One of the most anticipated nights in professional wrestling history is finally here and taking place at the sold out United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Tonight’s AEW Rampage live on TNT at 10PM ET, titled The First Dance, will see the arrival of CM Punk, his first appearance for a major wrestling promotion since January 2014. Punk last appeared on TV in a wrestling ring at the Royal Rumble that year and quit the company afterward.
While AEW has not explicitly said that CM Punk will be making his debut tonight, the company steered away from answering questions about Punk this time around when before they shot down rumors which were not true. Punk has also been dropping hints on his Instagram account for the past few weeks, including posting part of the Sirius song which is used by the Chicago Bulls and was part of The Last Dance documentary. Also last weekend, while on commentary for an MMA show on UFC’s Fight Pass, Punk said that one fighter was “all elite” with his wrestling.
During an appearance on Busted Open Radio today, AEW President Tony Khan said that he thinks everyone has a good idea of what is happening tonight. “I don’t like to let people down and I have no plans to disappoint anybody tonight,” Khan said, adding that people will be very happy with what they will see.
In a recent interview, Punk said that wrestling needs “a good kick in the d*ck” and he thought “we are about there!” He mentioned that wrestling is a fun world and there are guys who are steering the pot causing trouble in a good way.
CM Punk has largely stayed away from professional wrestling since he quit WWE back in 2014 but surprisingly returned to WWE Backstage, a show produced by FOX Sports, in November 2019 where he was an analyst for several shows. His return sparked rumors that he would be indeed going back to WWE but that never materialized.
During his time away from the squared circle, Punk filmed movies and also tried his hand at mixed martial arts, fighting twice for the UFC. His two fights ended in a loss, although one of them – the second one – was later changed to a no contest.