When CM Punk returned to AEW on August 20 at AEW Rampage, he did so in his hometown of Chicago.
Punk has discussed many times how much Chicago has meant to him, previously saying that he's cried after Chicago teams have won championships.
Punk made headlines when fans spotted "AC" and "CF" initialed on his shoes, with some speculating that "AC" stood for current free agent Adam Cole.
As it turns out, it was just another nod to Chicago.
"I stole this from LeBron James; a lot of basketball players will write messages on their shoes and stuff. I wrote AC on my shoes and CF on the other foot. AC is Always Chicago and CF is Chicago Forever," told Joseph Staszewski of New York Post.
That settles that.
Speaking on the current state of wrestling and the possibility of a new boom period, Punk said, "I think people will always harken back to, ‘Oh, X amount of people used to watch this, where are those millions and millions of people? Where did they go?’ It’s why I don’t put a whole lot of stock in ratings and demographics. It’s not my job. I know TNT, I know the executives love that stuff, but I don’t like movies simply because somebody else likes a movie. I don’t go to restaurants simply because it’s highly rated. They serve something I’m allergic to so I’m not gonna go ahead and eat it.
"I definitely think stuff’s trending upward and it feels hot right now. I don’t know if I can call it a boom period. Attitude Era, how many people were watching? So there are a lot of people out there who are not watching. I think chasing all those fans who don’t watch any more can be detrimental. I’m about giving our fans, who are here in the arena, I’m about giving them what they want and making them happy.
"Yes, mainstream popularity for television shows, yes that stuff is great and I think that audience can eventually come and that’s what AEW has. You watch it on television and you go, ‘Look at those people in the stands, they’re having a blast. I need to go to that. I need to watch that. I need to get into this.’ And if you are just trying to chase people who aren’t watching, people who maybe watched 10 years ago, that’s a crapshoot. You could be shooting yourself in the foot."
Punk's return did big numbers for AEW as Rampage on August 20 drew over one million viewers and did massive viewership on YouTube.
Punk is set to make his in-ring debut this Sunday at AEW All Out. You can view the current lineup for the show by clicking here.
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