CM Punk made his surprise return to AEW programming at the end of Wednesday's Quake By The Lake event. Jon Moxley successfully retained the Interim AEW World Championship in the show's main event against Chris Jericho, but it prompted both JAS and Blackpool Combat Club to hit the ring and start a brawl. Punk then arrived to fully clear the ring but was met with a middle finger from Moxley when the two met face-to-face. Fightful Select's Sean Ross Sapp had an update on Punk on Thursday, confirming that the unification match for the AEW World Championship between Punk and Moxley is currently planned for All Out on Sept. 4.
Sapp also noted that Punk's return was kept a secret from a large chunk of the roster, including some of the wrestlers involved in the brawl. Punk claimed in interviews at San Diego Comic-Con that he didn't know when his return would be, but was spotted earlier this week walking around without a boot on his surgically-repaired boot. The report also noted there were no indications of Punk being rushed back.
Punk announced his foot injury days after beating Hangman Page for the AEW World Championship at Double or Nothing. He was quickly pulled from defending his title at Forbidden Door against Hiroshi Tanahashi, but Tony Khan opted to let him keep the title and instead crown an interim champion.
"Based on what happens in real fights, in the world of fighting, this is what you do. You have a great champion, and if they are injured, you name an interim champion and set up an exciting unification fight. We have a great chance to set something exciting up," Khan explained on Busted Open Radio.
"It is a setback, but we're really excited to get CM Punk back," he later added. "He's going to have surgery here quickly and I'm very nervous, but pretty optimistic because he's going to be seeing one of the top doctors in the entire world and someone really renowned in sports medicine. We were fortunate to get him in quickly. We're excited to get him back."
As of right now, the only match confirmed for All Out at the NOW Arena outside of Chicago is the finals of the AEW World Trios Championship Tournament. Stay tuned for more updates on the show!