AEW returns to pay-per-view this Sunday night for its All Out pay-per-view in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, IL, and many will be tuning in to see the in-ring return of CM Punk.
After a seven-year hiatus from professional wrestling, Punk made waves across the entire industry in August by signing with AEW. His “surprise” debut at AEW Rampage: The First Dance in his hometown of Chicago on August 20 drew in over 1.1 million viewers as the United Center crowd exploded over their native son stepping into a ring for the first time since 2014.
An emotional Punk explained why he came back but then quickly issued his first challenge, a challenge made to up-and-coming AEW star Darby Allin:
“DARBY ALLIN! I’ve seen you, you’re good,” said Punk in his debut promo. “I’ve seen you jump out of airplanes, I’ve seen you wrapped up in body bags and chucked over the top rope, I’ve seen you kicked down a flight of stairs, and you always come back. Just like each and every person here in Chicago, you’re tough. You’re the first on the list because you’re a daredevil and you like danger. Well Darby Allin, there’s nothing that you can do that is more dangerous than wrestling CM Punk...except wrestling CM Punk in Chicago.”
The 28-year-old Darby Allin, real name Samuel Ratsch, made a name for himself in various independent promotions before joining AEW in the spring of 2019. He’s made a name for himself as a breakout star for the company, getting a long reign with the TNT Championship and forming an alliance with Sting, who made his debut for the company last December.
Now he finds himself in a high profile match with Punk, one that could make him an even bigger star should the match deliver.