AEW World Champion CM Punk Injured, Requires Surgery

Tonight on AEW Rampage, a tearful CM Punk announced that he is injured and needs surgery.

When CM Punk tweeted earlier today that he had “an important announcement in regards to the @aew world championship, and my career,” it was easy to assume the worst.

Fightful‘s Sean Ross Sapp tweeted that, on Wednesday, Punk complained that his foot was hurt, and, in an emotional speech on Dynamite, he confirmed that, stating that while his wheels hadn’t fallen off yet, one was busted, which requires surgery.

The immediate question, beyond a timetable for Punk’s return (which was not given), was what to do about the AEW World Championship he had won just this past Sunday at Double or Nothing.

In his address, Punk said that he told AEW owner Tony Khan that he didn’t want to hold the title up and offered to relinquish it, citing Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley as examples of people who could carry the title — and the company — in his absence.

Instead of launching a tournament to crown a new champion (which would have courted boredom given that AEW just ran two tournaments), a battle royal will be held on Dynamite to determine an opponent for number one contender Jon Moxley to crown an interim champion at Forbidden Door. Punk’s previously announced match against Hiroshi Tanahashi at Forbidden Door this month in Punk’s hometown of Chicago, Illinois may not happen.

These are unfortunate circumstances, but the silver lining is that there is that there is an immediate marquee match between the two AEW Champions upon CM Punk’s return, one with a clear angle: can a CM Punk returning from injury defeat a white hot champion who will have had longer than a week with the championship?

CM Punk looked devastated during his address, and it’s not hard to understand why. He returned to wrestling last August after seven years away from the business, looking rejuvenated and freshly in love with a sport he had bitterly left.

His run in AEW is arguably the best of his career, with his matches against Darby Allin, MJF, and Eddie Kingston standing out against a slew of good to great TV showings.

CM Punk has worn his emotions on his sleeve the entire time, and tonight was no different. He had tears in his eyes when speaking about wanting to be home with his wife and dog, and told the crowd that the one thing he never wanted to do was let the fans down.

Given the live reaction and Khan’s show of faith in him, it’s reasonable to expect a lot of patience for his recovery, and that, when it’s time, he’ll come back with the same intensity of his return to action.

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