CM Punk is walking around AEW Collision as the Real World Champion, brandishing his own version of the AEW Championship belt.
The belt is branded with his trademark “Straight-Edge X” symbol, spray-painted on the belt in a huge shot at the real AEW Champion, MJF.
CM Punk proclaims himself to be the Real World Champion, given the fact that he was never beaten for the belt (nor in his first reign with the title).
It may sound confusing, so here is everything you need to know about CM Punk as the Real World Champion in AEW.
What Is CM Punk’s Real World Championship?
CM Punk’s Real World Championship is the AEW Championship he won from Jon Moxleya t AEW All Out 2022.
The battled for the AEW Championship in the main event of All Out, just two weeks after Punk lost the belt to Moxley on AEW Dynamite.
This was a dream match for many that had not happened since the days of Dean Ambrose in WWE, and produced one of the best AEW matches of 2022.
In the end, CM Punk pinned Jon Moxley with GTS to win the title, and become one of very few men to beat Jon Moxley in singles action.
When CM Punk returned to AEW in June 2023, he brought with him a red velvet bag. Inside was the AEW title belt from All Out, which he later spray-painted with his trademark “X” symbol, differentiating it from the real AEW Championship.
This real world championship has been defended in AEW – he beat Ricky Starks to retain the belt on AEW Collision, and Punk is planned to defend the title against Samoe Joe at All In.
Is CM Punk Still AEW Champion?
CM Punk is not the current AEW Champion, but claims to be he “Real World Champion”.
When CM Punk made his long-awaited return after nine months on AEW Collision, he brought with him a red bag containing the title belt.
He declared himself the “Real World’s Champion”, putting MJF on notice that he wasn’t a true champion until he took this belt off Punk.
While he is not the AEW Champion, AEW still recognizes him as a legitimate champion, and allows him to defend the “Real World’s Championship” on their shows.
While he is the real world championship, MJF is the current AEW Championship. This is because CM Punk was forced to vacate the AEW Championship on the AEW Dynamite episode following All Out 2022.
Why Did CM Punk Vacate The AEW Championship?
CM Punk was forced to vacate the AEW Championship following All Out 2022 due to an injury, an explosive press conference and a backstage fight with The Elite.
During his match with Jon Moxley, CM Punk suffered a torn tricep that kept him out of the ring for 10 months, ending his AEW Championship run immediately.
However, after the match he took to the post-show press conference, throwing shade at The Elite and Colt Cabana, accusing them of leaking information about him and disrupting his pay per view matches from behind the scenes.
This lead to a confrontation with Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks in his dressing room. While no details have been official confirmed, it has been reported that CM Punk punched Nick Jackson, while his friend Ace Steel threw a chair and bit The Elite during the fight.
This led to all the men involved being suspended. CM Punk was forced to vacate the AEW Championship, with The Elite also giving up the AEW Trios Championship they won that night.
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.