CM Punk, amongst several others, has remained absent from AEW programming since the infamous backstage scuffle following All Out on September 4th. Though the two-time AEW World Champion is still officially contracted to the company, legal ramifications caused by the incident have led to Punk going amiss from public mentions.
That was until the October 18th AEW Dynamite, as ‘The Best in the World’ was spotted in a video package honouring the legacy of the ROH World Championship prior to current champion Chris Jericho’s defence against Dalton Castle. This technically marked CM Punk‘s first AEW-related appearance since he was stripped of the AEW World Championship.
It’s crucial to note that this doesn’t mean CM Punk is on his way back to AEW television. He’ll remain absent while investigations are ongoing, and is still nursing an arm injury he picked up at All Out vs. Jon Moxley. As it stands, it’s unknown if he even will return to the Tony Khan-helmed promotion.
CM Punk Wasn’t The Only Surprise Mention On AEW Dynamite
Although the mention of CM Punk caught many by surprise, he was far from the only noteworthy mention. Before Death Triangle defended the AEW World Trios Championships against Best Friends, The Elite’s Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks were mentioned as being the inaugural champions. They’d remained absent from all AEW programming until the latest Rampage.
Further afield, current WWE Superstars Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, and Cody Rhodes were all featured in the ROH World Championship lineage video package, having held the title for 210, 328, and 175 days, respectively. For Rollins, losing the championship to Roderick Strong in September 2010 marked his penultimate pre-WWE commitment.
In order, the video package also paid tribute to Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson, Nigel McGuinness, Jerry Lynn, Adam Cole, Jay Lethal, Christopher Daniels, and Dalton Castle. With his win over Claudio Castagnoli at Grand Slam Dynamite, Chris Jericho became the 30th overall holder of the title.