When CM Punk arrived on AEW television on a special episode of Rampage titled ‘The First Dance’ in August 2020 it completed a return that many thought impossible.
After leaving WWE in highly acrimonious circumstances in 2014, the star was adamant that he would never wrestle again. This stance continued for a number of years and through-out an ill-fated stint with UFC. However, the creation of All Elite Wrestling offered fans a glimmer of hope that Punk may step into the squared circle one more time.
What Impact Has CM Punk Had On AEW?
These hopes were realised in the summer of 2021 and Punk’s signing was seen as a huge win for the company. However, in more recent months amid reports of backstage fall-outs and his very public verbal attack on a number of the AEW stars following All Out public opinion has undoubtedly fallen.
Despite this a new report has revealed that at least in the ring, Punk has had a positive impact on AEW. The report from Wrestlenomics states that his appearances increased quarter-hour TV ratings, the pay-per-views he appeared on were AEW’s biggest selling, he main-evented two $1 million gates and four of the top ten selling items for the year on ProWrestlingTees are his.
Was CM Punk a draw for AEW?
-His appearances often increased quarter-hours
-5 PPVs he was on are AEW's 5 highest-selling
-Main evented two $1M gates, arguably drew a 3rd he wasn't on
-4 of 10 top selling items for the yr on ShopAEW & PWTees are his
— Wrestlenomics (@wrestlenomics) October 23, 2022
Following his explosive press conference following AEW All Out, and the brawl that it sparked backstage, it has been reported that it is “doubtful” that CM Punk will wrestle for the company again. Not only is it unlikely that he will be back, there have been talks regarding a buy-out of his contract.
A further report hinted that Punk might even find his way back to WWE in some capacity, although it wouldn’t be as a full-time performer. The report noted that with Vince McMahon gone from the creative helm, Triple H would be much more open to securing a deal under the right circumstances.