Former WWE Champion CM Punk returned to pro-wrestling for the first time since leaving the wrestling ring in January 2014. The five-time WWE Champion had left the company after creative frustrations and sour relations with Chairman Vince McMahon after Royal Rumble 2014.
'The Best in the World' made a return on Fox Network's WWE Backstage show in 2019 as a guest analyst, but it was not an in-ring return that the fans have been clamoring for years.
But on Saturday, Punk made his AEW debut at the AEW Rampage: First Dance show at the United Center in Chicago. He arrived at the start of the show after the AEW owner Tony Khan promised the 15,000-plus fans that their faith in the company will be repaid.
Punk's arrival set the crowd wild as they chanted his name at the top of their voice - as Punk went around and hugged members of the crowd. Punk was quick to pick the mic and announce that he is not coming for a one-off appearance, and will be there in the company for a long time to come.
Punk further went on to criticize his time in WWE, describing it as the place that made him "sick in the first place". He also declared that he left professional wrestling on August 13th, 2005, when he quit Ring of Honour Wrestling, and on August 20th, 2021, he is finally back to pro-wrestling.
Before making his way to the back, Punk went on to challenge Darby Allin for a match at AEW All Out pay-per-view which will take place on September 5 in Chicago.
Known for his legendary 'pipebomb' promo from an episode of 2011 Raw, Punk earned the nickname of 'Voice of the Voiceless', for vocalizing his frustrations with WWE's management.