Report: AEW's Original Plans for CM Punk and All Out 2023's Main Event

CM Punk was originally going to defend his Real World Championship in the All Out 2023 main event.

AEW's All Out 2023 pay-per-view is just five days away, but the show currently doesn't have a main event. According to Sean Ross Sapp via Fightful Select, the company had a plan on the table for CM Punk to defend his "Real" AEW World Championship in the main event against Ricky Starks, whom he's been feuding with on AEW Collision since mid-July. Sapp explained that AEW wrote for Starks to be "suspended" after attacking Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat and therefore miss last weekend's All In pay-per-view but would be back in time for a match with Punk in Punk's hometown of Chicago. 

Unfortunately, Punk was suspended as a result of his backstage confrontation with Jack Perry at All In and his match with Starks has now been seemingly scrapped. As for the official AEW World Championship, MJF indicated during the post-show press conference after All In that he was taking a vacation following his latest title defense against Adam Cole. Whether or not he'll now work All Out remains to be seen.

"One of the matches on the table was CM Punk vs. Ricky Starks for the AEW Real Worlds Championship, which would have followed up their series of matches that went down this summer. From what we've heard it likely would have been the main event. There's no word on the status of the match now that CM Punk was suspended after his physical altercation with Jack Perry," Sapp wrote.

AEW Dynamite Aug. 30 2023 Plans

In an uncharacteristic move, AEW has only made two announcements for this week's AEW Dynamite — an AEW International Championship match between Orange Cassidy & Penta El Zero Miedo and a promo from Adam Cole. The lack of announcements, according to Sapp, is due to uncertainty over who would be available for the show. Tony Khan initially decided to let anyone from the roster attend Bray Wyatt's funeral, but the service has since been bumped to next week due to Hurricane Idalia. Stay tuned for more updates as they become available. 

With Punk and Perry suspended, Bryan Danielson still out with an injury and MJF potentially unavailable, what matches would you book for Sunday's All Out pay-per-view? Tell us your picks down in the comments! 

AEW All In 2023 Results

  • (Zero Hour) ROH World Tag Team Championships: MJF & Adam Cole def. Aussie Open
  • (Zero Hour) FTW Championship: Hook def. Jack Perry
  • AEW "Real" World Championship: CM Punk def. Samoa Joe
  • Konosuke Takeshita, Jay White & Juice Robinson def. Kenny Omega, Hangman Page & Kota Ibushi
  • AEW World Tag Team Championships: FTR def. The Young Bucks
  • Eddie Kingston, Orange Cassidy, Best Friends & Penta El Zero Miedo def. Blackpool Combat Club (Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta), Santana & Ortiz (Stadium Stampede)
  • AEW Women's World Championship: Saraya def. Hikaru Shida, Toni Storm and Dr. Britt Baker
  • Darby Allin & Sting def. Swerve Strickland & Christian Cage (Coffin Match)
  • Will Ospreay def. Chris Jericho
  • AEW World Trios Championships: The Acclaimed def. The House of Black
  • AEW World Championship: MJF def. Adam Cole

AEW All Out 2023 Card (As Of Now)

  • AEW International Championship: Orange Cassidy/Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Jon Moxley
  • AEW TNT Championship: Luchasaurus vs. Darby Allin
  • AEW TBS Championship: Kris Statlander vs. Ruby Soho
  • Kenny Omega vs. Konosuke Takeshita 
  • Miro vs. Powerhouse Hobbs