Seven years after walking out of WWE, CM Punk made his return to professional wrestling on August 20 at AEW Rampage: The First Dance. He would talk about his desire to face the company's best young talent and proceeded to call out Darby Allin. The two would go on to have a match on September 5 at AEW's All Out PPV, which Punk would win.
Appearing on a recent episode of Insight with Chris Van Vliet, Allin spoke about the pressure of facing Punk in a high-profile bout that would have lots of eyes on it, saying the following:
"I was talking to Tony [Khan] on the phone and that was it, pretty much. You don't believe something is going to happen until it does and once I cut that promo about 'Best in the World,' I knew that it was a done deal and it was go time. That was the most high-pressure situation ever because I knew everyone would be watching him because it's a big thing. Seven years, holy shit, it's a long time. For him to leave the way he did and then come back, people weren't sure if he was ever going to come back, so when he did and I was the first opponent...I remember that day, I was so nervous and in the zone. I've been in a few zones in life but I was in a zone where I felt like it was not going to get more nerve-wracking than this. It's cool to have moments like that where you eventually get stronger when you know it's done. It started to hit me hard. When he left wrestling  is the same year I started wrestling. At the time, he was my favorite wrestler because, beyond the straight edge thing, it was cool as a kid just watching him. It all hit me because when he left, I was a dishwasher. Life is a trip. I got a little teary-eyed before that match and had a moment."
As for whether or not Punk specifically requested he be his first opponent, Darby admits that he has no clue. Darby reiterates, however, how cool it was to have Punk say that he'd be his favorite wrestler if he was a kid, when in fact, Punk was his favorite wrestler as a kid.
"I don't fucking know. I have no clue," Allin shared. "I just know that he was a fan of my work prior. I don't know he was like, 'let me have him.' It worked out. There is always one return match back so it's a good thing to have for the resume. I had a lovely time that night. He always said in interviews that if he was a kid, Darby Allin would be his favorite wrestler and I thought it was funny because he was my favorite wrestler. The show was beautiful that night."
Both Allin and Punk are scheduled to be in action this Saturday at AEW Full Gear. Darby is set to face MJF, while Punk and Eddie Kingston face-off and look to settle old scores.
Fightful will have live coverage of AEW Full Gear on November 13 beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
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