Now that he’s the AEW World Champion, what’s next for CM Punk?

On Sunday night at AEW Double or Nothing, CM Punk fulfilled what many felt was his destiny since he joined the promotion. His victory over Hangman Adam Page for the World Championship signaled a fresh start for All Elite Wrestling as we look towards the second half of 2022.

This is not a destination for the new AEW World Champion but just another step in his long and winding journey. He may have picked up some gold along the way, but now is when the hard work really begins.

There’s an old adage that says it’s easier to reach the top than it is to stay there. Having said that, it doesn’t seem like the Second City Saint’s reign will be a short one. He’s the company’s biggest star and most recognizable name, so Tony Khan will likely leave him at the top of the mountain for quite a while.

“I take great responsibility in holding that title. If I’m the face of AEW, then I’m the face of AEW & I’m going to do everything I possibly can to not just put more money in my pocket, but his (Tony Khan) pocket and everybody’s pockets”- CM Punk(via DoN Media Scrum)

With all due respect to Adam Page, seeing CM Punk‘s name at the top of the bill carried a lot more weight, so crowning him at Double or Nothing was somewhat of a no-brainer. And while The Hangman will more than likely receive a re-match, he’s possibly going to cool off from the title scene for a while.

What does AEW have in store now for its new world champion?

With a stocked roster that continues to grow, plenty of quality contenders will be lining up to face Punk.

It starts with names like Bryan Danielson, who the fans have been clamoring to see in the ring with Punk. Any confrontation between the two would most likely go down as a great feud in terms of professional wrestling history. The action in the ring between these two superior grapplers could potentially be off the charts.

Jon Moxley, Samoa Joe, and Adam Cole are all potential pay-per-view opponents for the AEW World Championship, and all could be five-star classics.

Given what appears to be a long-term working agreement between All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, the ‘forbidden door’ could also provide for some incredible clashes for the belt.

Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Will Ospreay were all name-dropped by Punk during the post-show press conference. Any one of them could possibly catch a flight to the US to try and take Punk down. That could also lead to some matches in The Land of the Rising Sun as well, which would be pretty interesting.

“We got Forbidden Door coming up, so, you know, to me focusing on that, I think Okada, Tanahashi, Ospreay, Guys like that I’m looking forward to stepping in the ring with.”- CM Punk(via DoN Media Scrum)

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, as a long reign by Punk could see him going through a host of various opponents, one by one and month by month. Not only would that make for some terrific bouts, but it would also add more prestige and allure to the AEW World Championship.

CM Punk’s current title reign represents a lot for the promotion right now. They are in a bit of a transition period here in mid-2022, and the veteran can provide stability, quality matches, and (most importantly) star power. It will be interesting to see where his current journey will take him next.

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