CM Punk is officially back in wrestling.
The industry’s worst-kept secret was made official as the 42-year-old former WWE champion made his All Elite Wrestling debut Friday night to open “AEW Rampage” at United Center in his hometown of Chicago.
It was the first appearance by Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, on a televised wrestling show since the 2014 WWE Royal Rumble. His first match will be September 5 against Darby Allin at “All Out” on pay-per-view back in Chicago.
“I look at it like this, August 13, 2005, I left professional wrestling, Punk told the raucous sold-out crowd. “August 20, 2021, I’m back. And I’m back for you. I’m not gonna lie, I’m back for me, too. I’m back because there’s a hell of a lot of young talent that I wished I was surrounded by 10 years ago.”
Promotions have tried to court Punk — a cult hero among fans — back to wrestling…