We’ve covered CM Punk’s anxiously awaited show-opening promo from the premiere episode of AEW Collision on Saturday night (June 17). Punk also got the microphone back after he & FTR won the main event in Chicago’s United Center, and used some of that time speak on a subject of far more importance than any backstage beef or World title program tease.
While Dax Harwood was delivering a pro-AEW pep talk to the crowd, his tag partner Cash Wheeler was helping a fan to the ring. CMFTR brought this person down from their seat because of the sign they were holding. It read, “Support LGBTQ+ Youth”.
If you pay attention to current events at all — and especially if one of those letters represents you — then you know that sexual orientation and gender identity are front & center in our current culture war. On one side are Queer folks and their allies who believe everyone deserves to be able to love who they love and simply be who they are. I don’t want to speak for the other side, but will just say the net result of their positions would limit or remove Queer people’s ability to freely exist in the world.
Punk is an ally, and he made that clear in his speech Saturday night:
And the final piece of video. @CMPunk @DaxFTR @CashWheelerFTR @AEWonTV @AEW @NylaRoseBeast @SonnyKissXO @Bowens_Official @Pride #lbgt #trans #LBGTQ #aew #AEWCollision @TonyKhan @leylahirsch #equality #EqualityForAll pic.twitter.com/L7GipgBJ5m— cags. (@__cagney__) June 18, 2023
“The reason I support trans kids, trans grown ups, gays, straight, lesbian, whoever is because I know, when I was growing up I didn’t fit in anywhere. But it was because of the clothes I wore, what my hair looked like, the music I listened to. Those are all things I could rectify. I could cut my hair, I could listen to jazz — I don’t know what.
“But to be somebody who’s gay, lesbian, or especially trans, I don’t know what it feels like to be trapped in a body I don’t feel I belong in. That is why I support them. Because I know I didn’t fit in anywhere until I found pro wrestling and all the freaks and geeks in the locker room who were just like me. Maybe some of them were a little psychotic and they couldn’t hold onto a real job, but that’s another story.
“Support trans kids. Support gay and lesbian rights. I want everybody to be themselves — just do no harm to anybody else.
“Thank you. I love you.”
It’s an important stance to take as the human rights of LGBTQ+ people are being infringed upon around the world. It’s also one that, as many people have pointed out since Saturday night, at least one of those guys Punk’s beefed with backstage over the past year or so shares:
Here’s to Omega & Punk’s legacy being more about how they made wrestling a place for everyone than any of the past year’s drama.