This week on AEW Collision, CM Punk revealed what was in his red velvet bag.
He pulled out his AEW Championship belt, won from Jon Moxley nearly a year prior, declaring himself to be the Real World Champion in AEW.
CM Punk spray-painted the title with a black X (covering the “E” in “All Elite Wrestling”), the symbol of his straight-edge lifestyle that he draws on his hands every night.
However, this was at odds with MJF, who is the man who currently calls himself the AEW Champion. In fact, the company also acknowledges him as champion, after he pinned Jon Moxley late last year for the belt.
With MJF the reigning and defending AEW Champion, is CM Punk the real world champion?
CM Punk As The Real World Champion?
Despite his claims, CM Punk is not officially recognized as the real AEW World Champion.
He is correct in the fact that he was the AEW Champion, following him defeating Jon Moxley at All Out 2022.
However, Punk was forced to vacate the championship shortly after the event, for two very different reasons.
The first was due to a bicep injury suffered during the win, which kept him out fo wrestling for nine months.
As he could not defend the belt during this time, CM Punk had to be stripped of the title in order to keep the show going.
He was also suspended by AEW following the show. After his match, he ranted in a press conference about Colt Cabana and the Elite, putting the entire company into disrepute.
Due to these reasons, CM Punk is not the real world champion. However, he was never beaten for the title, which is his main complaint about not being recognized as such.
Despite never being pinned or submitted for the belt, it is clear why CM Punk should not be considered the AEW World Champion.
However, it is clear why CM Punk is doing this – a heel turn is imminent (if it hasn’t already happened).
Since his return on AEW Collision, he has toed the line between heel and face, and looks to be going fully bad guy on the show.
This is expected to lead to MJF vs CM Punk to decide the real AEW World Champion at All In, hoping to fill up Wembley Stadium for the first time in wrestling history.
Putting the rematch from AEW Revolution 2022 at All in for the AEW Championship would be a fantastic way to flip the face/heel divide between Punk and MJF, giving them the chance to put on a completely different match between the pair.
A win there would truly make CM Punk the real World Champion, and begin the most dominant and controversial AEW Championship reign in AEW history.
Do you think that CM Punk is the real world champion in AEW? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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.