CM Punk to Undergo Surgery on Undisclosed Injury; AEW Will Name Interim World Champ
Just days after winning the AEW World Championship, CM Punk announced Friday on Rampage he'll have to take time away from the company to undergo surgery on an undisclosed injury.
Punk, 43, confirmed he's planning to eventually return and "prove exactly why I'm the best in the world":
ESPN's Marc Raimondi reported AEW will crown an interim champion while the Chicago native is on the mend. A battle royal will be held Wednesday on Dynamite for a shot to face Jon Moxley for one of the spots in the main event at the Forbidden Door pay-per-view on June 26, where the interim belt will be up for grabs.
It's a disappointing turn of events for Punk, who made his long-awaited return to wrestling last August and put together entertaining feuds with the likes of MJF and Darby Allin before getting a shot at the company's top title.
He was likely set for an extended run as AEW world champion, as each of the first four title-holders—Chris Jericho, Moxley, Kenny Omega and "Hangman" Adam Page—held the belt for at least six months.
Given that, he'll probably be the heavy favorite to win the unification match upon his return and embark on his expected title run.
Punk didn't provide information about his recovery timetable, likely in order to retain the surprise element for his eventual comeback.
Meanwhile, the good news for AEW is its roster features plenty of depth, giving the company ample options to carry the load while Punk is rehabbing.
Along with Moxley, it wouldn't be a surprise if MJF is thrown into the mix, as his current anti-establishment storyline is gaining serious traction. Wardlow, who defeated MJF at Double or Nothing, is also a star on the rise.
The biggest question is whether AEW would prefer to go with a more established option like Mox or use this opportunity to elevate a new face to the top of the card.
It'll be intriguing to watch the situation play out leading up to Forbidden Door later this month.Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).