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CM Punk will be booed tonight in Chicago

Tonight, AEW’s Collision show debuts in CM Punk’s hometown of Chicago.  And he’ll be booed.

Not by the majority, but by enough people it’ll come through on tv.  You see, there were numerous factors leading to his infamous blow-up at ‘Brawl Out’: Hangman Page, the Bucks, Kenny Omega, his injury.  But I believe the one which really set him off that night, the proverbial ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’, was the reaction of his hometown crowd.

On the Wednesday before All Out, Jon Moxley came out in Chicago, fresh from demolishing their hometown hero for the world title in a couple minutes.  And received a healthy number of cheers.  Even after wilfully baiting the crowd about ‘your boy’ ‘folding’ due to a ‘fragile…ego…mind…body…spirit’.

Later that same night, Punk gave a territorial speech to those in attendance.  Completely ignoring any fans watching at home, he walked among his people, beseeching them that everything he did at All Out, he did for them, he did for the city of Chicago (‘We are Chicago’).  Doesn’t get much more ‘rah rah babyface’ than that.

Yet there were enough boos and Cabana chants that an irritated Punk railed on a ‘fat’ fan in the front row.  Even instantly acknowledging ‘I probably shouldn’t have said that’.

And while at the show itself support was split about 1/3 to 2 in Punk’s favour,  there was no splitting the vociferous support for MJF when he came out to confront the new champion.  Despite having cheated his way to a title shot.  Despite Punk having just reclaimed said title in a hard-fought match against Moxley.

Because some fans in attendance did not like the recent revelations about their hometown boy.  Some verified – his verbal castration of Hangman Page, whom most fans like.  Some not – the rumour that he’d had his former best friend and also-Chicago native Colt Cabana demoted to ROH.

All in all, Punk was not universally beloved in Chicago as he had been previously.

And that was before the post-show press conference.  In which Punk insinuated or downright stated that a former AEW world champion had achieved nothing in the business and the company’s EVP’s were morons not fit to run a Target.  Not to mention absolutely belittling the company’s owner sat right beside him.

Meaning that if you’re an AEW fan before you’re a CM Punk fan.  You probably resent him a little for making the company you support look like a joke.  And there’s no doubting it, CM Punk absolutely did make the company a punchline.

And at least some fans in Chicago will be AEW before they’re CM Punk.  Will be Colt Cabana before they’re CM Punk.  Might even be Hangman Page before they’re CM Punk.  Might be ten percent of the audience, might be twenty.  But there will be boos.

Especially since it’s not like his supporters have flocked to have his back.  The latest was that Punk had shifted about 1,500 extra tickets after being officially announced.  The venue’s about half full.  If those in Chicago were truly intent on rallying behind their hero, they’d have done as they did last time and vacuumed up tickets.

Working against heels most fans respect in Joe & White doesn’t help either.

This is not written to take sides.  I’ve come round to accepting a second chance as an inevitability.  And hope it gives the company and their new show a spark.  But Punk has work to do.  And it begins with convincing fans of the company that he doesn’t look down on it or them.

His admitting to being totally in the wrong re: the media scrum is a nice start; we’ll see how much he means it.

Paul Hemming
Paul Hemminghttps://h00kedon.weebly.com/
Paul Hemming got into AEW during the pandemic, lives in Liverpool, England, and is a huge Liverpool fan, Playstation player and history lover.

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