CM Punk will put the AEW World Championship belt he never lost on the line on August 5th.
Ever since returning to AEW in June, Punk has been carrying around a red bag that has been the subject of a lot of fan speculation. On the latest episode of Collision, he finally revealed the contents, the World Championship belt he won by defeating Jon Moxley at All Out last September.
Standing in the ring with the belt, Punk proclaimed he was the company’s “real World Champion”, explaining that the title he holds still has his name and blood on it, and more importantly, he was never defeated for it. The star then spray-painted his ‘X’ symbol on the belt, saying it means he’s straight-edge, meaning he’s “better than you.”
CM PUNK JUST REVEALED WHAT'S IN THE BAG!!!
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) July 30, 2023
Ricky Starks then made his way to the ring and told Punk that since he now holds two victories over the Second City Saint, the championship should be his. Punk agreed to the bout, but because of the questionable way Starks has claimed his wins, he wants a special guest referee, none other than the legendary Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat.
Tony Khan later took to social media to make the match official for the August 5th edition of Collision.
Next Saturday, 8/5
Live on TNT at 8pm ET/7pm CT
Next Saturday, CM Punk defends what he's dubbed The Real World Championship vs. 2023 Owen Hart Cup winner Ricky Starks! pic.twitter.com/3e7Y4WELrF
— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) July 30, 2023
Why does CM Punk claim to be the “real AEW World Champion”?
After winning the AEW World Champion for the first time at Double or Nothing in May 2022, Punk had to take time off to deal with a broken foot. By the time he returned that August, Jon Moxley had become the Interim World Champion and the pair were set on a collision course.
Moxley won their title unification match on the August 24th edition of Dynamite, but two weeks later, Punk returned the favour, defeating Moxley at All Out for the title. Things took a turn almost immediately when Punk made his now-infamous rant at the post-All Out media scrum which led to a brawl backstage involving him and then World Trios Champions Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks.
Everyone involved was suspended and stripped of their titles, while The Elite returned that November and eventually reclaimed their titles, Punk was also dealing with a triceps injury and didn’t return until June for the debut of Collision.
Since then, he has been carrying around the World Championship that, while he was stripped of it, he didn’t officially lose to anyone in the intervening months. Whether this leads to another unification match with the current official champion, MJF, remains to be seen.