Posts Tagged ‘CM Punk’

Hiroshi Tanahashi recently spoke to Tokyo Sports about CM Punk’s injury and how it has affected the upcoming “AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door” main event.

Tanahashi was originally set to face the AEW Champion before Punk announced that he had to have surgery to fix a broken foot. Now Tanahashi is proposing that the two face each other, but instead of in Punk’s hometown of Chicago, IL, in NJPW’s home base: the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.

Tanahashi implied that CM Punk owed him some kind of make-good rematch, and felt the match is worthy of “Wrestle Kingdom 17” on January 4th, 2023. While Tanahashi didn’t necessarily say that the AEW Championship had to be involved, it is very possible that both men could be AEW Champion by the time the sun rises on January 4th.

Hiroshi Tanahashi is set to face Hirooki Goto on June 12th at “NJPW Dominion.” If he wins, he’ll head to the main event of “AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door” on June 26th, where he’ll face either Jon Moxley or the winner of a Battle Royal to determine the interim AEW Champion. While there is no current timetable for CM Punk’s return, it is possible that the unification of the AEW Championship could happen under the lights of the Tokyo Dome.

Tanahashi isn’t putting the cart before the horse, however. He understands that the Punk match in Tokyo Dome doesn’t happen if he loses to Goto at “Dominion,” and seems as motivated as ever to not just represent NJPW in the “Forbidden Door” main event, but also win the other company’s interim title in the process. Tanahashi said something to the effect of, “the road to The Best In The World starts in Osaka Castle.”

The war of words between Tony Khan and Eric Bischoff may never stop.

AEW boss Khan responded to Bisch’s comments about CM Punk being “the biggest financial flop in the history of wrestling” during the post-Double Or Nothing 2022 media scrum. Rather predictably, Tony had a fiery response of his own.

Khan called Eric’s words “the most bullshit opinion I’ve ever heard”. He then quickly followed that up by adding, “That’s fucking bullshit”.

Explaining, Tony said that Bischoff’s assessment was wrong because “no one wrestler has ever come in and made a bigger plus delta financial difference in the history of [his] company” than Punk. The AEW chief then pointed to big ratings for Punk’s debut on Rampage and the metrics for every pay-per-view he has appeared on to date.

According to Khan, Punk has broken All Elite pay-per-view number records consecutively since his first showing at All Out last September.

Bischoff has been critical of Punk since the ex-WWE man debuted in AEW – Eric has questioned just how valuable Punk is to All Elite’s bottom line. Tony Khan says he’s very valuable, and didn’t hold back when replying to Bisch’s comments.

CM Punk is the new AEW World Champion, having defeated ‘Hangman’ Adam Page at Double Or Nothing 2022 tonight.

A stiff, gritty bout played out in the main event of a long, 13-match show, with hard shots thrown in both directions. The atmosphere was unique, too, with loyalties split and the Las Vegas more interested in jeering the person they didn’t want to win than rooting for whoever they were supporting. That they were so energised and engaging more than four hours into the pay-per-view eased many a pre-show concern.

Page hesitating on hitting Punk with the World Title belt ultimately cost him. Losing himself for a few fatal seconds, he dropped the strap, hit the outside for a Buckshot Lariat, but leapt into a Go To Sleep. That was enough for the three-count – and for CM Punk to leave Double Or Nothing as the fifth AEW World Champion.

Hangman’s World Title reign ended on 197 days, encompassing six successful defences against the likes of Bryan Danielson and Adam Cole. Punk, meanwhile, is a World Champion for the first time since dropping the WWE Heavyweight Title to The Rock in January 2013.

The new World Champion closed the show in tears, celebrating with his new prize.

All Elite Wrestling star CM Punk has never hidden his disdain for his time in WWE, even recently posting a joke on Instagram that seemed to mock WWE’s decision to move Money in the Bank from Allegiant Stadium to the smaller MGM Grand Garden Arena. While there are many reasons behind Punk’s attitude toward his former employer, he made it clear how he feels about his WWE run — and how much different his experience has been in AEW — in an interview with ESPN’s Marc Raimondi.

“I feel like it was kind of wasted,” Punk said. “It could have been so much more. It should have been so much more. And now, this is everything I dreamed pro wrestling could and should be. And I’m here and I’m fucking in the moment. I’m not thinking about tomorrow. I’m not worried about shit that happened yesterday. I’m living in the moment and I’m 100% in my fucking prime, best I’ve ever been.”

Punk wrestled for WWE from 2005 until 2014, when he walked out of the company following the 2014 Royal Rumble. While he had enjoyed a historic 434-day reign as WWE Champion, he was nonetheless rarely presented as face of the promotion, or as its biggest star. But while he’s scheduled to headline AEW Double or Nothing this Sunday in a championship match against “Hangman” Adam Page — his first world championship opportunity since 2013 — his focus remains firmly on the good of AEW as a whole.

“I don’t run things,” Punk said. “I don’t call shots. I don’t book shit. I just make towns. And I have a wealth of experience that I can draw from. I have a wealth of positive and negative experiences that I can draw from. I’m not sitting back trying to hold people back, politic or anything. I’m just literally trying to make this place better.”

CM Punk apparently is not interested in a battle of the GTS with NJPW star KENTA.

KENTA has expressed interest in a potential match with Punk for years now, and now there’s speculation on AEW and NJPW booking the match at the upcoming AEWxNJPW Forbidden Door pay-per-view on June 26. Punk recently spoke with Connor Casey of ComicBook.com to promote his new role on FX’s Mayans M.C. show, and asked if a match with KENTA interests him at all.

“No,” Punk simply responded.

Punk is set to challenge AEW World Champion “Hangman” Adam Page at the AEW Double Or Nothing pay-per-view on May 29, just nine months into his run with the company. Punk was asked if the run has been what he expected.

“This run has been more than what I expected,” Punk said. “I had expectations. They were pretty high. So far, they’ve pretty much shattered all that, and that’s just based on analytics and numbers of how well we’re doing. I’ve long said that I’m there for the fans in the building. Nowadays everybody is still focused on ratings numbers when cable is absolutely — I canceled DirecTV months ago. I just, I couldn’t do it anymore. It’s too convoluted. It’s too expensive.

“Streaming services are, I feel like, are the future. So when people look at ratings and say that wrestling is dying, I say, ‘Well look at our buildings. We’re selling out and we’re doing our first million-dollar gate.’ So I don’t attribute that just to me. I attribute that to the spirit of AEW and everybody behind the scenes that makes it all work and makes it all click.”

Punk added, “But the run, my run specifically, my stuff as a whole, I’ve never been happier in a wrestling ring. I’ve never, to me, been telling more fluid, better, reality-based stories. It’s been a real treat.”

CM Punk hit Twitter for an incendiary burial of former WCW executive Eric Bischoff and wrestling pundits of his ilk on Tuesday, calling for online wrestling fans to stop amplifying their content.

Tweeting in response to user @BackupHangman, who had quote-tweeted a clip from Bischoff’s 83 Weeks podcast (in which Eric claimed AEW needed to improve itself storytelling to grow its audience), Punk called for the “old head bad faith bad take carny dipshits” to “die in the dark with their ego podcasts”:

Bischoff, whose 83 Weeks, Strictly Business, and Eric Fires Back podcasts are hosted on Conrad Thompson’s AdFreeShows.com, made several tweets in response, with this the most notable:

Punk decided against engaging with the 66-year-old further.

The last of Bischoff’s semi-regular AEW appearances came in May 2021, when he hosted a segment featuring The Inner Circle. Since then, the former WCW chief has become one of the promotion’s most notable mainstream critics, conceding, at one stage, that it is unlikely he will ever be invited back by AEW president Tony Khan.

A cottage industry of pundits whose content revolves primarily about bashing AEW, often in the face of logic and data, has sprung up since the promotion’s 2019 inception. Punk’s initial tweet echoes a view shared by many: that quote-tweeting, dunking, and replying only gives oxygen to what are perceived to be bad-faith criticisms. Regular 83 Weeks listeners will obviously disagree.

Fans don’t have to speculate or wait any longer for the official word: CM Punk will challenge Hangman Adam Page for the AEW World Championship.

The announcement came after the opening match on AEW Dynamite Wednesday night, where Punk was the guest commentator. Dax Harwood defeated FTR teammate Cash Wheeler in a fantastic Owen Hart Foundation Tournament qualifier match, but immediately afterwards, a graphic popped up onscreen making it official that Page will defend his title against #1 ranked Punk at Double or Nothing next month.

The two had a staredown last week on Dynamite after Punk defeated Dustin Rhodes and made the “I want the belt” gesture on the ramp, drawing Hangman out.

Wednesday, the Second City Savior wasted little time in walking down to ringside after the opening bout to talk about how he didn’t know when he came back if he still had it, but he’s proven now that he’s still got it, and that all the matches he’s had to this point were just warmups for this bout, a world title match.

Page was unable to rebut in person because he has tested positive for COVID and was not at the show. However, there is still a full month to build this to a fever pitch, so here’s hoping Hangman gets well soon and returns as quickly as possible.

Hangman has held the AEW world title since November and had six title defenses to date, toppling the likes of Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole and Lance Archer. Punk has been on a tear in 2022, only losing one match to MJF, which he later avenged.

During a recent interview with The Wrestling Perspective PodcastEddie Kingston discussed his wish for Cesaro to sign with AEW.

It’s no secret that Claudio Castagnoli aka Cesaro is now a free agent. Now that he’s no longer contracted to WWE, AEW is a logical landing place. If Kingston had it his way, Cesaro joining AEW would help them solve some “unfinished business”.

“I know I say I don’t want him at AEW, but Claudio Castagnoli, I would him to be in AEW, so I could smack the s*it out of him because we have a lot of unfinished business,” Kingston replied when asked who he’d want to face. “There’s some serious stuff between us. I would love to end it and see if he does the right thing at AEW, but again not my show. I don’t book it. Definitely him. Punk, definitely. At least they’re in AEW, so I may have another chance at them. There’s a lot more history there to explore with me and Punk.

“I’ll get with anybody in the ring. I don’t really care. The way I look at it is, you’re not going to pull out a gun, you’re not going to pull out a knife. I’m fine. I’ll be okay. I’ve had things broken before. Broken bones heal. I’ll be alright. Definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, Claudio is number one, and Punk’s definitely number 2. Claudio for sure. I wanna kind of end whatever beef we had.”

AEW and WWE come across as two vastly different products on television. According to Kingston, the difference between the two companies and the morale of the locker room is creative freedom. However, he also notes that his loyalty to AEW stems from them their loyalty to him.

“There’s a lot of us in AEW who have either A, never went to the big time, or have gone to the big time and didn’t like it. Now we’re part of this company where yeah we have freedom, but we’re also appreciated in a different way,” Kingston said. “We just appreciate what we have. For instance, me after 20 years on the independents grinding, being able to go to a TV show is something that’s just great.

“Whether I’m on or not. Just the possibility of being on TV, I’m happy with and I’m grateful for. I ride with AEW because they rode with me. You look at the people who left WWE, who are now with AEW, that they weren’t happy with WWE or their contract expired, or whatever the case. Now they go to AEW, and they’re like oh wow this is different.”

“I feel appreciated here. Whatever they want to say. They have more freedom there. That’s on the person. That’s why people ride with AEW when they get there because it’s a different environment. Now for the young ones in the locker room, they’re going to learn that not everywhere is like this. That’s why I think guys like myself 20 years in and other guys who’ve had X amount of years in grinding or been in WWE and now here see it for what it is and are appreciative of it.

“They know that it’s not always like this in wrestling companies. There’s not that much freedom, and there’s not a boss that’s going to talk to you about an angle instead of telling you, you’re going to do this, and that’s it. We had open discussions.”

Eddie Kingston has admitted that he tried to stay away from everybody backstage during and after his stellar AEW feud with CM Punk.

Kingston told the ‘Wrestling Perspective’ podcast that he “had to walk away so I could break out of that mental state where I just wanted to kill everybody”. Ooft. The All Elite star was so wound up by some of the “real” things he and Punk had said to one another during promos, and he didn’t want “to be miserable the whole day” afterwards.

That’s why he kept himself to himself for a while.

Both guys had been waiting a long time to say some things to one another, and they didn’t hold back even on TV. Post-fiery showdowns on Dynamite and Rampage, Kingston found himself ready for war, but he made sure not to take that anger out on anyone else.

Punk and Eddie worked a celebrated singles match at AEW’s Full Gear pay-per-view on 13 November 2021. It was cathartic for Kingston, but he found himself in a dangerous mental state after those early verbal back-and-forth skits.

WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart is very appreciative of CM Punk and Dax Harwood constantly paying homage to him on AEW TV.

We noted earlier how Punk’s AEW debut match against Darby Allin was a beat-for-beat tribute to Hart’s match against The 1-2-3 Kid on a 1994 episode of RAW. Furthermore, during his Dog Collar Match against MJF at AEW Revolution, Punk replicated the exact finish to the Bret Hart vs. Roddy Piper match at WrestleMania 8. Punk also paid tribute to Hart when he executed a small package to pin Wardlow earlier this year on Dynamite. That match, especially the finish, was reminiscent to the Bret Hart vs. Diesel match from the 1995 Survivor Series.

Meanwhile, Harwood has constantly professed his love and admiration for Hart through social media. Harwood even received a text message from Hart prior to his match against CM Punk last month on Dynamite.

In a recent interview with The DropKick Podcast, Hart was asked if he had any words for Punk and Harwood.

“I appreciate them,” Hart said.” It means a lot to me for them to be big fans of mine. I try to cheer them on as much as possible. I wish I could see them more often and be more of an input to helping them with their careers. I just want them to know I’ll always be in their corner cheering them on.”

When asked to comment on rising Canadian indie wrestler Mo Jabari AKA Kid Chocolate, Hart predicted a bright future for the young wrestler.

“I think Mo’s got a great shot at becoming a big star,” Hart said. “He’s got a good attitude, he’s got a lot of heart. He’s got a lot of great wrestling moves. I think he’s done his best to do a lot of things the way I used to but there’s nothing wrong with that. If he could be as good as I was, that’s a good start to your career. I think he’s gonna make a big name for himself.”

When asked if he had any advice for other young wrestlers pursuing a career in the business, Bret Hart said: “Watch as many of my matches back all the time and study it and learn how to do it right.”