CM Punk believes AEW's recent signings are going to be historically impactful.
After seven years away from wrestling, CM Punk returned when he debuted for AEW on the August 20 episode of Rampage. On September 5, he faced and defeated Darby Allin at All Out.
Following the main event, two more big names joined the promotion as Adam Cole and Bryan Danielson made their All Elite debuts. During the post-show media scrums, Punk was asked about their arrivals and had the following to say:
"I mean, you know, pardon my lewdness, but I got a boner for that. Honestly, like, you know, I feel everybody has their own journey and their own story and their own experiences of where we used to work. You know, but I heard him say. I left and I don't got a lot of good things to say, he left [Bryan] and he says he loved the place. But what does it mean when you love that place but you still don't want to be there. You want to be here. I think that speaks volumes. Adam Cole is a guy that I've never wrestled and I know I'm going to sometime. I look forward to it. Daniel Bryan is a guy I have wrestled and I feel like that’ll happen somewhere down the line too. It's like at Christmas. You know, I unwrap a gift, I don't know what's in it. It could be Adam Cole, could be Daniel Bryan, could be Kenny Omega, could be the Young Bucks, could be Will Hobbs, could be Ricky Starks. I mean it's just endless, I am so happy right now."
Bryan addressed the live crowd after the show and said that he loved working in WWE and was grateful, but still left. The reasons why were the talent, especially the ones who came to AEW from day one. He wants fans to thank day one AEW stars for enticing former WWE names over. He says the second reason is the AEW fan base. Furthermore, Bryan Danielson says the third reason he came to AEW is that he's a wrestler, and is "here to goddamn wrestle."
As for the impact his and their arrivals will make, Punk believes it's bigger than Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash joining WCW back in the mid-90s.
"Obviously, I think it's going to be very impactful. I'm not personally in the business of war or competing. I know who the competition is and who the competition isn't. To me, we focus on ourselves. We focus on the talent. We focus on the people in the building and I think that's how we grow. It's not about throwing stones and I know TNT loves ratings and I know everybody's going to look at that stuff and compare that. For a company that's only been around for two years, I think they're doing great. If you're competing with somebody on another night that's got a 30-year headstart, that's fine. But to me, our competition is our audience. As long as we keep them engaged and keep them happy, and I think that, to bring it back around, that's what we're doing. So, I'm not Hogan or Savage. Daniel Bryan and Adam Cole, they're not The Outsiders, I see the parallels, but this is totally different. I'll go ahead and say it and people can quote me and they'll be pissed off about it, but to me, this is bigger," Punk proclaimed.
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