For the second time during his return to professional wrestling, CM Punk is in the middle of an extended absence from his employer. Punk first went down with a foot injury in June 2022, forcing him to miss the bulk of what was anticipated to be the third “Summer of Punk.” He would return to AEW programming that August, building to a title unification bout with Interim AEW World Champion Jon Moxley on an episode of AEW Dynamite. After being defeated in quick fashion, Punk and Moxley ran it back at AEW All Out 2022, resulting in the Second City Saint reclaiming the AEW World Title.
During that match, Punk suffered another injury, tearing his triceps early in the bout. Regardless of the subsequent post-show press conference controversy, Punk was going to be out of action for a significant period of time. Reports speculated that Punk would be on the shelf for close to eight months.
If his recovery stays true to that timetable, Punk will be healthy once more come early May. Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer reported that Punk “will be available in a couple of months” for an AEW return “if they want to use him.” Meltzer added that Punk returning would cause “a lot of other issues.”
This stems from numerous Fall 2022 reports following the infamous AEW All Out press conference. After blasting numerous individuals in the company, Punk was involved in a backstage fight with AEW Executive Vice Presidents Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks. All parties were suspended as AEW launched an internal investigation into the situation. Omega and the Bucks would return to AEW programming two months later, signaling that the investigation was over.
During this period of uncertainty, reports emerged that Punk would not be welcomed back into the company. Chris Jericho reportedly was among a number of top talent that told the locker room that they would “make sure Punk wasn’t brought back.” This coupled with reports of Punk and AEW negotiating a contract buyout cast doubt on Punk’s long-term future with Tony Khan’s promotion.
That said, it has been months since there have been new developments on Punk potentially exiting AEW. The most recent updates, while scarce, seem to indicate that Punk and AEW are on decent terms. It was reported at the beginning of 2023 that Punk wants to come back and “do business” with AEW.
Stay tuned to ComicBook.com for updates on CM Punk’s AEW future.