CM Punk Beats Darby Allin at AEW All Out 2021, Earns Sting's Respect

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2021

Photo credit: AEW

In his first match in more than seven years, CM Punk defeated Darby Allin at AEW All Out on Sunday in his hometown of Chicago.

All Elite Wrestling @AEW

The Best in the World! @CMPunk wins in his first match back in 7 years! #AEWAllOut https://t.co/SOpg6VsYWL

This was an intense match that featured Allin ricocheting off a ring post before careening to the ringside below:

All Elite Wrestling @AEW

.@CMPunk sends @DarbyAllin flying into the ring post. #AEWAllOut https://t.co/cJTEde7vBP

Allin also flipped off the top rope onto Punk:

All Elite Wrestling @AEW

.@DarbyAllin regains the momentum against @CMPunk. #AEWAllOut https://t.co/7zLctmE0pF

The crowd was understandably hot for the match beforehand, chanting both wrestlers' names during Punk's debut contest for All Elite Wrestling.

In the end, Punk won after hitting the GTS. 

Afterward, Sting and The Best in the World shook hands in a show of respect between the two legends:

All Elite Wrestling @AEW

Respect. @CMPunk x @Sting #AEWAllOut https://t.co/jFZpWVlsOS

The two in-ring opponents did the same:

All Elite Wrestling @AEW

Very emotional for both @CMPunk & @DarbyAllin. #AEWAllOut https://t.co/8RljpG8QcG

Punk made his long-awaited return to professional wrestling on August 20 when he appeared on the second episode of AEW Rampage, which was held at the United Center in Chicago.

After enjoying the ovation of the fans and cutting a heartfelt promo about why he was back and where he had been, the 42-year-old laid down a challenge for All Out and directed his attention toward Allin.

In the weeks leading up to Punk's debut, Allin had mentioned his desire to face "the best in the world," which most assumed was a reference to the former WWE star. It turns out that was the case, as he and Sting watched his debut appearance from the rafters.

After Punk made the challenge, the contest was made official for All Out, making an already massive pay-per-view even bigger.

Prior to Sunday, Punk hadn't competed in a wrestling match since the 2014 Royal Rumble in WWE. He left WWE after that due to issues with the company, and it was unclear if he would ever return to wrestling.

During his hiatus, he was involved in several projects, including competing in two UFC fights, doing MMA commentary and acting in movies.

Punk seemed happy in those endeavors, but there was some indication that the wrestling bug was still present in 2019 when he signed a deal with Fox to be an analyst on FS1's WWE Backstage.

The show was canceled last year, but it allowed him to become part of the wrestling world again by discussing the WWE product and giving his opinions.

After making his first AEW appearance, Punk revealed he had been in discussions with company president Tony Khan for 18 months. His arrival was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though, as he didn't want to come back without fans.

Punk is now the talk of the wrestling world again, and he got his AEW career off to a winning start against one of the fastest-rising stars in the industry.


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