CM Punk: I'm hurt, and I'm old, and I'm f*cking tired, and I work with f*cking children."

CM Punk in 2022

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With the year over, let’s take a lot at CM Punk and his year of 2022.

He began the year midway into a feud with MJF, which some lauded as one of the best storylines that AEW produced. I agree with much of the praise heaped upon this. The MJF/Punk promo duel will never be replicated in the business. This finally leads to some matches between them, after going through Wardlow and Shawn Spears.

On the February 2nd edition of Dynamite, CM Punk took his first loss, against MJF. Yes, MJF is the first person to beat Punk in AEW. It wasn’t clean, but MJF is a heel. Their rematch in AEW Revolution is in my view, the greatest match that AEW had this year if you separate ROH into its own category. That bloody brutal, yet psychological dog collar match is a must-watch. Punk won, and moved on into a feud with Adam Page.

Oh Boy… Punk & Page. Here we go…

CM Punk won at Double or Nothing. Everything started out so well, and ended so badly.
CM Punk won at Double or Nothing. Everything started so well and ended so badly.

This might be where the wheels started falling off in regards to Punk in AEW. From the outset, many perceived that Adam Page and Punk really didn’t like each other.

“You talk a big game about worker’s rights. You’ve shown the exact opposite since you’ve gotten here.” Adam Page promo to CM Punk’s face. Whether that was what Page meant or not, is irrelevant. Punk took it as a direct reference to the rumor that he asked Tony Khan to bury or even fire Colt Cabana.

CM Punk confirmed that the Adam Page promo had upset him deeply, at the media scrum.
CM Punk confirmed that the Adam Page promo had upset him deeply, at the media scrum.

CM Punk and Adam Page had their match at Double or Nothing. I enjoyed the match. Punk became the subject of ridicule when he made two attempts at the Buckshot Lariat and botched them both. However, he did win the AEW championship, ending Hangman’s reign.

Punk was the champion, but on the following Dynamite, he broke his foot. We were robbed of the Summer of Punk, and he had to step aside. He remained as champion for a while as Tony Khan set up a series of matches that lead to Moxley becoming the AEW Interim champion. That was it, the Summer of Punk was basically him sitting out the summer with an injury.

The dramatic return and departure of CM Punk

CM Punk: I'm hurt, and I'm old, and I'm f*cking tired, and I work with f*cking children."
CM Punk: I’m hurt, and I’m old, and I’m f*cking tired, and I work with f*cking children.”

CM Punk came back to much fanfare and a major rating boost, facing Jon Moxley for the AEW title to unify the belts. To the surprise of many, Punk lost and did so in a very short fashion. This led people to believe that Punk might still have an injured foot. That’s a theory that persists to this day among the “media scrum was a work” crowd.

At All Out, he was set to face Jon Moxley once more, and Punk won the title. MJF won the Poker chip. Everything seemed set up for a feud between MJF and Punk. That was not to be…

CM Punk at the media scrum cut a vicious promo on Colt Cabana, citing every way in which he was a bad friend. Talked about him sharing a bank account with his mother. He referred to Adam Page as “empty-headed” and scorned him for rejecting veteran advice. He said the EVPs couldn’t manage a target. All of this while Tony Khan made one of those “oh god, this is happening” faces.

After the media scrum, The Elite went to confront CM Punk, and a fistfight broke out. Some say the Elite kicked open the door, others do not. All agree that CM Punk through the first punch and knocked down a Young Buck. Ace Steele hit the other one with a chair and bit Kenny Omega. To say things went out of control is an Understatement. Everyone was suspended, and Ace Steele was fired.

What happens now?

2022 started great for CM Punk and everything went downhill. CM Punk is out with a Triceps injury, as well as possibly still being suspended. It’s not known if Punk will return to AEW. There have been rumors of a buyout, and even WWE return. Punk has appeared on commentary for some MMA events where he’s made a few jokes about being toxic in the locker room.

The Elite came back. Will CM Punk come back? He’s a two-time AEW champion, but he likely won’t be celebrated for it. CM Punk returned to wrestling with near-universal love. Now he appears to be one of the most hated wrestlers ever. The times, they sure changed. There are still CM Punk chants, but they aren’t the same type that happened after Punk walked out of WWE.

What lies next for CM Punk?

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