This week's AEW Dynamite (Fight for the Fallen) dropped a number of hints that CM Punk might finally be arriving in the company. The most obvious one came midway through the show when Tony Schiavone announced the Aug. 20 episode of AEW Rampage would take place at the United Center in Chicago (the city's biggest indoor venue and the home of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks). That, combined with Darby Allin's follow-up promo where he dropped the "Best in the World" line, had the fans in Charlotte loudly chanting for the former WWE Champion.
But a closer look at the show proves there were even more hints. MJF closed the show with a promo directed at Chris Jericho, announcing his next "labor" would be taking on his former rival Juventud Guerrera. He started off the promo with "As you sit there in more pain than you've ever been in your entire life, I need you to listen to me." Those lines echoed the opening sentences from Punk's famous Pipebomb Promo from 2011.
Back at the start of the night, Nick Jackson hit a running knee/bulldog combo during the 10-man tag match between The Elite and The Inner Circle. That combination was a staple of Punk's offense throughout his WWE run.
Nick Jackson hits a high knee strike in the corner into a bulldog. pic.twitter.com/BCF63nNq2Q— Joshua Gagnon — sounds like “gon-yen” (@HeelDoors) July 29, 2021
Tony Khan was directly asked about both Punk and Daniel Bryan arriving in the company while speaking with The New York Post this week, but refrained from comment. While Bryan was just in the main event of WrestleMania 37 three months ago, Punk hasn't wrestled since departing from WWE back in 2014.
"I think the landscape currently is much different than when I left," Punk said while on Renee Paquette's Oral Sessions late last year."You can play the game where you're like, 'Oh, AEW was an option, would you have gone right after you left WWE?' If you are going to play that game, there is no way they (WWE) would have handled it the way they handled it with suspending me for two months and nobody contacting me and the next thing I know, I got my release papers on my wedding day. That wouldn't have happened if there was an AEW. Because then they probably would have approached me and been like, 'Hey, your suspension is up. Ready to come back to work? Let's work this out.' Or handle it like any other sports organization would have handled [a] star pitcher f—ing going home. They're not just going to let him leave the team, go to a rival organization."
"What would it take? Oh gosh. Without wanting to insult anybody on either side of the fence, any WWE talent or AEW talent, it would take, above all, an interesting scenario," he said. "A story that would be fun to tell and also just the stupidest amount of money. But, they can save themselves a lot of money if they present a fun storyline. Now, what that is, I don't know. I'm a pretty picky guy, especially at this point. I think there are more interesting people on the AEW side of things for me to wrestle and that's because I've never wrestled them before. Young Bucks, Kenny Omega."