The official Starrcast Twitter account announced Thursday that CM Punk will appear at Starrcast III in Chicago on Aug. 31.
SI.com's Justin Barrasso was the first to report the news prior to the announcement, and while there is no official word on precisely what Punk will do at Starrcast, Barrasso reported that he will do a one-on-one interview and participate in a meet-and-greet with fans.
Punk's Starrcast appearance will take place on the same day that All Elite Wrestling's All Out pay-per-view emanates from the Sears Centre Arena outside Chicago.
Renowned wrestling podcaster Conrad Thompson, who runs Starrcast, said the following regarding Punk's planned appearance, per Barrasso:
"We wanted to bring something unique and that hasn't been done before at Starrcast. I've always wanted to have Punk at Starrcast but the timing was never right, and I'm really excited that the stars have aligned for this August. Fans are going to get what they've wanted for a long time, and that is CM Punk with a live mic. It's going to happen at Starrcast."
Punk, who has had little involvement in professional wrestling since leaving WWE in 2014, noted that he is looking forward to the opportunity to meet with some of his fans: "Knowing the weekend will be attracting fans from all over the world for AEW, and since I normally only do one signing a year, it's a great way to maybe meet people that normally I wouldn't get the chance to otherwise. Looking forward to meeting everyone there."
In the years since his WWE departure, Punk has primarily been focused on his MMA career. Punk is 0-2 in two career fights for UFC, falling to Mickey Gall by first-round submission at UFC 203 in 2016 and losing by unanimous decision to Mike Jackson at UFC 225 last year.
Due to his lack of success in the Octagon and the notion that he is unlikely to fight for UFC again, speculation has ramped up regarding the 40-year-old veteran possibly returning to the wrestling ring.
While Starrcast is independently run and not technically part of AEW, it has run in lockstep with major AEW pay-per-views. The first Starrcast took place in Chicago last year during the same weekend as All In before AEW was technically in existence. Starrcast II took place in Las Vegas during Double or Nothing weekend in May.
Punk was likely to be close to All Out regardless since he is from Chicago, but the Starrcast appearance assures he will be in the city for the event.
The Starrcast III appearance likely has no bearing on whether Punk will appear at All Out or not, but it will undoubtedly add to the whispers and add to the collective hope of wrestling fans that AEW will score another major coup after Jon Moxley's surprise debut at Double or Nothing.
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