After weeks of teases, CM Punk made his return to wrestling at AEW Rampage The First Dance. The United Center crowd didn't have to wait long as Punk opened the show, receiving a hero's welcome from the crowd.
Punk opened by saying he couldn't explain everything now, but he will have time Wednesdays, Fridays, and four Saturdays/Sundays a year.
Punk said if his choices let anyone down, he understood, but they had to understand that he was never going to get healthy staying in the same place that got him sick in the first place.
He then sat in the middle of the ring and told the story of how cried when he left Ring of Honor, saying he left professional wrestling in August 13, 2005, but he's back on August 20, 2021. Punk said he's back to work the young guys, calling out Darby Allin.
Punk said he's here to help Allin because he likes danger and there's nothing more dangerous than wrestling CM Punk in Chicago. He said he'll see Allin, Sting, and everyone else at AEW All Out.
It was confirmed on commentary that Allin will face Punk at AEW All Out.
Oh, and he brought back ice cream bars.
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.
Fightful Select reported on July 21 that Punk was in talks for an in-ring return.
You can find Fightful's coverage of AEW Rampage The First Dance by clicking here. You can also check out the post-show podcast for a full review of all the action by clicking here.