CM Punk made his big return to pro wrestling and fans all over celebrated that moment. It took seven years for CM Punk to make his way back to a pro wrestling company, and he was careful when making that decision.
Tony Khan revealed during a discussion with Wrestling Observer Radio that he was talking to CM Punk for “a really long time.” Punk had no interest in taking a chance on AEW when they were a startup company, but they were obviously able to prove to him that they’re not going away after signing their television extension.
“We’ve been talking a really long time, and a few years ago, it just wasn’t the right time. I think he wanted to see how this thing went. He wasn’t ready to come back to wrestling, especially not for a startup company. Now we’re long past the startup phase. It’s been really successful. We signed a big TV extension and I think once we got the extension and it looked like we were going to be in place for a while, it probably made the company look a lot more like a stable option for CM Punk, honestly.”
Chris Jericho also credited that television contract extension as the moment the Wednesday Night Wars actually ended. WWE wanted to stomp out AEW before they gained momentum, but it was too late. The Wednesday Night wars are over now, but they have CM Punk and seem to be in a much better position as a company with a lot of longevity.
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