At the 2021 edition of All Elite Wrestling's All Out pay-per-view in Chicago, CM Punk will make his triumphant return to wrestling in a singles match against one of the hottest young stars in the business, Darby Allin.
With so much excitement surrounding Punk's return to the ring after over seven years away from the wrestling business, AEW fans have been fantasy booking everything from Sunday's entrances to the finish of the match.
While there are questions about where the bout between Punk and Allin should take place on the card—anywhere from the opening match to the main event—the segment should be positioned in the middle of the show.
Allin's music should be the first to hit as he and Sting make their way to the ring with a chorus of cheers ushering them down the ramp. Once the two men have soaked in the moment and the crowd is at a fever pitch, Living Colour's Cult of Personality should blare over the speakers, setting off yet another massive reaction for the former world champion.
After soaking up the reaction and the magnitude of the moment, Punk should come face-to-face with Sting, thus creating an iconic moment between two of the biggest anti-heroes in wrestling history and possibly setting the stage for a future match.
Once Sting clears out of Punk's way, the staredown between the new AEW signee and Allin should send the Now Arena into a frenzy. The two men should milk the moment for as long as possible, similar to the staredown between The Rock and Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 18.
Allin should finally break the tension with a well-placed punch to the jaw, launching a back-and-forth that allows Punk to slowly showcase what wrestling fans have missed for so long. Neither man will be booed by the Chicago crowd, but Punk will need to be the aggressor, as Allin is the quintessential underdog.
While both men will start the bout with the best intentions, the pace and intensity should pick up the longer it goes, with the combatants eventually leveling each other with their best moves.
With all eyes on the ring, Daniel Garcia and 2.0—Matt Lee and Jeff Parker—should slither to the ring again and begin an all-out assault on Sting as Punk and Allin are distracted with each other. Garcia and his friends should then circle the ring, leaving Punk and Allin back-to-back as they prepare to fight shorthanded.
Just as Garcia, Lee and Parker are about to decimate the two popular stars in the ring, the lights should go out and the dulcet tunes of Richard Wagner's Flight of the Valkyries should ring through the building. With the crowd in a frenzy, Bryan Danielson should make his debut and save Punk and Allin.
As the faces get the upper hand, Sting should roll back into the ring, setting the stage for a feel-good moment where Sting, Danielson, Punk and Allin all get to hit their finishing moves, thrilling the audience in attendance and watching on PPV.
While a non-finish in Punk's first match back wouldn't satisfy everyone, Allin gets the rub of stepping toe-to-toe with a returning legend, and neither man has to take a loss. Add in the fact that Danielson could be debuting during the segment, and any bad blood about no decisive winner would be unwarranted.
Not only would a non-finish protect everyone involved, but it would also set the stage for several future programs, including Allin vs. Garcia and eventually Punk vs. Danielson. Plus, AEW can revisit Allin vs. Punk in the future, as the two will have plenty of meat on the bone.
Between Punk's first match in over seven years and the debut of Danielson, Allin's segment would also be ideal in the middle of the All Out card, with Kenny Omega likely defending the championship in the main event and a stellar bout likely to open the show.
Regardless of what actually happens Sunday, wrestling fans should rejoice as they witness Punk's return, the possible debut of Danielson and what could be the best wrestling show of the year.
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