In recent days the wrestling world has been dominated by the potential arrival of Bryan Daniel and CM Punk in AEW. As the rumour mill continues to swirl and fans begin to salivate over fantasy match-ups, AEW World Champion Kenny Omega has weighed in on the speculation.
While many presumed that CM Punk would never wrestle again, a number of fans also believed that Daniel Bryan would never leave WWE. How very wrong everyone could yet turn out to be.
On July 21st it was first reported that CM Punk was in talks with a company, believed to be AEW, about a return to the ring. It was a report followed a matter of hours later by the news that Daniel Bryan had also been in talks with the company. As far as wrestling speculation goes, it might have been greatest one-two punch in history.
Following days of rumour after rumour, AEW World Champion Kenny Omega has now had his say on the situation.
Appearing on Wrestling Observer Radio with Dave Meltzer and Garrett Gonzales, Omega sang the praises of both men. Speaking on Bryan first, the ‘best bout machine’ discussed the former WWE Champion’s wrestling intelligence.
“Danielson, I still call him Bryan Danielson, Daniel Bryan, I always knew he was incredibly intelligent,” Omega said. “He’s ridiculously smart, especially when it comes to professional wrestling. For him to kind of create a movement, an actual, legitimate movement in the ‘Yes Movement’, for him to come up with that, he created it. There’s no, absolutely no way, and you could find documented evidence saying that ‘oh we always planned to have you have your WrestleMania moment and be the champion.’ I wouldn’t believe it. Even if I saw it in front of my face, I don’t think that was ever the plan. But he made it the plan, because he’s that smart.”
Omega continued, explaining how Bryan made himself a mega star, later describing his wrestling ability as “second to none.”
“He was able to kind of turn everything around and emerge as a mega star, because he’s smart enough in a wrestling sense and a business sense. Just like in ROH, how he was able to have those fans in the palm of his hands, he’s able to have the entire WWE Universe in the palm of his hands with one word. Really the only other person I can think of that did that was Austin with the ‘What?’. There’s really nobody else I can think of who had that much power with one word. And wrestling ability? Of course, second to none. One of the most crisp, one of the most technically sound athletes to ever step foot in the ring, especially in the current age.”
Turning his attention to Punk, Omega said that he thinks very differently from the average performer. Adding that he has created his own incredibly passionate fanbase.
“CM Punk, a guy who probably has a different line of thinking then your current day performer, your average performer,” Omega said. “And he has this incredible reputation, and he has fans to this day who would follow him to the ends of the earth. A very dedicated fanbase. And that fanbase believes he’s the best in the world and will be the best until the end of time. If you’re able to have people like that who follow your career so passionately, you probably have something very special about you. It just goes to show you that the way he presented himself, the way he spoke about himself, the way he spoke to his opponents, how he performed in the ring, entrance music, his image. He was always very meticulous and he was very intelligent about how he went about it.”
In surmising both men, the current IMPACT World Champion said that they had achieved great things despite the system in front of them. Omega closed by saying that he’s not only excited about potentially meeting the pair in the ring, but also about what stories can be told.
“(These were) Two extremely intelligent people who found a way to sort, I don’t want to say cheat the system, but it was a system that was not created for them there,” Omega said. “And they were able to break every ceiling that was placed in front of them and emerge as an actual legend that will never be forgotten. So it’s cool for me to think that I’ll be able to get in the ring with these two. Possibly. But I think because they were so prominent in the WWE, and a lot of that is featured with segments, angles, character work. For me, as exciting as the wrestling part is, the ability to tell a story is more exciting for me.”
At time of writing there has been no official confirmation that CM Punk or Daniel Bryan have put pen to paper with AEW.
Inside The Ropes will continue to update the story as it develops.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.