Tony Schiavone Was Originally Going To Introduce CM Punk On AEW Rampage

Punk's debut was almost a little different

CM Punk's return to professional wrestling on AEW Rampage: The First Dance was kept simple by the promotion. 

AEW opened the show with Punk's return and he simply made his way to the ring as 'Cult of Personality' filled the United Center before he cut a promo on leaving Ring Of Honor, joining AEW, and his All Out opponent Darby Allin. 

AEW originally had different plans for Punk's return, though, and Tony Schiavone revealed on What Happened When that he was initially scheduled to introduce The Second City Saviour. 

"Tony [Khan] read over the format and the format had said, 'special guest' and Tony had referred to him as 'special guest.' True to form, Tony did not say CM Punk's name at all. He contacted me later in the night said, 'I'm thinking that I'm going to have you introduce him.' I said, 'I'd be honoured, but we need to talk about what I'm going to say because what I'm going to say should be minimal,'" Schiavone said.

"Got to the building, my name is on the format; 'Tony Schiavone introduces special guest.' CM Punk arrived, I was told he was in his room. The room was marked 'Special Guest.' He arrives, has a couple of people with him. I sat there and talked with him for a little bit. Tony Khan came in and we all sat and talked. It was decided, and I think rightfully so, even though I wanted to be a part of this, it was rightfully so that he would come out on his own," he continued.

Schiavone then noted that Punk still wanted to do the introduction, just on Dynamite instead. That interview took place last night, during which Punk teased Bryan Danielson's upcoming AEW debut. 

"He said, 'I want you to interview me. We'll do it on Dynamite. I want you to hold the microphone, I don't want to jerk it out of your hands like people have done.' During Rampage, I'm one of three people in the back sat at the Go position. There's Tony Khan, the coach in the middle, me on the right. He stayed in the back, talked to everybody, and was very nice, as you might imagine. I talked to him about his promo and he said, 'I really don't know. I've been thinking about so many things to say and I don't know what I'm going to say,'" Schiavone added.

"We just did know that the one thing he was going to touch on was Darby, to set up the pay-per-view match. From then on, we had no idea what he was going to say or how he was going to say it. To be honest, if he did, he didn't lead us on. It really looked like he was really thinking about it hard and it had weighed on him for some time. He had been gone for seven years, he's such a star and a great talker and a great worker. You're back in Chicago and you sell out, YOU, sell out the building just on a rumour. That's star power, buddy."

H/T to Fightful

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Aidan Gibbons

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