While CM Punk has continued to avoid giving any answers about whether or not he's showing up in All Elite Wrestling soon, that hasn't stopped the former WWE Champion from dropping potential clues. First, he uploaded a black screen with the Chicago Bulls' entrance music (shortly after, AEW announced the Aug. 20 AEW Rampage would be at Chicago's United Center), then he dropped the line "All Elite" while on commentary for an MMA event over the weekend. On Monday he returned to his Instagram with a blank screen and three rows of numbers — 05, 11, 21.
In case you're wondering, that's probably not a reference to May 11 of earlier this year (a random Tuesday) or Nov. 5 (though it is the day before AEW's Full Gear event in St. Louis). Many fans presume the numbers are a reference to several important years in Punk's career — 2005, 2011 and 2021. The first was known as the first "Summer of Punk," where the Chicago native won the ROH World Championship while in Ring of Honor only to sign with the WWE and threaten to take the world championship with him. 2011 was the second "Summer of Punk," this time including Punk's famous Pipebomb Promo and his WWE Championship victory over John Cena at that year's Money in the Bank event.
2005- Summer of Punk (ROH)— Ross W Berman IV (@RossWBermanIV) August 16, 2021
2011- Summer of Punk (WWE)
2021- ??? pic.twitter.com/e1vkyos4yw
Punk was asked what his plans for Aug. 20 were during a recent interview with Sunday Night's Main Event. He claimed that night would feature a special screening of the third episode of Heels, where he appears as veteran journeyman Ricky Rabies.
"I think I might be doing a screening, this isn't confirmed yet so I probably shouldn't blast this out everywhere, but we're talking about doing a screening of episode three of Heels at AMC in Chicago," Punk said. "That's one of the dates that has been proposed. I hope to see everybody there."
He also confirmed having conversations with AEW president Tony Khan back when AEW first launched as a promotion in 2019. Punk admitted he was skeptical of the company at the time.
"Yeah, I talked with Tony. My perspective on this, and I've said this to his face, I am a guy who has constantly heard, 'Hey, I've got a money guy!' or 'Hey, I've got TV!' at least one or twice a year for 15-20 years of my wrestling career... it always seems like somebody [says], 'Oh, we're going to start up and compete with Vince [McMahon].' I always think that came from a bad spot, because I think if you start up a wrestling company, I think you should always focus on yourself," Punk said. "So I, more or less, took a wait-and-see approach. I wasn't and I am not interested in pro wrestling in that respect."