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AEW better deliver on CM Punk at this point

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Milwaukee-Gordon vs Silva Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

With reports flying all about that CM Punk is likely headed for AEW, if he hasn’t signed already, the company has engaged in a brilliant bit of promotional business by teasing out his arrival across several weeks of television. The target date seems to be this coming Fri., Aug. 20, 2021, at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, on Rampage.

I say “seems to be” because we can’t know for certain unless they confirm as much and so far they have been unable or unwilling to do so. Instead, we’re getting things like Tony Khan all but saying it during an interview with SI:

“Next week’s Rampage is ‘The First Dance’, and I think everyone knows what to expect—and everyone is very excited. We built a foundation here for what you’re going to see next week. This was a huge premiere, and there is tons of anticipation for next week in Chicago.”

So, Punk then?

“I can’t answer that question. But it’s a very good question to ask.”

It’s the kind of brazen confidence one would only expect from someone holding all the cards. It’s hard to imagine Khan making comments like this if the plan is anything other than Punk’s return to wrestling, in his hometown, after more than seven years away from the ring. A failure to deliver on that certainly wouldn’t sink the promotion but it would set the tone of expectation for every promotional stunt moving forward.

Tick tock.