It’s Conspiracy Time: Something Was Up With CM Punk’s Shoes On AEW Rampage

Now that we've had time to come down from the emotional high, let's get to the wild speculation

CM Punk‘s return to wrestling in the opening segment of this Friday’s episode of AEW Rampage was emotional and perfectly executed. The promotional strategy of heavily teasing his arrival but not outright announcing it had wrestling fans buzzing the whole day leading up to the show, and Punk entering the United Center to the reception of an excited, joyful crowd is sure to go down as an all-time wrestling moment. Punk’s return has been the talk of the wrestling internet for the past few days, but one small, mysterious detail of it seems to have been overlooked.

In the official photos from this episode of Rampage, which were taken by Lee Havlik, the letters “AC” can be clearly seen written on the sole of one of Punk’s Vans, as pictured above.

It’s not easy to make out this writing in the Rampage segment even if you’re looking for it, but about four minutes into this video, pairs of letters on both of Punk’s shoes can be seen as he turns and walks to put his jacket in the corner. In the screencap below, you can see that the letters on the other shoe are “CF.”


You can also see the “CF” if you zoom in on this official AEW photo:

from AEW, with “computer, enhance!” work by Colette Arrand

Wrestlers putting tributes and easter eggs on their gear isn’t uncommon, with some, like Malakai Black, getting really in-depth with it. We know Punk likes to incorporate inside jokes and references into his work, so could these initials be more of those? Could they even be tiny teasers for his upcoming AEW activity?

Speculation among Fanfyte contributors has already led to the creation of a few theories. Our fearless editor Colette Arrand thinks that “AC” could stand for Adam Cole, who is heavily rumored to be AEW-bound after his WWE contract expires. Robert Newsome thinks that “CF” might be related to Charlotte Flair, who, yes, just became Raw Women’s Champion, but her fiance Andrade is in AEW and her dad just left WWE and was in Andrade’s corner during his AAA match against Kenny Omega. But those are just our theories! Put on your tinfoil hats and throw yours in the pile.


Emily Pratt

Emily Pratt is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. She used to study, write about, and make theater. Now she writes a lot about pro wrestling. Pratt is a regular contributor for Fanbyte, with other bylines at Uproxx, Deadlock, Mind Games, Orange Crush, and FanSided WWE.

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