CM Punk brought a red bag to Collision when he returned to AEW, containing the AEW title belt he won from Jon Moxley at All Out.
As he was forced to vacate the belt, he never lost it in a match. Because of this, Punk proclaimed himself to be the “Real World Champion“, defending the belt as if he was the AEW Champion.
Because of this, CM Punk has been putting the belt on the line (despite the fact MJF is actually the AEW Champion). He has wrestled on TV and PPV with the belt up for grabs, working as if he was a real champion.
In this article, we’ll rank every one of CM Punk’s title defenses as the Real World’s Champion, giving each match a star rating and looking how fans and journalists view the match also.
CM Punk vs Ricky Starks (AEW Collision #8)
On the 5th August 2023, CM Punk defended his Real World Championship against Ricky Starks for the first time.
The match came after Starks beat Punk in the final of the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament, taking home the trophy in the second annual competition.
This was Punk’s first singles loss since losing the AEW Championship against Jon Moxley in 2022, and prompted Punk to put his Real World’s Championship on the line.
To avoid any refereeing mistakes, WWE Hall of Famer Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat was made special guest referee for the match, marking his debut with the company.
After a 22-minute match that saw huge moves, like power bombs, pile drivers and Hardcore Holly’s Alabama Slam, CM Punk won the match with a roll-up, as Ricky Steamboat deemed Starks shoulders on the mat.
It was a decent match, although it was clear Punk was still brushing off the ring rust in his return. It also helped cement Stark’s heel turn, as he attacked the 70-year-old Steamboat after the match.
- Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – n/a
- Cagematch Rating – 7.29
- Atletifo Rating – 3 Stars
CM Punk vs Samoa Joe (AEW All In)
CM Punk will defend his Real World Championship against ROH TV Champion Samoa Joe at AEW All In.
The match will take place at Wembley Stadium, in front of over 80,000 fans – the biggest crowd in the history of pro wrestling (not counting the North Korea show).
The match came after Joe hounded Punk for weeks, following his defeat to the Real World’ Champion during the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament.
- Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating –
- Cagematch Rating –
- Atletifo Rating –
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.