Tony Khan was SiriusXM’s Busted Open Radio this morning and without saying his name, it sounded like Khan was confirming that fans would see CM Punk tonight.
Khan said, “it’s great to be able to have those possibilities and not to have everything spoiled for you. But on the other hand, I think everybody has a pretty good idea what to expect tonight. I don’t like to let people down. I have no plans to disappoint anybody tonight. I think people are gonna be very happy with what they see. They’ve been waiting to see this for a long time. Finally, at The First Dance, I think we’re gonna satisfy a lot of people and make a lot and make a lot of wrestling fans really happy. And we’re gonna make some new fans. They’re gonna be people who are gonna read about what happened tonight and they’re gonna want to check out AEW and that is exactly the reaction we’re looking for.”
Khan also said that tonight’s show will have a different format. Khan said the following:
“The format of tonight’s show will be very different. It’s gonna be different than last week’s Rampage and really different than most Rampage’s. I think for an average Friday night, it’s gonna be a great wrestling show every Friday on Rampage. I would expect the format [for regular Rampage shows] to be more similar to what we did in the premiere episode than what we do tonight. I think tonight’s episode will be a very a-typical format. It’s gonna be unusual but it’s also gonna be the biggest surprise we ever delivered and that’s why it necessitates a very different format than we’ve done for just a standard wrestling card. We also unlocked something that going forward is gonna be a tremendous way to present Rampage on Friday nights. Even though tonight’s show is gonna be a little bit different from last week’s, really what we will be doing going forward I think its a very important show we’re doing tonight and I’m very excited about the buzz and all of the momentum the company has right now.”
For weeks, there have been subtle teases about Punk coming in. MJF recently cut a promo that paraphrases the beginning of Punk’s pipebomb promo from 2011. Kenny Omega has been seen wearing Cookie Monster and Chick Magnet (CM) shirts on Dynamite and the biggest tease was Darby Allin’s “Best in the World” reference during a promo. If you missed it, click here to see some of the Punk references over the last few weeks.
AEW Rampage at the United Center in Chicago will be the largest attended event in company history. The show will air live at 10 pm eastern tonight on TNT.
In addition to Punk’s AEW debut, the following matches are set for tonight’s show:
Jon Moxley vs. Daniel Garcia
AEW World Tag Team Title Eliminator
Private Party vs. Jurassic Express
Jade Cargill vs. Kiera Hogan