Arguably the most anticipated return in professional wrestling’s storied history happened on Friday, August 20, when CM Punk made his All Elite Wrestling debut in his hometown of Chicago.
The second episode of AEW’s new show Rampage was dubbed “The First Dance,” a nod to the 2020 documentary “The Last Dance” centered around another Chicago sports legend in Michael Jordan.
The event was at the United Center, taking place in front of the largest crowd in AEW history.
Punk kicked off the show, coming out to his iconic “Cult of Personality” theme song to a raucous reception from the sold-out crowd in Chicago.
Rumors of Punk’s return to the squared circle started up about a month or so ago, and the reaction he got was the wrestling equivalent of a soda bottle being shaken before being opened.
The self-proclaimed “Best in the World” had been out of wrestling since walking out on WWE in 2014, leading to much-publicized and talked-about transgressions.
“August 13th, 2005, I left professional wrestling,” Punk said in a Pipebomb-esque promo. “August 20th, 2021, I’m back.”
After addressing the fans, Punk turned his attention to young superstar Darby Allin, setting the stage for a future match at the All Out pay per view on September 5. That event will also take place in the Windy City.
Fans will undoubtedly be looking forward to what CM Punk does in AEW, and his debut immortalizes a real coup of a signing for the rising AEW.