CM Punk returned to AEW last week, but recent comments from Jim Ross indicate that the World Champion might not be 100 percent going into All Out.
CM Punk made his long-awaited return to AEW Wednesday Night Dynamite last week, and his foot appeared to be fine, but Jim Ross seems to believe that Best In The World isn’t 100 percent. The AEW World Champion has been out of action for two months after “shattering” his foot. The timing couldn’t have been worse, as Punk had just beaten Hangman Adam Page at the Double Or Nothing pay-per-view. Fans were hoping for the Summer Of Punk that they never got while he was in WWE, but instead, audiences were stuck playing a game of wait-and-see.
With All Out coming up on September 4, there had been a lot of speculation about whether Punk would be able to return in time to face Jon Moxley in a title unification match. Tony Khan rolled the dice by allowing the Voice Of The Voiceless to remain World Champion while crowning Moxley with the interim title. That game seems to have paid off, as AEW now has a Punk vs. Moxley World Championship unification match in front of a white-hot Chicago crowd. The Windy City always shows out for All Elite pay-per-views, but adding Punk to the card is a significant boost.
Despite the 43-year-old appearing fine on Dynamite last week, Jim Ross isn’t so sure. He said the following about Punk’s injury on the Grilling JR podcast: “I still don’t know how healthy the guy is. I asked on air if he’s been cleared to wrestle, and nobody knew. I know he will be cleared, and I know that he’s under good doctor’s care. This process has been ongoing. He’s still in the process of healing as far as I’m concerned until I get word that he’s 100%. I’m going to play it by ear. What else do you do?” Jim Ross added that Punk is a “tough guy” before stating that Punk vs. Moxley is “arguably the biggest main event” in AEW’s history. (h/t and a thank you to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription)
Pressure Is On For Moxley And Punk To Deliver
All Out is an essential show for AEW because WWE has been the hotter product lately. Triple H is taking advantage of his honeymoon period as booker and bringing back popular NXT talents while pushing fresh faces. Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown are loaded with former independent darlings who AEW would love to have on its roster.
The likes of Kevin Owens, Drew McIntyre, Cody Rhodes, and even The Miz getting free on the mic is frightening for All Elite, where creative freedom has long been one of the company’s selling points. AEW won’t crumble if Punk and Moxley don’t deliver, but it’d be a massive blow as the company continues to try and build its core audience.