AEW Wanted Former WWE Champion Before Signing Current Superstars, Report Claims
All Elite Wrestling (AEW) has been making waves since its emergence at the start of the year and the promotion has looked to sign many athletes that were formerly tied to the World Wrestling Entertainment. The company has added WWE legend Chris Jericho, Cody Rhodes and commentator Jim Ross to its roster.
Tony Khan, the founder of AEW, is looking to sign the best from across the wrestling world and reports suggest that former WWE champion CM Punk was high on his list when he was putting together the new pro-wrestling promotion. He wanted the 40-year-old to be his first pick, ahead of Jericho and Rhodes.
Punk, who has previously stated that he does not want anything to do with pro-wrestling, has been in the news lately after his reported wrestling appearance at an independent event in a masked avatar. He delivered his trade mark ‘Go To Sleep’ – GTS – move after entering through a side door but left the arena before revealing his true identity. After initial doubts, it was confirmed that the masked wrestler was indeed the former WWE champion, prompting talks about a potential return to the squared circle.
“[CM Punk] was Tony Khan’s first pick for AEW,” Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer said, as quoted on Wrestle Talk. “Before [Chris] Jericho, before the Young Bucks, before anyone. If he wants to wrestle, he can wrestle and make really good money, if that’s what he wants.”
AEW has shown that it is willing to sign proven talent, and with Khan being a big admirer, there is no doubt Punk would be offered a big payday to make a return to pro-wrestling.
After quitting WWE in 2014, Punk entered the mixed martial arts arena and competed in Dana White’s Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) promotion. But his switch did not go as planned after Punk lost both his fights in humiliating fashion. He has since stayed away from any sort of in-ring competition.
If AEW can entice Punk back into the squared circle, it will be a huge coup, as he was hugely popular in the WWE Universe. He stood up against the authority and even had major feuds with two of WWE biggest stars of the current generation — John Cena and Randy Orton.