It had been almost seven years since the last time we saw CM Punk in a wrestling ring. Wrestling fans around the world wanted him back. For many years, we heard CM Punk chants all over wrestling arenas and shows, hoping to see him once again. WWE couldn’t bring him back, it was up to AEW to do that.
I didn’t know what to expect when I saw him on the AEW TV show that particular Friday night. I had almost forgotten how he sounded on the mic. I have to say that It was refreshing to see him back in a wrestling ring. He still looked like the best in the world.
I have said many times that Chicago fans are the best wrestling fans in the world. The last big ‘pop’ that I can remember in the last 10 years was probably from CM punk himself in the WWE Money in the Bank PPV in 2011, also in Chicago.
The ‘pop’ when he came through the curtains was Stone Cold like, no doubt. It brought back memories from the attitude era. The return of CM Punk not only provoked that type of reaction at the United Center, it gave fans another reason to watch AEW, and in the process also changed wrestling forever.
It is safe to say that WWE is not on the driving seat anymore. AEW has the talent, the infrastructure and the resources to challenge Vince McMahon and his crew now. The ratings do not reflect just how good AEW could be just yet. However, casual wrestling fans who know CM Punk will tune in to watch and not only see Punk perform, but also get a closer look at other wrestling talent of the company. I anticipate that in the near future more stars will join AEW. We now have Bryan Danielson in the promotion, which was exciting to see as well.
CM Punk is back to fulfill his own personal thirst for the business. He missed the spotlight and performing in front of the fans. He missed the ring. But, make no mistake about it, he is also back to bring down the WWE. I am not sure if indeed that would happen, but AEW and Punk have a real chance to do it, more than any other wrestling promotion since the WCW.
It’s safe to say that it is up to AEW, Khan and the wrestling talent to make the company the best organization in wrestling. I’m sure that we will remember Punk’s return to wrestling as a before and after. Vince and his company aren’t safe anymore. It’s a good thing for us wrestling fans.