I thought AEW made a strategic mistake a couple weeks ago when the first thing they promoted for CM Punk’s return on this Saturday’s (June 17) premiere of Collision was a trios match. In my view, the most intriguing aspect of Punk’s return to AEW is what he will say on the mic, not his participation in a trios match.
AEW corrected that mistake on last night’s Dynamite with a taped bit where Punk himself said he has a lot of things to get off his chest when the mic is finally in his hands on Saturday night. And now, based on rumors and reports going around today, it sounds like we will get a taste of what a 2023 CM Punk worked shoot pipe bomb looks like before Collision even hits the airways.
Just a short while ago, Fightful Select confirmed a story going around about the existence of a controversial CM Punk interview with ESPN that was arranged by AEW last week and is set to be released any day now. According to the site, Punk said things in this interview that will “blur the lines, and create buzz for upcoming shows.” In doing so, the idea is to get fans to wonder if his words are a shoot or a work.
More specifically, it’s believed that one of the topics Punk discusses in this ESPN interview is The Elite. Second-hand accounts of what Punk said apparently got around to some AEW wrestlers at last night’s Dynamite tapings, and some folks aren’t too happy about what they think Punk said.
This controversial CM Punk ESPN interview situation sounds contrived enough to me for the whole thing to be a work for the purpose of creating a lot more interest in his return at AEW Collision. But I guess I’m a sucker just like the rest of them, because what Punk has to say to ESPN and on Collision is definitely capturing my attention much more than a lukewarm trios match involving Samoa Joe, FTR, and Bullet Club Gold.
What do you think is really going on here, Cagesiders?