It seemed like we had seen the last of CM Punk inside a pro wrestling.
The last time Punk appeared in the ring was 2,763 days ago in the 2014 WWE Royal Rumble. The day after the event, Punk told WWE Chairman Vince McMahon that he was going home. He started writing comic books, fought two times for the UFC, became an MMA analyst and an actor.
Pro wrestling had seemed to be the furthest thing from his mind because anytime he was asked about a return, Punk would quickly shut it down. Well, everyone can now stop asking.
In front of a soldout crowd at the United Center in Punk's hometown of Chicago, the longest reigning WWE champion in this generation returned to kickoff All Elite Wrestling's newest television show "Rampage".
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Coming out to his famous choice of entrance music, "Cult of Personality," the building came unglued for "The Second City Saint". After soaking in the enormous reaction to his return, a visibly emotional Punk grabbed a microphone and had a message for everyone.
"On August 13, 2005, I left professional wrestling," Punk said. "On August 20, 2021, I'm back, and I'm back for you."
Punk talked about wanting to compete against some of the younger talent in AEW. As soon as he said that, Darby Allin was shown by cameras with Sting up in the rafters of the arena. Allin had made subtle references to Punk in recent interviews.
Punk said Allin is very good, and he's tough. Punk let Allin know he's first on his hit list and told him that he would have his return match with him on Sept. 5 at All Out in Hoffman Estates, IL, right outside Chicago.
"Nothing you can do is more dangerous than wrestling CM Punk...except wrestling CM Punk in Chicago. I will see you at All Out on September 5th."