When CM Punk made his wrestling return in AEW on the August 20th 2021 Episode of Rampage the AEW fans erupted and the wrestling world was abuzz with many possibilities of whar CM Punk could bring to AEW. Fans had chanted his name since his departure from the WWE, and retirement and his failed entry into MMA.
But while CM Punk had assisted in moving the ratings needle slightly for AEW, it seemed that his return wasn’t adding the ratings that AEW had hoped. Come 2022 and CM Punk had staged yet another, dramatic exit from the business. Following one of his finest hours at All Out 2022, and capturing the AEW World Heavyweight Title the former AEW, and WWE Champion went and caused a scene during the companies media scrum.
The resulting issue saw him run a foul with the AEW EVP’s (The Elite.), Colt Cabana, and also Hangman Page. Punk was soon stripped of the AEW Title, and hasn’t been seen on AEW, or even mentioned since.
While Tony Khan has refrained from really talking about the situation, there have been many rumours that CM Punk could be about to make his long awaited return to the company which have been bandied about by Dave Meltzer. While many (Including Chris Jericho) talking negatively about CM Punk backstage only recently Mark Henry opted to comment saying he isn’t the “backstage cancer” that people say he is, and just suggest he’s very opionated.
There’s no doubting the abilities that CM Punk brings, from his promos to his in ring work he hasn’t missed a step in the time he’s been away from the business. But is he really the man to solve some woes that AEW have with a lack of top babyfaces?
It’s time for AEW to look elsewhere, create some new stars and avoid trying to bring CM Punk back into the fold. They already have a fairly solid roster of superstars, it’s now time for the company to start to develop them. One such star has been Wardlow who has recently come back from injury and is ready to step into a big push.
AEW even have former WWE superstars aplenty that could be given some spots, such as Matt Hardy, or “The Big Show” Paul Wight who has still some run left in the business, but he’s left to waste away on the commentary on a YouTube streamed show.
While CM Punk will want to seek redemption and finish what he has started in AEW, they shouldn’t be bringing him but allow him to bow out gracefully after the big scene he made at the All Out media scrum. The future of AEW needs for them to create more of their own stars, and not rely on aging stars with a bit of name value left such as CM Punk.
While MJF is killing it as one of the top heels of the business, and AEW they need some more people to become challenges for the title. Even though the slow build to the feud with Bryan Danielson seems to be reaching its payoff, they will certainly need more options going forward.
But it is time for CM Punk to ride off into the sunset and enjoy another retirement, perhaps find a brand new profession as an announcer in MMA or even interviewer, whatever the new role for him outside of wrestling his career is as good as done and it’s time for AEW and CM Punk to end their working relationship for once and for all.