CM Punk injured and will undergo surgery, interim AEW World Champion to be crowned at the Forbidden Door pay-per-view

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

CM Punk announced on Friday’s AEW Rampage that he suffered an injury that will require surgery. Although Punk walked to the ring with a noticeable limp, he did not offer specifics regarding the injury or the projected timeline for his return. Punk indicated that he was willing to relinquish the AEW World Championship, but AEW President Tony Khan told him that he believes in him. It was announced later in the show that an interim AEW World Champion will be crowned at the Forbidden Door pay-per-view on June 26.

Powell’s POV: It was a little confusing because Chris Jericho stated on commentary that Punk had relinquished the title, but a graphic listed that an interim champion will be crowned at the Forbidden Door event. The winner of a battle royal that will open Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite will face Jon Moxley, who was listed as the No. 1 contender, in the main event of Dynamite. The winner of that match will have a chance to compete for the interim AEW World Championship at the Forbidden Door pay-per-view. Making matters more confusing, Wardlow was actually the top wrestler in the rankings that AEW released on Wednesday, while Moxley was ranked fourth behind Wardlow, Adam Cole, and Adam Page. Putting all that aside, here’s wishing Punk the very best with his surgery and his recovery. One can only hope that this won’t complicate his acting projects.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the Dynamite battle royal winner will face Moxley at the Forbidden Door event for the interim AEW World Championship. The battle royal winner will actually face Moxley in the main event of Wednesday’s Dynamite to qualify for a chance to win the interim title at the Forbidden Door show. My apologies for the error, though I’m still confused about how the interim champion will actually be crowned. Punk was originally scheduled to face Hiroshi Tanahashi at the pay-per-view, so it’s possible that the Moxley vs. battle royal winner will face the NJPW legend on June 26, but there was no mention of that being the plan on Rampage. Hopefully AEW will provide some clarity soon.

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Readers Comments (11)

  1. I hope that they come up with something more original than a standard bracket tournament. If they wanted to stretch it out over the summer they could have done a Bound for Glory series type of a competition. Then have the winner of that face a recovered and returning Punk for the championship.

    I could see Wardlow winning the battle royal; I have no problem with him but lately his in-ring work has started to remind me of a poor man’s Brock Lesnar.

    • My guess is that the winner of the Moxley vs. battle royal winner match will face Hiroshi Tanahashi for the interim title. Total speculation, but I wonder if they need NJPW to sign off on the new plan. That would explain the lack of info regarding what they have in mind for the title at the the Forbidden Door event.

    • By the way, the Bound For Glory Series was inspired by the NJPW G1 Tournament.

  2. I wish impact would bring back the bound for glory series and allow guest wrestlers to compete in it..
    My guess is it is going to be Jericho vs Tanahashi for the AEW title in a rematch of wrestlekingdom 2020….
    I like many felt something was wrong when CM PUNK won the AEW title..Just a feeling of dread…

  3. Damn before he got injured he was on top of his game better than ever. Hopefully his inury recovery goes well and we see him back in time for all out.

  4. I mention this last week in a comment and I will say it again. Strike while the iron is hot and put the strap on Wardlow. He LOOKS like a champion and they have enough talented guys (Danielson Mox etc) who could lead him to some decent matches

    The punk experiment has failed so move on. He really looks poor in the ring and “Happy Punk” is just so dull. Never should have given him the title to start with but this is a good opportunity for a reset

  5. “The punk experiment has failed” makes no sense given Punk’s consistent reactions from audiences. People even cheered for him over Page at times, and it was 60-40 Punk at DON.

  6. The punk experiment has failed? Lol.

  7. Punk hasn’t moved the ratings needle AT ALL. His character is dull. He hasn’t cut a good promo after the first night

    “Getting a reaction” is an immeasurable and totally overrated argument. The AEW fans are super enthusiastic. Almost everyone “gets a good reaction” (this isn’t an insult but speaks to the passion of the AEW fans). Even AEW fanboys will admit his in ring work has been below the average in AEW – he looks a whole lot more like Jeff Hardy than Bryan Danielson

    I don’t know his merch sales numbers but I’m willing to bet after the initial spike he isn’t selling more shirts than anyone else (again this is a guess not a fact)

    I would compare Punks AEW run to be similar to Edges WWE comeback. It was exciting at first but over time fell a little flat. Another comparison might be Roddy Pipers late career WCW run

    I certainly don’t want to see anyone hurt but this injury might be a long term win. They can crown a new champ. Punk can heal up. Stars always get a boost when then come back from injury.

    But the idea of building AEW around world champ Punk was typical “F-ing mark” Tony Kahn crap

    • Listen to the Tony Khan media scrum and replace Eric Bischoff’s name with your own. Warning, he’s going to cuss you out! I’m not saying Khan is right and you are wrong, but he did address the notion that Punk has been a failure. He pointed to company growth since Punk arrived. That could be due to Punk, it may simply be a case of a growing company that would have done those numbers without Punk. I guess we’ll never know, but he’s very adamant that Punk has been big for them.

      I will say that I think there are/were plenty of interesting matches with Punk as champion. I just shake my head at the fact that we haven’t seen him interact with Bryan Danielson and Samoa Joe given their history. Someone on here defended it as a case of AEW showing discipline and that’s one way to look at it. I’m a little more understanding of Punk and Joe not crossing paths yet because Joe hasn’t been in AEW that long. We should have seen something with Punk and Bryan. I’m not saying they should have rushed to a match, but how have we not seen their characters at least interact for a moment? Heck, I would have reestablished their storyline friendship by having them team together at least once by now. You can always do the split later.

      Anyway, Punk has interesting potential challengers in Danielson, Joe, Moxley, Wardlow (who destroyed him before Punk snuck out a win), MJF, Malakai Black, a Darby rematch, etc. I think we’ll eventually get back to some of those matches once Punk is healthy, so I suppose we’ll eventually find out how successful those matches will be.

  8. And about the AEW fans; passion for a product is fine but there is an overzealous element of them marking out for marking out’s sake. Watching an fan created version of the entire MJF promo at the point where MJF brought up ex-WWE the fans in the area began gasping, ooohing, and aaahing. “OH, he said WWE”

    Come on, bringing up WWE in this day and age is not that big of a deal, and ironically that the type of thing MJF was referring to when he was calling them a bunch of marks.

    Maybe if MJF worked in a name-dropping and promoting of somebody that Tony Khan doesn’t care for such as Hulk Hogan (That would legit piss Khan off) or more controversially (and not recommended) measured the “untrained” guys wrestling skills against somebody like Chris Benoit that would have been an “oh, crap” kind of a moment. But just merely mentioning WWE with how all wrestling companies are struggling to get viewership, not a big deal.

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