All Elite Wrestling announced during the Double or Nothing event back in late May that the company would be returning to the Sears Centre outside of Chicago, Illinois on August 31st for the official sequel to last year's sold-out All In event, All Out.
Because of the show's location, certain fans online have already started to speculate again whether former WWE Champion CM Punk will make his debut at the show. Even though he hasn't competed in a ring since leaving WWE in 2014 (with the exception of a few surprise independent shows under a mask), the potential connection between he and AEW was strengthened when AEW president Tony Khan stated in a recent interview that he originally envisioned Punk being apart of the company.
In a recent interview with ComicBook.com, Cody Rhodes addressed the speculation surrounding Punk, stating that while the door is still open for him to join the company if he wants, he personally is more focused on presenting the stars that have already joined the roster.
"Last year something with All In that we noticed is that at the actual show there wasn't a single CM Punk chant," Rhodes said. "I thought, 'Great, OK. It's not that they don't like Punk, but they know that we're here and we're putting on this show.' This year I don't expect anything different. I've been very honest about that door remains opened. The fans have never given up on CM Punk and if he wanted to be part of AEW we would do everything in our power to make him part of it."
"But I have 25 to 35 brand new stars," he continued. "Guys like Jungle Boy. Guys like MJF. Ladies like Kylie Rae, Britt Baker. If I was to spend all my time in trying to recruit just one CM Punk, I would be doing a disservice to them. I felt, in the past, with my own career that a disservice that has happened to me on occasion about putting someone ahead of me. You always hear the discussion of part-time, this and that. I don't want to go too far there, but I want to make AEW about performers we have."
"That door will forever remain open to CM Punk," Rhodes added. "He was very good to me in OVW. He was a great person to learn from in the ring. I had a good relationship with him. That door will remain open, but for All Out, the main focus for me is Hangman Page and Chris Jericho to determine the very first AEW World Champion."
Tickets for All Out go on sale on Friday.