AEW's Handling of Brodie Lee's Death Influenced CM Punk's Return

CM Punk made his AEW Debut on Friday at AEW Rampage: The First Dance, creating an all-time great emotional moment for fans. You can read a full transcript of Punk's return promo here. After the show, Punk answered questions from the media, and he discussed how seeing the way AEW handled Brodie Lee's illness and death in 2020 helped convince him he could trust the company.

CM Punk returns to wrestling at AEW Rampage: The First Dance [Photo: All Elite Wrestling]
CM Punk returns to wrestling at AEW Rampage: The First Dance [Photo: All Elite Wrestling]
"I told my wife," said Punk when asked about keeping the secret of his debut. "I had to run it by her. And I think everybody else kind of would be like, hey, are you doing it? And I would just be like, I can't tell you. Which made them go, 'oh, OK, I get it.'"

"So, again, this kind of goes back to one of the appealing things about AEW for me, and it's a bit of a bummer of a topic," Punk continued. "Brodie Lee passes away. Come to find out that he was sick. But nobody knew. Nobody said anything to anybody because it's nobody's business. A lot of respect for everybody back here. I knew Brodie. I love Brodie. So seeing that, I was like, there's something about that. If that was any anywhere else, it'd be all over the Internet. His poor wife would have to be dealing with that on top of already dealing with this tragic event."

"So I think everybody would ask Tony and Tony would say the same thing," Punk said, getting back to keeping his debut a secret. "I can't tell you, but you get it. But we also don't want to beat you over the head with it. I didn't have them construct some fugazi pipe and drape and drive me into the United Center and hide me from everybody. I walked in here like a human being and I was like, 'hey, everybody.' And I was meeting people, walking in the hallway, because I just think these people, again, nobody is back here standing on their own dick. Everybody's getting out of their own way, just letting stuff happen, having fun, behind the camera and in front of the camera. People are just having fun, and they just want to be a part of it. That's it."

"So nobody's trying to, tweet and spoil stuff," he continued. "Like, let's just all have fun. Like, we get it. So I think a lot of people back here were in on it, they knew I was going to be here, but they weren't sure. And, man, isn't that fun? Isn't that fun? Worst kept secret, designed that way, for a reason. You can criticize and say, 'well, they shoulda advertised. Maybe the ratings would be better.' It's about the moments. It's about the moments and making people go, 'man, I can't miss the show. I don't know what's going to happen. This is fun. And I want to be a part of it.'"

You can read more about CM Punk's return to wrestling at AEW Rampage here.

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Jude TerrorAbout Jude Terror

A prophecy claims that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero would come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events. Unfortunately, nobody can tell when the comics industry has reached its "darkest days" because it somehow keeps finding new lows to sink to. No matter! Jude Terror stands vigilant, bringing the snarkiest of comic book and pro wrestling clickbait to the undeserving readers of Bleeding Cool.
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