With CM Punk now officially All Elite, we can start fantasising about who he might possibly wrestle in AEW. While it's uncertain whether Punk will be a full time competitor or more of a special attraction, there are plenty of options as to who he could possibly wrestle. We'll be looking at some first time dream matches later this week, but we've been looking into who he has already wrestled against in his career and thinking about the most mouthwatering rematches we could get. Lets get into it!
Did you know that CM Punks last singles match was on WWE Raw on January 20th 2014 in Dayton, Ohio against Billy Gunn? I didn't until I made this list and that's as good a reason as any to run it back. This one shouldn't go almost 10 minutes this time as it can just be a way to get Punk a win (AEW loves stat padding) but Billy is still in terrific shape and form in 2021.
We haven't seen the Fallen Angel on AEW since May when The Young Bucks forced SCU to split by beating them in their AEW Tag Team Titles shot. He was seen the week after, whispering something to his now ex tag team partner, Frankie Kazarian, during a backstage interview but since then he's been absent. Daniels has faced Punk across the indies in the early 2000's, most notably in Ring of Honour where they wrestled to a 60 minute draw for the ROH title in 2005. Their last match was a four way, also including Samoa Joe and the eventually victorious James Gibson (better known today as Jamie Noble). Could we get a one on one rematch 17 years in the making?
I know what you're thinking, and I wish it was Jeff too. But, we work with what we have and lets be honest, there's plenty of content to base a CM Punk vs Matt Hardy feud from. Matt's inebriated appearance and comments on the now infamous Jeff Hardy drunken "shoot" rant on CM Punk could be used given that it's assumed that it's all water under the bridge now. Punk and Hardy have been on the same team a few times before the Punk vs Jeff Hardy began. They haven't appeared in the same match (not including house shows or WWE Network shows) since the 2010 Royal Rumble.
Matt Sydal has almost become a measuring stick in AEW. If you can't have a good match with Sydal, you may well struggle to have a good match at all. He's been used in this role against Aaron Solo, Danny Limelight, Dante Martin and most recently, Daniel Garcia. I'm not suggesting Punk can't still go, by all reports I've seen, it's quite the opposite. But lets put him in the ring with Matt Sydal and see what happens because I sure as hell want to see that!
CM Punk hasn't been in wrestling since 2014. If only AEW had someone else who spent 7 years out of wrestling.... Oh Wait. Christian Cage! Christian has been proving all the critics wrong since he signed with AEW back in March. The newly crowned Impact World Champion is another person who is capable of having a good match with almost anybody and I think a Punk match in a company where both men are appreciated would be a spectacle to behold.
Obvious caveat here, we don't know for sure where Bryan Danielson is going to end up. We haven't seen him anywhere since his WWE contract expired back at the end of April. But if the rumours were right about CM Punk, it would seem very logical to assume they're also right about the former Daniel Bryan. If so, could you imagine the kind of match these two men would be able to have with their combined experience and in a company with much more creative freedom. The mind boggles. In addition to the 51 matches that they spent on opposite sides of the ring, Bryan and Punk also teamed 22 times and what a team that could be in 2021.
The man who started the revolution aganst the man who actually did something about it has the potential to reach the levels that the Kenny Omega and Hangman Page storyline has met in AEW. Cody has turned into a fantastic professional wrestler since his WWE release and not only would he be able to have a fantastic match with Punk, he'd be able to stand up to him on the mic too! Cody has the ability to work face and heel with AEW crowds being able to work off of his nuanced performances and realistically, he won't be getting cheers against a returning voice of the voiceless. Punk stood with the Rhodes family in their feud against the shield and the authority so there's plenty of juice there for the story.
Nobody in AEW has appeared in more matches alongside CM Punk than Chris Jericho. They have been in the ring together over 90 times and have had a very well known feud over who is the best in the world. Punk has a shockingly strong win ratio over Jericho and that would be likely to continue should they face off in AEW. But there's definitely a story in the idea that CM Punk is going to replace Chris Jericho as the biggest mainstream star in the company. Alternatively, they have teamed together 22 times. Could we see CM Punk in the Inner Circle? Probably not but nothing is off limits in wrestling these days.
December 9th 2013 was the last time these two faced off in a singles match and that one was great. Just imagine what it would be like with Jon Moxley in the ring rather than Dean bloody Ambrose. Most of their matches were multi-man matches to date so this isn't even something that WWE oversaturated. This is a match you could sell a PPV on and I have no doubt that their paths will cross sooner or later because the best wrestlers always end up in the ring together sooner or later. Can you imagine the promo battles?
I'd be happy just to know that these two are friends again. Colt Cabana and CM Punk have a long long history together both in and outside of the ring. It's very well documented that they fell out quite severely after the CM Punk Art of Wrestling Podcast came out post Punk's WWE release. Punk signing with AEW, knowing Colt is already there is a good sign. And if they can be at least civil with each other, there's nobody that has more history in the ring than Colt. They have traded wins back and forth on the indies and have a surprisingly tight record. But the real money for me is in a reunion for the Second City Saints/The Gold Bond Mafia as a tag team. They had 34 matches as a team in their history and that's something AEW could definately pick up on. This isn't something for now but in 6-12 months when Punk's single run has had its moment, these two could have a tag team run for the ages.
Who do you want to see CM Punk face in AEW? Stay tuned for our CM Punk first time dream match list later this week!