CM Punk may be gone from AEW, but his legacy will live on through countless matches he had in Tony Khan’s promotion. Punk made his AEW debut at Rampage: The First Dance on August 20, 2021 and turned the wrestling world upside down.
He spent the next several months familiarizing himself with AEW’s fast-paced in-ring action through matches with Darby Allin and others. Punk’s AEW run saw him give many great performances against top names in the promotion.
These are his five best matches in AEW.
CM Punk vs. Dax Harwood (AEW Dynamite – March 23, 2022)
Dax Harwood loves CM Punk and has never been shy to express it. He also got a huge opportunity to work against his close friend during Punk’s first stint in AEW. They had a solid singles match against each other on the March 23, 2022 episode of Dynamite.
It wasn’t the fast-paced, high-flying action that All Elite Wrestling fans are used to seeing inside the ring. Punk versus Harwood was a solid display of old-school wrestling that put over in-ring psychology and acumen.
CMFTR & Ricky Starks vs. Bullet Club Gold & The Gunns (AEW Collision – June 24, 2023)
FTR always wanted to work with CM Punk as a tag team even before he joined AEW. The Second City Saint had gotten much closer to Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler during his first AEW stint. When Punk returned for Collision, he immediately reformed CMFTR with Harwood and Wheeler.
The trio brought Ricky Starks into the mix to take on Bullet Club Gold (Jay White, Juice Robinson and The Gunns) in a huge eight-man tag team match on AEW Collision. The match was a lot of fun and every competitor inside the ring was given the time to shine.
CM Punk vs. Eddie Kingston (AEW Full Gear 2021)
Eddie Kingston is one of the most intense performers in AEW. Few can match his energy inside the squared circle. Kington’s match against Punk at AEW Full Gear remains one of the highlights of both men’s career in Tony Khan’s promotion.
The match was extremely physical from the get-go. It didn’t have aerial spots or gravity-defying maneuvers. Punk versus Kingston at Full Gear was an all-out brawl between two competitors who wanted to prove they were better than the other.
CM Punk vs. Samoa Joe (AEW All In 2023)
CM Punk versus Samoa Joe is considered one of the greatest trilogies in Ring of Honor history. The matches between the two helped put the promotion on the map. When the two came face-to-face inside an AEW ring, the crowd erupted.
AEW did an incredible job continuing the historic rivalry between these two long-term rivals. After several multi-man matches that main evented Collision, Punk and Joe finally put a close to their historic rivalry with an incredible match at All In.
Not only the match paid homage to their previous encounters, it showed the two men knew each other extremely well even 18 years after their last meeting. Punk also brought back his Pepsi Plunge to finally defeat Samoa Joe, retaining his “Real” AEW World Championship in the process.
CM Punk vs. MJF (AEW Revolution 2022)
This match takes the top spot for being CM Punk’s best in AEW. The build to this match alone was better than anything AEW put out in 2022. Punk and MJF’s promo segments showed their incredible range on the mic.
Before Revolution, AEW tested the waters by pitting CM Punk and MJF against each other on free television. The current AEW World Champion cheated to win the match. Their next encounter took place under the infamous Dog Collar stipulation.
This was a blood bath and it showed their undying resolve to outlast each other. From Punk’s amazing entrance to the brutal in-ring action, Punk versus MJF at All Out was a fitting conclusion to the critically acclaimed program between two proud performers.