Following the epic return of CM Punk to wrestling after a seven-year absence, AEW has announced who he will face in his first match for the company.
After months of rumours and speculation, Punk made his long-hoped-for debut for AEW at Rampage: The First Dance on August 20th to one of the greatest ovations in the history of wrestling from his hometown Chicago crowd.
During an emotional speech, the ‘Voice of the Voiceless’ explained he had returned to wrestling, and AEW in particular, because he wanted to work with the young talent in the company who had the same passion for the profession that he had “stamped out” of him.
He then turned his attention to one AEW star in particular, Darby Allin, who was watching proceedings from the rafters alongside Sting. Allin had previously appeared to call out Punk on the July 28th edition of Dynamite, claiming that AEW was the only place where men could come to prove that they are the “best in the world”.
“I’ll be in Chicago. You know I’ve been around a lot of men in this world that have laid claim to how they’re the greatest, and there’s only one place to really prove that. Right here in AEW. Even if you think you’re the best in the world.”
During his appearance on Rampage, Punk praised the former TNT Champion’s toughness before responding to his challenge by alluding to a potential match at All Out, which will take place in Chicago.
“There’s nothing more dangerous you can do than wrestle CM Punk. Except wrestle CM Punk in Chicago.”
Now, AEW has released a tweet confirming that a match between the two will indeed take place at All Out on September 5th, marking Punk’s first match in seven and half years.
Do not miss @CMPunk’s return to the ring and #AEW debut against @DarbyAllin (w/ @Sting) when #AEW is LIVE on Pay Per View for #AEWAllOut – Sunday, September 5, 2021 from the @NOW_Arena in Chicago.
Available on all major providers, @BleacherReport, and @FiteTV (Internationally) pic.twitter.com/PaieFgOkix
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) August 21, 2021
Prior to debuting with AEW, CM Punk last appeared in the ring at the WWE Royal Rumble in 2014. He was the first entrant in that year’s Royal Rumble match and lasted almost an hour before being eliminated by Kane. The day after the event, Punk walked out of WWE after growing ever more disillusioned with the company.
In the following years, he had a brief run with UFC but was unsuccessful in both of his MMA fights, although the second bout was retroactively declared a no contest after his opponent failed a drugs test.
A brief return to the world of WWE of sorts then followed for Punk when he became a contributor on the WWE Backstage show. Punk was recruited by broadcaster FOX rather than WWE for that short-lived role.