This week on AEW Dynamite, Tony Khan confirmed that the first episode of AEW Collision on Saturday, June 17th on TNT, emanating from Chicago's United Center, will feature the return of CM Punk. It's the first time in nine months that Punk will be on AEW television.
While no official matches have been announced for Punk yet, I couldn't help but let my mind wander on who I personally would want Punk to wrestle now that he's back. There are a few AEW match-ups that I am absolutely salivating for.
I should mention, I did not include Kenny Omega or The Young Bucks on this list, because obviously, who wouldn't want to see that match, but as of right now, it doesn't seem like it's happening. So here are some matches that actually have a chance of happening (and one match that would just be very funny).
vs. Samoa Joe
This one has the best chance of happening, and based on teases from Joe himself, it might even happen within the first few weeks of the show. Punk and Joe have a long, storied rivalry in Ring of Honor going back 20 years, with one of the matches in their trilogy considered a five-star classic by Dave Meltzer. Yet, they never interacted in WWE or during Punk's previous run in AEW. It's time to give the people what they want, which could lead to big ratings in the first few weeks of the show.
vs. Bryan Danielson
Another classic feud in both Ring of Honor and WWE, and a match that is absolutely worth revisiting. The two were famously world champions at the same time in WWE and their careers evolved to different paths, so it would be interesting to see what the modern version of this match-up would look like.
Arguably, Hook would not be as over as he is today if it wasn't for CM Punk saying "Send Hook" early in Hook's AEW arc. But the two never actually appeared in the ring together, at least not during a proper AEW broadcast. Punk and Hook briefly interacted after cameras stopped rolling at an AEW taping last year, and the crowd ate it up. Let's see a full match!
vs. Kazuchika Okada
We did get a brief tease of the possibility of a Tanahashi vs. CM Punk match last year at Forbidden Door before Punk suffered a bad injury, but the New Japan star I really want to see get in the ring with Punk is Okada. I feel like these two would have great chemistry and I'm getting goosebumps thinking about all the counters of the Go2Sleep to the Rainmaker and back again.
vs. Rey Fenix
I am in the Rey Fenix fan club and think he's one of the most underrated stars in AEW. It would be cool to see Punk in the ring with all the AEW luchadors like Kommander, Bandido, and Vikingo. He had an awesome match with Penta last year, and that's why I think Fenix would be the right guy for the gig. Again, Fenix rope walk, pulled into a Go2Sleep, let's go!
vs. Glenn Danzig
Okay, this one is a bit silly, but imagine what a match it would be. We've seen a lot of celebrities have success in the ring lately from Logan Paul to Bad Bunny, and Danzig is a die-hard wrestling fan, and I'm sure if you ask Danzig he would say he's a much tougher guy than Logan Paul or Bad Bunny. Get in the ring, Danzig. Show Punk what ya got!
What's on TV this weekend?
WWE Smackdown is on Fox tonight at 8pm and it's a big show:
- Roman Reigns celebrates 1,000 days as Undisputed WWE Universal Champion
- Montez Ford vs. LA Knight
- Zelina Vega vs. Lacey Evans
AEW Rampage has a loaded lineup for their 10pm show on TNT as well:
- AAA Mega Champion El Hijo del Vikingo defends against Dralistico and Komander in a three-way
- ROH TV Champion Katsuyori Shibata defends against Lee Moriarty
- NJPW Strong Women's Champion Willow Nightingale defends against Emi Sakura
- NJPW TV Champion Zack Sabre Jr. defends against Action Andretti
NWA has their big Crocket Cup weekend this Saturday, June 2nd and Sunday June 3rd on FITE.
- NWA National Heavyweight Championship: EC3 vs. Thrillbilly Silas Mason
- Hardcore Team War: La Rosa Negra, Samantha Starr, and M95 vs. Pretty Empowered (Kenzie Paige, Kylie Paige, Ella Envy & Roxy)
- Crockett Cup Qualifier: Daisy Kill and Talos vs. The Miserably Faithful vs. Eric Jackson and Jeremiah Plunkett
- Crockett Cup Tag Team Tournament
- NWA World Women’s Championship Match: Kamille vs. Natalia Markova.
- Crockett Cup Finals: Competitors TBD
- NWA World Women’s Television Championship: Kenzie Paige (c) vs. TBA (Pre-Show)
- Six-Man Scramble For NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship Match: Participants TBA
New Japan has their big Summer event, Dominion this Sunday morning at 3am eastern on NJPWWorld. Here's the card:
- IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: SANADA defends against Yota Tsuji
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi defends against BOSJ winner Master Wato
- NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championship: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomohiro Ishii defend against Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Shota Umino
- NEVER Openweight Championship: David Finlay defends against El Phantasmo
- Bishamon (Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. House of Torture (EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi) for the vacant IWGP Tag Team & NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Championships
- NJPW World TV Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. defends against Jeff Cobb
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: KUSHIDA & Kevin Knight defend against TJP & Francesco Akira
- Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & Titan vs. Taichi, TAKA Michinoku, DOUKI & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- IWGP US title number one contender's tournament finals: Will Ospreay vs. Lance Archer
- Dark match: Young Lion gauntlet -- Oskar Leube vs. Ryohei Oiwa, Boltin Oleg & Yuto Nakashima
Squared Circle Pit - WWE Night of Champions / AEW Double or Nothing Weekend Review
Host Rob Pasbani is flying solo this week with a full review of both major weekend events, WWE Night of Champions and AEW Double or Nothing, going through all the matches and the positives and negatives of both shows. Ultimately, Double or Nothing was Rob's least favorite AEW PPV in their five year history. Listen as he explains why.
Wrestling News from Around the Internet
Sami Zayn was on After the Bell this week talking about last weekend's Night of Champions and the insane reaction he got from the Saudi crowd. "I'm Arabic, I'm Muslim, all this stuff and that's my part of the world. I understand those people, those are my people. When I went there, I got to go to Mecca, which was just a surreal, surreal experience. And then I also saw my Uncles that I hadn't seen in 25 years, I had cousins I hadn't seen in 25 years. I met my Great Uncle I didn't even know who existed. So, it was pretty heavy in a lot of ways, it had a lot of weight. And then the actual event itself and the reception from the audience, it's kind of what I've been waiting for for a while in a way because, again, I always felt I would have been the natural representative for those shows and I just wasn't. So, it was good to finally be put in that position."
Fightful reports there is a rumor that Roman Reigns might unveil a new Universal Championship tonight as part of his 1,000 day celebration.
The Wrestling Observer reports CM Punk and his confidant, Ace Steel will be heavily involved in the booking of Collision, mainly Punk's program, as is to be expected.
Braun Strowman revealed he had neck fusion surgery and thanked WWE for getting him the best care. "Road to recovery starts now!!!! Level one #fusion on my c4/c5 #vertebrae was in the great hands of #DrCordover at @andrews_sports_medicine was a great experience considering. Thank you to @wwe for always taking the up most care of us. This was very scary to find out about having to have done and they were there every step of the way reassuring that I was going to have the best care possible. This will take a little bit of time to heal from. But I assure you ( in the words of the #Terminator ) I’ll be back!!!! Thank you all in advance for the well wishes."
The Wrestling Observer is reporting that Nick Jackson's infamous exploding superkick spot required him to get a Nevada State Fire Performers license due to state regulations. He came up with the move about a month before the show.
The Observer also reports PAC is recovering from the nose surgery he needed after the best of seven series and should be back soon.
Ricky Starks had some interesting comments on the concept of the Four Pillars on The Corner Podcast saying "I actually hate the idea of pillars. I loathe the idea of a pillar because one, it's a full gimmick and it came from one guy. There's nothing behind it. To say that these four dudes are the pillars of the company, do you know what you are doing by saying that? F everybody else who did anything, those people don't matter, it's these three guys that we deem, 'I have bestowed this sacred title upon thee and I want you to for forth and do with it..' No, I don't believe in that. It's a very sweet gesture to say Ricky should be considered a fifth pillar, baby, I don't need to be a pillar, ok? I can be a foundation, I can be the roof, I can be the person outside maintaining the lawn. I don't need none of that because to me that's a box within itself. To say that these four guys are the ones that are going to make or break it, let's see the numbers. Y'all want to talk about ratings? Let's see the ratings for y'all, huh? Let's see how much money y'all make if y'all want to keep bringing up all this BS, let's see it, pen to paper. How are the quarterly hours doing when y'all are on TV? Let's see it. I don't even like the conversation. I don't even want to be included, keep me away from that. I don't want that. I don't want to be considered a pillar, this ain't All Japan. I bet I tell Max to his face you don't know nothing about All Japan."
Pat McAfee told SI Media podcast that he's still regularly in touch with WWE about a return. "Myself, Michael Cole, Nick Khan, Kevin Dunn, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Vincent Kennedy McMahon, we're all still very much in contact with each other." He added "My relationship with the WWE, I don't want to say stronger than it's ever been, but actually stronger than it's ever been and we are all very much talking about how I get back in the Universe because I love it. We talked about this earlier, I love it, I think I'm good at it, I think I'm supposed to be in there, I understand why people are doing things, I think that's why commentating was a good spot for me alongside Michael Cole, the greatest of all time. Getting to get stunned by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. I lived out dream after dream after dream over there, I love that place, our relationship is very strong. We're working, we're all trying to figure it out.
Alexa Bliss revelead to The Messenger that she has time added on her contract. "WWE gave me time off for