In what will undoubtedly go down as one of the biggest moments in wrestling history, CM Punk returned to professional wrestling in AEW.
The rumors of CM Punk’s return started circulating once again in July, when Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Wrestling first reported that AEW and CM Punk were working on a deal that would see the wrestling legend return to the ring. Soon after that report came out, AEW hastily announced “The First Dance” a special episode of AEW Rampage that would be airing live from the United Center in Chicago, CM Punk’s hometown. AEW would drop a few hints every week leading up to the event that this was the moment fans had been waiting seven years for.
This event sold out in minutes, despite the fact that 25,000 seats were available. Just the thought of CM Punk returning to the ring after seven years away was worth any price of admission. Fans online speculated wildly about whether or not this was finally it, building up the excitement and anticipation for August 20th.
As the event kicked off, the crowd was already chanting for their man. As they had for seven years, the Chicago crowd screamed Punk’s name in unison. The commentary table was barely audible, drowned out by 25,000 Chicago fans demanding one man.
And for the first time in seven years, those chants did not fall on deaf ears.
The music cut, the commentary went silent, and all that could be heard was that Chicago crowd.
Then Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality” started up.
Chicago went nuts for Punk, and rightfully so. He demanded the attention of 25,000 live fans in attendance, and millions more watching around the world. He apologized for his absence, came clean about leaving, and then made it clear what his next step is.
Echoing the word’s of another Chicago legend, Punk made it easy to understand – “I’m Back”
He declared that he is in AEW to challenge the young guys in the back who he wished he could have been working with seven years ago. Of course, he set his sights first on the biggest young name in the locker room, Darby Allin.
CM Punk is set to appear on AEW Dynamite this Wednesday and is officially scheduled to challenge Darby Allin at All Out, on September 5th.