When it comes to CM Punk and Chicago, it seems WWE and its employees just can’t help themselves.
On the Money in the Bank pre show, Booker T took it upon himself to throw shade at the former Best in the World for his UFC loss saying, “Look, we saw CM Punk try to run in the UFC trying to take over, that boy got the breaks beat off him just a couple weeks ago.” Later, during the entrances for the men’s ladder match, Aiden English too seemingly channeled/trolled CM Punk, even if it wasn’t intentional.
As he normally does, Aiden English came out to introduce Rusev, but this time he did so with his back first facing the audience, giving the Chicago crowd a chance to take in his attire. The word “Rusev” was written above four six pointed stars and the word “Day” below, both written in block lettering. If that sort of design sounds familiar, it’s because whether intentional or not, it’s incredibly similar to Punk’s “Best in the World” t-shirt design which featured the same star pattern and typeface.
English first teased his attire, which he called a “Rusev Day surprise” on Instagram a few days ago. A few fans seemed to make the connection to Punk while others simply observed that the stars were representative of Chicago’s flag which features four red six-pointed stars, each of which symbolize a significant event in the city’s history. In that regard, both groups of fans were right because English’s vest was a homage to Punk’s shirt, which in and of itself was designed to have that familiar look to the Chicago flag.
Before he began his rap, English, a native Chicagoan himself was referred to by Corey Graves with one of Punk’s old nicknames, that of “Chicago’s favorite son.” English turned around to reveal two sets of numbers on the front of his vest, “312” and “708.” 312 is the area code for downtown Chicago and 708 is an area code for the surrounding areas of Cook County and Will County. On his pants, English had the names of several other districts including Boystown, Humboldt and Park.
While Money in the Bank was brought onto the air with early chants for Punk as well as some that could be heard unsurprisingly during the Roman Reigns/Jinder Mahal match, during English’s entrance, not one of those chants could be heard. Despite the parallels in attire, fans were only chanting one thing and one name and that was “Rusev Day.”
English also invoked Chicago in his rap by changing the words to the “Go Cubs Go” song to instead say “Hey Chicago what do ya say, Rusev (the Cubs) is (are) gonna win today,” which received a huge pop from the hometown crowd.
It was clear that both English and Rusev were treated like the “Best in the World” on this Rusev Day, even if the duo was unsuccessful in capturing the Money in the Bank contract.