In 2011, CM Punk defeated John Cena at Money in the Bank in his hometown of Chicago, IL, and he’s set to go into Chicago as champion once again when AEW returns to the city for AEW x New Japan Forbidden Door on June 26th. When asked how he feels about his feelings on returning to his hometown as champion, CM Punk says he’s very excited about it.
“Everybody always talks about locker room leaders and all this corny s—. I don’t necessarily think they exist except certain people lead by example. And to me that’s what leading is. So I’ll lead the company into Chicago and I’ll learn from all my past mistakes and do the best I possibly can to show everybody in the locker room, not necessarily the one right way to do things but how to operate and how to conduct yourself as a champion.
“But I’m very excited to go back to Chicago. On top of doing AEW every week, I’ve been filming two television shows, so I kinda haven’t been home in a very, very long time and I’m hoping my schedule clears up a little bit so I get to actually spend a week or two at home before the pay-per-view but we’ll see.
“Shooting a television show in the time of COVID is more chaotic than pro wrestling, but I’m hoping to just keep working hard and staying healthy. And the show’s already sold out, so to me, my focus is selling pay-per-views. But I’m very excited to go home.”