CM Punk : Last run in AEW ! CM Punk, born Phillip Jack Brooks on October 26, 1978, is a renowned professional wrestler and mixed martial artist. Known for his straight-edge lifestyle, Punk made a significant impact in the wrestling world. With his charismatic personality, incredible in-ring skills, and outspoken nature.
Throughout his career. He earned a devoted fan base and a reputation as one of the most influential figures in modern wrestling. Today we’re gonna take a look back at CM Punk’s Last AEW Run. Whether it’s good or bad decide yourself by taking a brief look.
In the annals of professional wrestling, few departures have reverberated as profoundly as CM Punk’s exit from WWE in 2014. At the time, it seemed like the final chapter in Punk’s wrestling career. He boldly declared, “I’m never ever going back to professional wrestling.” Fans were left in shock as Punk, known for his razor-sharp wit and no-holds-barred promos. Seemingly left the squared circle behind.
Punk embarked on a different path, exploring ventures beyond the wrestling ring. He ventured into acting and even made a bold move to the UFC. But neither pursuit met with the success he had achieved in the wrestling world. Wrestling aficionados still yearned to see him back where he belonged, but the question lingered: Would it ever happen?
The wrestling landscape began to shift in 2019 with the emergence of All Elite Wrestling, or AEW. Led by CEO Tony Khan and wrestling talents collectively known as The Elite. Early on, Tony Khan expressed his desire to bring CM Punk to AEW, igniting fervent speculation among fans. Yet, months passed without a concrete sign of Punk’s return to the wrestling fold.
AEW rapidly gained traction as a viable alternative to WWE, attracting numerous wrestlers who sought creative freedom and new opportunities. The roster swelled with talent, sparking further hope that Punk might make a triumphant return to the squared circle.
June 2021 brought a sudden flurry of excitement to wrestling fans. Rumors began circulating that CM Punk might be on the cusp of a wrestling return. With AEW as the likely destination. The anticipation reached a fever pitch when AEW tantalizingly hinted at Punk’s comeback. Notably through a backstage segment where Darby Allin called out “the best in the world.”
The suspense climaxed when AEW announced a special edition of their show, AEW Rampage. Aptly titled “The First Dance,” set in Punk’s hometown of Chicago. Speculation ran rampant that this would be the moment fans had longed for. However, nobody could say for certain whether the “Voice of the Voiceless” would make his return to wrestling.
Then, as the familiar strains of “Cult of Personality” echoed through the arena, CM Punk stepped back into the wrestling world. A collective eruption of cheers filled the building as Punk made his AEW debut. With a heartwarming gesture, he distributed free ice-cream bars to the ecstatic crowd. Marking one of the most highly anticipated returns in wrestling history.
CM Punk’s triumphant return was nothing short of a seismic shift in the wrestling landscape. As he set his sights on Darby Allin, the wrestling world braced itself for what would undoubtedly be an electrifying chapter in the storied career of this enigmatic superstar.
With CM Punk’s arrival in AEW, the promotion’s success soared to new heights. His first major feud against the daredevil of wrestling, Darby Allin. Culminated in an epic showdown at AEW All Out 2021. This match marked Punk’s return to the ring after a seven-year hiatus, and the intensity of their battle was palpable. In the end, CM Punk emerged victorious, setting the stage for a new era in AEW.
AEW All Out 2021 was a historic event, not only featuring Punk but also the debuts of Bryan Danielson and Adam Cole. Making it the highest-grossing pay-per-view in AEW’s history. Clearly, Punk’s presence had a profound impact on the promotion’s success.
After leaving Darby Allin behind, CM Punk faced new challenges in AEW. He squared off against formidable opponents like Powerhouse Hobbs and Matt Sydal, dispatching each with his trademark grit and skill. However, his most intense feud post-Darby was with Eddie Kingston. Their on-screen and off-screen animosity produced some of the most compelling promo segments. Culminating in a hard-fought match at a pay-per-view event where Punk emerged victorious.
The question lingered – what’s next for CM Punk in AEW? To everyone’s surprise, the next chapter in his AEW journey unfolded in a feud against one of the promotion’s rising stars, MJF. Their rivalry began with a silent yet powerful message when Punk refused to shake MJF’s hand. Insulting him without uttering a word. The subsequent verbal jousts on AEW Dynamite were must-see television.
Their highly anticipated match took place on an episode of AEW Dynamite. Both MJF and CM Punk put on a great match. And for everyone’s surprise CM Punk suffered his first loss in AEW due to MJF’s underhanded tactics.
Seeking redemption and revenge, Punk teamed up with Jon Moxley to defeat FTR. This victory earned him a rematch against MJF, but Punk set a condition – it would be a dog collar match. MJF, who once considered Punk his hero, revealed how Punk’s departure from WWE in 2014 had a profound impact on him, nearly pushing him to the brink. Now, he sought to destroy his former hero.
The highly anticipated dog collar match took place at AEW Revolution 2022. Both men poured their blood, sweat, and determination into the match, resulting in a brutal and legendary contest. In the end, CM Punk emerged victorious, solidifying his status as a hardcore legend in AEW.
As CM Punk’s journey through AEW continued, the question lingered – what’s next for the wrestling icon? To everyone’s astonishment, the answer was none other than the World Heavyweight Championship, the pinnacle of professional wrestling.
Punk’s path to championship contention was marked by hard-fought victories over formidable opponents like Dustin Rhodes and FTR’s Dax Harwood. These wins earned him a coveted opportunity to vie for the World Heavyweight Championship at the upcoming AEW Double or Nothing 2022 pay-per-view.
As the champion, Hangman Adam Page, and the challenger, CM Punk, stood face to face, their on-screen rivalry escalated to heated arguments. Page didn’t mince words, accusing Punk of being in AEW solely for financial gain and lacking the genuine passion for the company that Page himself embodied.
Both wrestlers resorted to mind games, even going so far as to mimic each other’s signature moves in their respective matches leading up to their epic clash at AEW Double or Nothing 2022.
When the momentous match finally unfolded, fans were treated to a dramatic showdown. In a surprising turn of events, CM Punk emerged victorious, securing the AEW World Heavyweight Championship. It was a triumph that proved that Punk’s hard work and dedication had paid off, solidifying his place at the pinnacle of the wrestling world.
However, Punk’s championship reign was short-lived, as an unfortunate injury struck him the following week on AEW Dynamite. In a heartbreaking announcement on AEW Rampage, Punk revealed that he would be relinquishing the AEW World Heavyweight Championship, marking the end of a chapter filled with both triumph and adversity in his storied career.
CM Punk’s absence left a void in AEW’s World Heavyweight Championship scene, which led to the inception of a tournament to crown a new champion. In an unexpected turn of events, Jon Moxley emerged victorious in the tournament, delivering memorable matches as the interim champion.
However, just when Moxley’s reign was gaining momentum, the long-awaited return of CM Punk occurred. Punk made a dramatic entrance to save Moxley from a brutal beatdown, signaling his return to AEW television. But what followed was a shocking departure from the script, as Punk challenged Hangman Page, setting the stage for unexpected conflicts.
Punk boldly claimed that he had never truly lost the AEW World Heavyweight Championship, considering himself the rightful champion compared to Moxley’s interim status. The tension simmered until the match was officially scheduled to determine the undisputed AEW champion, pitting Jon Moxley against CM Punk.
The expectations for this encounter were sky-high, but to everyone’s astonishment, the match lasted a mere two minutes, and Punk suffered a surprising defeat. The wrestling world was left in shock, and Punk’s confidence took a significant hit.
As the landscape appeared devoid of worthy challengers for Moxley, he declared an open contract for his upcoming title defense at AEW All Out pay-per-view. It was then that CM Punk’s close associate, Ace Steel, reignited the fire within Punk, convincing him to sign the open contract and pursue the World Heavyweight Championship once more.
The stage was set for a monumental showdown. Both Jon Moxley and CM Punk poured their hearts and souls into the match, delivering an unforgettable contest. In the end, CM Punk emerged victorious, recapturing the World Heavyweight Championship.
However, what followed next marked a significant turning point, not just for CM Punk but for everyone involved, as the story of Punk’s championship reign took an unexpected and tumultuous twist.
With CM Punk’s triumphant return to the top of the AEW mountain, the wrestling world buzzed with excitement. However, what followed after his championship victory would send shockwaves through the company.
Following the AEW pay-per-view, a scheduled media scrum allowed Punk to speak his mind as the newly crowned World Heavyweight Champion. He didn’t hold back, alleging that some individuals within the company were conspiring to undermine his position. Punk claimed that they were falsely accusing him of being responsible for others’ job losses, placing the blame on his inability to meet certain expectations. Specifically, Punk pointed fingers at The Elite, the Executive Vice Presidents of the company, accusing them of spreading unfounded rumors.
The tension reached its breaking point, giving rise to an incident that would go down in wrestling history as “The Brawl Out.” After the media scrum, Punk retreated to his locker room, only for The Elite to burst in, confronting him about his incendiary comments. Tempers flared, leading to a backstage brawl between CM Punk, Ace Steel, and The Elite.
News of the altercation quickly spread, reaching the ears of Tony Khan, the head of AEW. In response to the turmoil, Khan made the unprecedented decision to suspend both The Elite and CM Punk from AEW indefinitely. An investigation was launched to uncover the truth behind the incident, but as time passed, new champions were crowned, and the wrestling world moved on.
In the wake of the suspension, strict guidelines and restrictions were imposed on both The Elite and CM Punk, with clear consequences for any repeat offenses. Months later, The Elite made their triumphant return to AEW, but CM Punk’s absence was conspicuous. He had been sidelined once again due to an injury sustained during a match against Jon Moxley at All Out, requiring additional time for recovery.
Despite CM Punk’s absence, AEW continued to thrive. The announcement of the new TV show, AEW Collision, sent ripples of excitement through the wrestling world. Tony Khan dropped a bombshell by revealing that CM Punk would headline the show in his return match.
On June 17, 2023, CM Punk made his long-awaited return to AEW, bringing with him a newfound attitude and his own separate TV show, AEW Collision, effectively marking it as his own territory. Carrying a mysterious black bag with him, Punk embarked on a series of incredible matches against top talents like Samoa Joe, Ricky Starks, Jay White, and Juice Robinson. He also joined the Owen Hart Cup tournament, defeating his archrival Samoa Joe in the semifinals.
CM Punk’s journey took an unexpected turn when he faced his friend Ricky Starks in the finals of the Owen Hart Cup tournament. Starks resorted to cheating to secure victory, leading to a heated confrontation. Starks demanded a match for the World Championship, which Punk dubbed the “Real World Championship,” even going so far as to mark an ‘X’ on the main plate, despite MJF holding the World Heavyweight Championship.
CM Punk agreed to the match with Ricky Starks, appointing Ricky Steamboat as the special guest referee to ensure fairness. As expected, Punk defeated Starks, but the enraged Starks viciously assaulted Ricky Steamboat with the belt after the match.
Just as tensions seemed to simmer down, a blast from the past returned. Samoa Joe challenged CM Punk to a match, but Punk remained silent for weeks, prompting Joe to intervene in one of Punk’s matches and attack him.
The stage was set for an epic showdown between CM Punk and Samoa Joe at AEW’s biggest event, All In. The match marked the show’s opening, and both wrestlers delivered a memorable performance with callbacks to their Ring of Honor days. In the end, CM Punk emerged victorious, asserting his claim as the real world champion.
However, this would be CM Punk’s last appearance on AEW television. Reports began to circulate about another backstage altercation involving CM Punk, this time with Jack Perry, during AEW All In London. Tony Khan didn’t waste any time and suspended both Punk and Perry. However, investigations were unnecessary this time because Khan had witnessed the altercation firsthand.
It was revealed that a few weeks prior, Perry had wanted to use real glass in his segment on AEW Collision, which Punk had deemed too dangerous. But during the London event, AEW’s production team allowed Perry to use real glass. This sparked a confrontation backstage, with Punk sucker-punching Perry and attempting to choke him. Despite Samoa Joe’s intervention and security’s separation, Punk passionately declared, “I quit.”
Despite warnings, CM Punk found himself in yet another backstage altercation with Jack Perry, resulting in both of them being suspended once more. On September 2, 2023, during AEW Collision, Tony Khan made the difficult announcement that AEW had reached an agreement to terminate Phill Brooks, aka CM Punk’s, contract with the company.
As the final chapter closes on this tumultuous journey, both Punk and AEW will now go their separate ways.
The story of CM Punk’s tenure in AEW is one of triumph, controversy, and turmoil. Punk’s return to wrestling brought moments of brilliance, but it was also marred by backstage altercations and suspensions. His presence in AEW was a double-edged sword, injecting excitement into the product while also raising concerns about his behavior.
As AEW moves forward without Punk, it’s a reminder of the complexities and challenges that come with the world of professional wrestling. While Punk’s legacy remains undeniable, his time in AEW will be remembered as a rollercoaster of emotions, showcasing the highs and lows of a wrestling icon’s return to the spotlight.