On AEW Rampage on June 3rd 2022, CM Punk opened the show with an announcement. Just as he had done on his debut almost a year prior, he addressed the crowd with tears in his eyes. However while they were previously tears of joy, they were of sorrow this time.
CM Punk revealed an injury he suffered had gone worse than expected. The AEW Champion had previously seemed fine and has just won the AEW Championship from Adam Page a week prior at Double or Nothing. He was just entering what was supposed to be the new “Summer of Punk”, but it looked like that was not going to happen.
He revealed that he had an injury he had suffered before AEW Dynamite. At the show he teamed with FTR to take on Max Caster and Gunn Club in a winning effort. Prior to the match he jumped into the crowd and limped his way through the match thereafter.
It appears as though it was the jump into the crowd that caused the injury. During the match he botched a number of moves including a jump off the rope when he was tagged into the match. He looked uncomfortable and fans thought that something was up, albeit not as serious as injury as it has turned out to be.
Punk revealed that he needed to leave AEW to get surgery. This was a crushing blow for a man who recently returned to wrestling after 7 years out and won his first title in a decade. Especially after he ended the reign of Adam Page and hoped to usher in a new era of AEW.
He did note that he would be back, bigger, faster and stronger than ever before, promising to prove why he is the best in the world. He revealed that he will be getting surgery to help fix the injury.
While it was not believed to be serious before, WWE were aware of Punk’s injury going on this weeks AEW Dynamite. In an update from PW Insider, they revealed that Tony Khan was aware of the injury to his match on Dynamite with FTR, but the extent of the injury was not known until after that match.
Neither CM Punk nor Tony Khan were aware that he needed surgery until Friday afternoon, before AEW Rampage was broadcast. It was then decided that Punk would make his announcement of his injury and go off to have his surgery.
In the meantime, AEW has announced a tournament to decide an interim AEW Champion, with the final expected to see Jon Moxley take on Hiroshi Tanahashi at Forbidden Door. This would hopefully lead to a Jon Moxley vs CM Punk unification match once the latter has returned from their injury.
When will CM Punk return from injury?
CM Punk did not reveal how long he will be out for with injury. He did reveal he was leaving to have surgery and would be out of action for a prolonged period of time.
With the announcement of the interim AEW Champion being crowned, it is expected that he will be out until at least Forbidden Door at the end of this month. With Tony Khan revealing that the injury is significant enough to require an interim champion, it is expected he could be out for a number of months.
However, that statement based on AEW’s history could be entirely meaningless. Sammy Guevara became the interim TNT Champion when Cody Rhodes missed a week of television due to COVID. With how little time he missed and the interim championship being rather premature, CM Punk could be back with the company after surgery on the Dynamite after Forbidden Door.
When more details of the injury come out then we will be able to give a more accurate predication as to when CM Punk will return from injury and battle for the AEW Championship again.