The men and women’s Owen Hart tournaments wrap up this Saturday night (July 15) on AEW Collision.
The final match in the men’s tourney is a battle of babyfaces, with Ricky Starks going one-on-one against CM Punk. A win over Punk could be huge for the career of Starks, and he knows it.
During an interview on Sportsnet’s “The Big Show” with Patrick Dumas, Ricky characterized CM as the biggest name in pro wrestling today.
“I’m pretty stoked, honestly. I’m no stranger to having these types of big opportunities, especially in AEW, and I feel like every time I’ve gotten each opportunity, I’ve knocked it out the park. So I don’t think this will be any different. And of course, it’s CM Punk, the biggest name in professional wrestling right now. And what better way to show what I have against that guy, you know?”
CM Punk is the biggest name on the AEW roster, but perhaps Ricky hasn’t heard of a certain Tribal Chief who is pretty clearly the biggest star in the industry today?
Regardless, it’s probably a smart move for Ricky to hype up Punk like this, because if he actually beats Punk in the tournament, then he can double down on this claim and brag about scoring a victory over the number one guy in wrestling.
Even though Starks acknowledges Punk, he says he won’t put him on a pedestal:
To me, I am shoulder-to-shoulder with CM Punk in my head. We are equals. One thing that I do want to get across to Punk and everyone else is that, regardless of what has been done in someone’s career, and what has been done in AEW, the fact will remain is that I am a person that can stand on my own. I can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with anyone. I can go toe-to-toe with any single person [on the] microphone, in the ring. And I feel like I’ve proven that with MJF and I’ve proven that with Chris Jericho. So I don’t see this being any different with CM Punk.
When CM Punk joined AEW nearly two years ago, he talked a lot about helping younger stars on the roster. Putting over Starks in the Owen tourney could be in line with that goal.
However, Punk is also walking around with a bag that presumably holds his old AEW world title, disputing MJF’s status as the true titleholder. It might not make booking sense for Punk to lose a singles match as long as he claims to be the real world champion.
Who do you think will win the men’s Owen Hart tournament this weekend in Calgary, Cagesiders?