The sportsbooks have spoken and it looks like in AEW, Darby Allin is the current favorite to face CM Punk in his first official wrestling match in seven years.
CM Punk. If you’re tired of hearing that name by now, I’m sorry. Because you’re going to be hearing it a lot more over the coming days, weeks, and months as Chicago’s favorite son prepares to return to the world of pro wrestling in AEW. Punk’s likely (almost definite) return to the ring has been the talk of the wrestling world and with good reason. In the history of wrestling, at least in recent memory, there will perhaps be no bigger return than Punk’s. When Cult of Personality hits in Chicago’s United Center on Friday night (presumably), wrestling as we know it may never be the same. Punk, for being gone for seven years, still has that kind of pull on the industry. At least his name does, and for that reason, there is no surprise that wrestlers on the AEW roster see money to be made by matching up against the ‘Best in the World’.
I see five guys that have potential. Hobbs, Darbs, Pillman, Starks, Jungle Boy. And that’s not to say there are others, but those guys stick out.
— player/coach (@CMPunk) February 12, 2021
But with Darby Allin, it is unlikely a money match is what drove his seeming call out of Punk when he referenced those needing to prove themselves in AEW, even those who consider themselves to be the ‘Best in the World’. Now, since that July 28th episode of Dynamite, both Punk and Allin have written off the challenge. Punk believes the reference could have been directed at anybody, but specifically sounded that something one would call Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson. Allin said it was neither wrestler and rather that he was calling out Sammy Guevara, who calls himself the best wrestler. Well, someone should tell Allin he doth protest too much and that best wrestler and best in the world are two completely different things. Especially when ‘Best in the World’ is a moniker that one CM Punk often referred to himself as. In fact, in AEW, there is only one other wrestler who could be likened to ‘Best in the World’ and that would be Chris Jericho, who often said, he was the “best in the world at what I do.”
Even still, Allin’s denial may need a little work as it would appear to anyone with eyes and ears, that he was indeed calling out Punk. And the sportsbooks seem to think the same. After Allin’s comments, betting odds opened pegging him and Bryan at +200 to be Punk’s first opponent. Now, those odds have been updated to reflect Allin all alone at the top as the most likely opponent for Punk in his AEW debut.
More teases 👀👀 pic.twitter.com/p35n2mJd78
— Fightful Wrestling (@Fightful) August 14, 2021
From one straight edge wrestler to another, Allin as Punk’s first opponent makes a lot of sense. For starters, Allin was on a shortlist of wrestlers Punk noted in February, that he would want to wrestle in AEW should the opportunity ever come to pass. He is also someone who Punk has heaped praise on recently saying that “I think Darby Allin’s great…Everybody in the wrestling world needs to never do a dive ever again because you can’t do it better than Darby.” Not to mention, in a recent Instagram post, which you can see above, Punk used the phrase “nothing’s over till you’re underground.” That phrase just so happens to be tattooed on Allin’s chest. It’s also his calling card of sorts as a Google search of the phrase doesn’t pull up song lyrics or a movie quote. Just mentions of Allin and merch he has the phrase on. So not exactly something that would be a coincidence for both men to use. Seems Punk has been doing his homework after all…
It should also be noted that Allin is currently paired with Sting and while Punk and Sting don’t have history, the idea of these two legends getting in the ring together to wrestle (Sting is actually 10th on the betting odds list of Punk’s first AEW opponents) or to exchange words is one that most wrestling fans would love. Of course, there are tons of AEW wrestlers fans would love to see match up with Punk as everyone’s “dream match” list no doubt exists, no matter how similar or different it may be to Punk’s own. The fact is, Punk is returning (we’re like 99.9 percent sure) to wrestling so really any match-up is a dream given no one ever thought we’d see the one-and-only ‘Best in the World’ in a ring ever again.
No matter who Punk’s first opponent is, the match is sure to be worthwhile and certainly will have all eyes on it. If Allin is in fact Punk’s first opponent, look for the two to put on a great show where presumably, Punk won’t do any dives.