CM Punk makes pro-wrestling return All Elite Wrestling

CM Punk Returns On AEW Rampage, A Timeline

CM Punk is back in professional wrestling. But not with WWE.

After seven years away from the ring, Punk returned Friday night with All Elite Wrestling (AEW), appearing on its television show “Rampage” in his hometown of Chicago. The promotion announced Punk, one of the most popular stars in pro wrestling through the 2010s, signed with AEW on social media.

“Sometimes you fall out of love with stuff,” Punk said of pro wrestling in a post-event news conference. “If you set something free and it comes back to you, it’s true love.”

Punk will wrestle Darby Allin in his first match back at AEW “All Out,” a pay-per-view event, on Sept. 5 in Chicago, the promotion said.

CM Punk, Tony Khan and the AEW hype machine did everything in its power to hype the arrival of CM Punk without saying the words “CM Punk by name,” and with SummerSlam set to air from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas tomorrow night, this is setting up to be one of the most memorable pro wrestling weekends of the modern era.

Punk, 42, said that he had been talking with AEW founder Tony Khan, son of Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad, for a year and a half. He would have returned sooner, he said, if not for the pandemic. Punk did not go into details on his contract but said it was for the long term and that he would not be a part-time performer.

“I knew I couldn’t debut if there was no people in the building,” Punk said. “I always say timing is everything. There were a lot of happy accidents along the way to make this possible.”

AEW started in 2019 and has quickly gained traction as a competitor to WWE.

“It was just more about the spirit of the thing. Instead of feeling like a house, it felt like a home,” Punk said of AEW. “It’s the best way I can possibly describe it.”

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