CM Punk wants to say thank you to all of his fans.
On August 20, 2021, CM Punk made his AEW debut on The First Dance edition of Rampage. This was his first time in the ring on national television since leaving WWE back in 2014.
At the end of his speech, Punk informed the audience that they would all be getting a free CM Punk ice cream bar. Back in 2011, Punk asked WWE to bring back their classic ice cream bar line, but nothing ever happened.
During a post-show media scrum (seen above), Punk commented on whose idea it was to give everyone in attendance a free ice cream and what they represent. He said the following:
"The Ice Cream bars were me. That's Andy Kaufman. I used to do it all the time when I would do Q and A's at comic cons and stuff like that; I would bring people doughnuts, pizza. These ice cream bars, to me, represent an idea, an idea that was gift-wrapped to people that didn't bother to take the time to try to understand their audience. This is the easiest home run I've ever hit. This is a legit thank you. You know, John Lester came to the Chicago Cubs and won us a trophy, won us a World Series. When he got traded away, he opened up a tab at a bunch of bars as a way to say thank you to the fans. This is my way to say thank you to the fans.
This is personal for me and timings everything. It just felt right. When I left Ring of Honor, I did not want to go, but I felt I couldn't stay. You can't really explain that to people. It's just something you live through. When I was sick and tired and hurt and I realized that these people wouldn't care if I died today, there'd be another show tomorrow. I knew I had to remove myself from the situation.
I didn't know how long it was going to take for me to heal. Then this came along and credit to everybody involved in AEW. It reminded me of places I used to work that I love, where it was not about -- It was just more about the spirit of the thing. Instead of feeling like a house, it felt like a home. That's the best way I can possibly describe it."
Fightful Select reported on July 21 that Punk was in talks for an in-ring return. As announced on Rampage, Punk will be on the next episode of Dynamite and will be competing against Darby Allin at All Out on September 5.
Punk famously left WWE in January 2014 following the Royal Rumble and stayed away from the ring until his return on Friday. He went on to become a UFC fighter and star in a handful of movies before joining WWE Backstage in November 2019 as a special analyst before the show was canceled as a weekly show in June 2020 due to the pandemic. Punk did make two Independent appearances during his time away from wrestling, both times under a mask.
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