Following his tumultuous exit from All Elite Wrestling (AEW) after a backstage incident involving Jack Perry, CM Punk finds himself at a career crossroads.
While a WWE return seems off the cards, Punk’s name is still hot in the wrestling community, with Impact Wrestling and the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) showing interest.
However, it’s the potential involvement of a major Japanese company, New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), that’s garnering significant attention.
NJPW’s Openness to Punk
In a recent interview with Fightful, Rocky Romero, a key figure in NJPW and AEW, discussed the possibility of big names, including CM Punk, appearing in NJPW.
Romero highlighted the missed opportunities for crossovers during Punk’s time with AEW, notably a proposed match between Punk and Hiroshi Tanahashi that never materialised: “We didn’t really get to do many crossovers when Punk was with AEW. There was supposed to be that Tanahashi-Punk match that never happened.
“I think Punk coming and doing a Wrestle Kingdom or a big show like that could be great for our [NJPW’s] product. Obviously, getting fresh eyes and everything that he brings to it, as well as the ,erchandise and everything else. So, I wouldn’t be opposed to it at all.”
The AEW-NJPW Connection
NJPW maintains a working relationship with AEW, co-promoting events and featuring dream matches. This collaboration has seen the likes of Kazuchika Okada and Bryan Danielson crossing paths in both promotions, at least they will for New Japan at Wrestle Kingdom in 2024.
Given Punk’s somewhat controversial departure from AEW, questions arise about AEW President Tony Khan’s stance on NJPW working with Punk.
Romero, familiar with Khan’s perspective, believes that while Khan doesn’t have a say in NJPW’s decisions, he would likely be receptive to the idea, maintaining the cordial relationship between the two promotions.
CM Punk: Potential Impact and Opportunities
CM Punk’s entry into NJPW could be a game-changer for both him and the promotion. Known for his charisma and in-ring prowess, Punk could bring a new level of excitement to NJPW’s already rich wrestling culture.
His matches in AEW were well-received, and there’s a strong belief that he still has much to offer in the ring.
While his participation in AEW-NJPW crossover events like Forbidden Door seems unlikely, the world of wrestling has seen stranger things happen.
- What is the current status of CM Punk in professional wrestling? CM Punk is currently a free agent following his departure from AEW, with speculation about his next move.
- Which major Japanese company is reportedly open to working with CM Punk? New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) is supposedly open to bringing Punk into the fold.
- Has CM Punk been involved with NJPW before? No, CM Punk has not previously wrestled for NJPW, though there were plans for a match that never materialised during his time in AEW.
- What impact could CM Punk have in NJPW? CM Punk could bring his star power, in-ring skills, and commercial appeal to NJPW, potentially attracting new audiences and creating memorable matches.
- Is a return to WWE on the cards for CM Punk? As of now, a return to WWE does not appear to be an option for CM Punk.
- What is the relationship between AEW and NJPW? AEW and NJPW maintain a working relationship, co-promoting events and featuring wrestlers from both promotions in crossover matches.