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AEW World Champion CM Punk says his foot is “shattered,” and he’s re-learning how to walk.
Punk underwent surgery for a broken foot in early June, one week after winning the AEW title. He discussed the injury for the first time at the San Diego Comic-Con panel on Saturday, saying he’s in pain and has no timeline for a return.
OutKick’s Dr. Chao broke down’s Punk’s injury last month. Read his analysis here.
Though this was not the optimistic update fans had hoped to hear, AEW CEO Tony Khan provided a more positive outlook on Punk’s status.
“So, [Punk is] doing well. He’s not behind in his recovery,” Khan said at the post-show presser at Death Before Dishonor. “He’s doing well and on track, and we look forward to a great unification match when he’s back with whoever the Interim champion is.”
A reporter asked Khan if Punk would return by All Out on September 4, the AEW equivalent of WrestleMania.
“I can’t rule [All Out] out but I also can’t promise because I don’t want to say anything when it comes to somebody’s recovery from a real, serious injury,” Khan explained.
Not having Punk at All Out would be a blow to the business of the event. Punk is AEW’s leading attraction. The difference between him main eventing the show as champion vs. someone else will determine the number of PPVs the event sells.
The bad news is that his injury sounds worse than originally reported. The good news is that his return will spark the most successful period in AEW history.
Punk’s championship run should consist of a series of money matches. He will first — barring an unforeseen change in booking — face Interim AEW World Champion Jon Moxley in a unification match. If Punk can’t return by All Out, AEW would presumably book this program for the November PPV, Full Gear.
I’d expect Punk to beat Moxley to set up future championship headliners with Kenny Omega, who’s also out with injury, Bryan Danielson, who’s returning from injury this Wednesday, and up-and-coming stars like Wardlow, MJF, and Adam Cole.
Prediction: Punk drops the belt in 2023 to either Wardlow or Adam Page, whom he beat for the title.
I know — CM Punk shattering his foot ruined what would have been a great summer of matches.