CM Punk is in AEW for the long haul.
In a post-Rampage media scrum, Punk and AEW president Tony Khan would not disclose the details of Punk’s AEW contract, but Khan said that the deal “…isn’t a short-term thing or a part-time thing. This is full-time and we’re very excited.”
“Just know that I’m here, it’s not a short-term thing and I’m here to help anyone that wants help,” Punk said.
Punk also stated that his talks with Khan for a return to wrestling go back about a year and a half. According to Khan, there was no real consideration given to bringing Punk in without fans in attendance, so they had plenty of time to discuss the matter.
Punk jokingly blamed Renee Paquette for his return, saying that her encouragement led to him doing WWE Backstage on FS1. Punk said that the timing of his comeback was more about his being open to returning than AEW having anything to prove, and that he did Backstage to get his feet wet.
As for what his AEW role will be, Punk said that he is sure he will do some of everything, from wrestling to commentary. He said that his deal allows him to continue doing MMA commentary and outside projects. He said that ultimately he sees his role as similar to the one that Terry Funk, Eddie Guerrero, Harley Race and Tracy Smothers played in his career, as someone who gives back.
Punk listed The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Ricky Starks, Will Hobbs, Jungle Boy and Jon Moxley as potential future opponents, and also joked that who knows who else might join the company soon. He said that it was Khan’s idea for his program with Darby Allin, that Allin would be his favorite wrestler if he were a teenager and that he does not want to take the brunt of Allin’s suicide dive.
As to the possibility of stepping through the Forbidden Door, Punk did not give a definitive statement. “I’m an AEW guy,” said Punk. But he also stated that if Khan wanted him to go work NJPW’s G1 for example, they would talk about it.
H/t to Fightful, Sean Ross Sapp and ESPN’s Marc Raimondi for notes from the scrum and transcription.