Who Will Be CM Punk’s First AEW Opponent: Allin, Bryan, Jericho?

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All-Elite-CM-Punk

For the last seven years, pro wrestling fans have been begging to see CM Punk return to the squared circle. In fact, fans have gone as far as to hijack live wrestling events with CM Punk chants that drowned out promos and matches.

This hijacking has occurred numerous times in the WWE over the last half dozen years or so. In fact, it just happened again on the August 2nd episode of WWE RAW that emanated from Chicago which is the home of CM Punk.

Since 2014, a desperate cry for Punk’s return seemed more of a pipe dream than a reality. Yet, that all changed in July when news broke that CM Punk is reportedly heading to AEW. That development came at the same time that reports surfaced over Daniel Bryan signing with AEW.

Of course, neither rumored Punk or Bryan signings have been officially confirmed by All Elite Wrestling. However, the most reputable pro wrestling pundits and even high officials within the WWE believe that Punk and Bryan are both heading to AEW.

Further evidence of Punk’s return to pro wrestling was seen on the July 29th episode of AEW Dynamite when the company announced that they will be holding a live episode of Rampage on Friday, August 20th, from the United Center in Chicago.

This is a big development as AEW is holding the show in an NBA/NHL arena and not a mid-size venue like they normally do for their TV events. Furthermore, they already have three shows booked for Chicago in the beginning of September including Rampage and a PPV.

If that wasn’t enough to convince you that Punk is All Elite, Darby Allin’s promo that immediately followed the Rampage Chicago announcement should quiet all doubters and conspiracy theorists.

On the August 4th episode of AEW Dynamite, a backstage segment with The Elite saw world champ Kenny Omega wear a cookie monster shirt. There’s a notable interview from the past where Punk said that CM stood for cookie monster. Also, the announcers referenced “best in the world” again.

With that in mind, AEW betting sites have released an intriguing prop bet examining who Punk’s first official opponent will be in All Elite Wrestling. Let’s drop a pipe bomb on this AEW wager and make some “best in the world” predictions.

AEW Betting Odds

The following betting odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Darby Allin (+100)
  • Daniel Bryan (+200)
  • Christian Cage (+325)
  • Orange Cassidy (+600)
  • Matt Hardy (+700)
  • Chris Jericho (+800)
  • Cody Rhodes (+800)
  • Jungle Boy (+900)
  • Sting (+1000)

Darby Allin (+100)

Allin is at the top of this list due to his awesome promo following the August 20th Rampage announcement.

In his promo, Allin said the following:

“You know, I’ve been around a lot of men in this world that have laid claim to how they’re the greatest. There’s only one place to really prove that—right here in AEW—even if you think you are the best in the world.”

Longtime CM Punk fans know that before he left the WWE in 2014, his tagline was “the best in the world.”

When you combine Allin’s comments with the fact that AEW has booked a 4th Chicago show on short notice, there’s no doubt in my mind that CM Punk is coming.

But, is Allin really the best choice as Punk’s first official opponent?

Daniel Bryan (+200)

I’m really surprised that Daniel Bryan, real name Bryan Danielson, is listed this high as Punk’s first official opponent.

As exciting as it will be for these two in-ring greats to have a feud, that shouldn’t take place right when they both first show up.

This feud would be perfect one year from now after they both have elevated other wrestlers, competed in other big-time matches, and have helped put AEW on top of the wrestling world.

I would avoid this option!

Christian Cage (+325)

Christian would be an interesting choice as both he and Punk would certainly sell tickets just on their promos alone. With that in mind, it doesn’t make much sense in the ring at this point in time.

If anything, AEW would be better served having Christian turn heel first and then feud Punk and Bryan. The best way to turn Christian heel is by having him turn on Jungle Boy.

The ingredients are there for a great heel swerve. Christian and Jungle Boy have been linked in storylines and teaming together in matches.

Ultimately, a heel turn for Christian would be best for his character as he’s not going to rise to the top as a face. However, as a dastardly heel who turned on the beloved Jungle Boy, Christian could become even more over with AEW fans.

Without going further down this rabbit hole, you can avoid Punk and Christian feuding in the near future.

Orange Cassidy (+600)

A feud between Orange Cassidy and CM Punk would be highly entertaining. However, it’s a money making feud that doesn’t make sense right now.

Orange Cassidy needs to remain at his level on the food chain and in storylines that lead to him winning. A feud with CM Punk would knock him down a peg or two and it’s unnecessary as Punk needs a feud with a heel that could really benefit from the rub.

Matt Hardy (+700)

Matt Hardy doesn’t need the rub and doesn’t make sense as Punk’s first real opponent. We’ve already seen him feud with Christian and that didn’t move the needle much.

Hardy’s best work is coming as a manager of the Hardy Family Office. Unfortunately, there’s nobody in his faction that’s worthy of a match with Punk at this point in time.

Avoid Hardy for this wager.

Chris Jericho (+800)

If Chris Jericho wasn’t already involved in an important storyline with MJF, he would be a great choice as the first opponent for CM Punk. The two have had a very high-profile feud in the past and it still resonates with wrestling fans today.

Wouldn’t it be great if MJF brought in Punk as one of the five labors of Jericho?

The timing would be perfect as it could end up being the 5th labor. Furthermore, it could ignite a feud between Punk and Jericho while also saving MJF vs Jericho for another time.

Unfortunately, I don’t see it happening.

Cody Rhodes (+800)

I also don’t see Cody Rhodes taking on CM Punk in the near future. Rhodes is already locked into a storyline with Malakai Black which should result in Black going over. Plus, Rhodes will be taking time off after this storyline to go film his game show.

And, as we just saw on the August 4th episode of Dynamite, Rhodes flirted with announcing his retirement from wrestling only to have Black beat him with a crutch. That storyline will continue once Rhodes returns from his outside obligations.

Jungle Boy (+900)

As valuable as Jungle Boy is to the present and future of AEW, he makes zero sense as CM Punk’s first official opponent.

Instead, as I mentioned above, he makes perfect sense for a feud with Christian after the latter turns on him.

Sting (+1000)

Are we just fantasy booking here? Is BetOnline throwing out the only other name they know in AEW?

As cool as this would be to see, there’s no chance that it will happen right away, if ever. Sting will be very limited with any in-ring action. Plus, nobody in their right minds would think that he could beat CM Punk.

Other Potential Options

Unfortunately, BetOnline didn’t give us the “other” option for this CM Punk prop bet. If they did, I would choose it.

Any member of The Elite and The Good Brothers, other than Kenny Omega, would be solid options as the first opponent for CM Punk. Gallows has a history with Punk, which is a ready-made storyline right there.

But, my two favorite choices as CM Punk’s first official opponent would be Miro and Ricky Starks.

With Starks, a feud against CM Punk would truly elevate him in ways that the FTW title, Taz and Brian Cage cannot.

The storyline could be “the best in the world” vs the “F**k the world” champion. Starks could hold his own on the mic with Punk and he could also put on a great match as well.

Miro is a big name that would produce a big rivalry. Can you imagine if they feuded over the TNT title? That would definitely elevate the belt to an even higher level, if possible, and put Punk in the position to wrestle more often.

Furthermore, Punk would be one of the only wrestlers on the roster worthy of ending Miro’s dominant winning streak.

Outside of Miro and Starks, I also like Ethan Page as an opponent for Punk. Page is a very talented in-ring worker who also has the mic skills to hang with CM Punk in promos.

Pac would make for another great choice as an opponent for Punk. His in-ring work, tenacity and overall skillset could bring out the best in Punk’s in-ring arsenal.

Although this wouldn’t happen right away, can you imagine a feud between CM Punk and Jon Moxley? That’s a PPV main event waiting to happen!

Who Will CM Punk Wrestle First in AEW?

Although I would love to see Starks, Miro or Ethan Page take on CM Punk, it looks like Darby Allin will be the first man up.

We’ve seen Allin take a beating and his popularity continued to rise. A feud with CM Punk would certainly put him in the spotlight where he would shine even brighter. The promos, vignettes and matches would all be must-see TV.

Although Allin wouldn’t be my first choice, or even in my Top 10 choices, he’s definitely worthy of it. Furthermore, when it comes to this CM Punk bet no other listed option makes as much sense as Darby Allin does.

Who Will CM Punk Wrestle First in AEW? –Darby Allin (+100)
Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

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