Speaking on Busted Open Radio, Tony Khan has revealed how much CM Punk has changed AEW's business - including highlighting how Punk has sold over 100,000 t-shirts since debuting on the 20 August episode of AEW Rampage.
As Khan explained:
"What he's done for our attendance, our record TV ratings, our record PPV buys. We set a live attendance mark in Chicago. We've set all kinds of new merchandising records. We've sold over 100,000 CM Punk shirts. We've sold thousands and thousands and thousands of ice-cream bars since he started giving those away. He's absolutely changed our business, and that was the expectation when he came in.
AdvertisementI spent years, literally, talking to CM Punk, talking to him about AEW, what it could be, and how much it would mean to us if he would come back to the ring in AEW. He's doing it. Like I said, it's not one of those part-time comebacks where the guy's gonna do a PPV match and then he's gonna leave and you're not gonna see him for five years. He's here, he's here every week."
Aside from selling a ridiculous amount of t-shirts, the Second City Saint currently finds himself in the midst of a rivalry with Taz and his Team Taz charges, with CM Punk vs. Powerhouse Hobbs set for this coming Friday's edition of Rampage.
Prior to butting heads with the Human Suplex Machine and his crew, Punk's first match in over seven years saw him take on Darby Allin at AEW's All Out PPV. Having seemingly not missed a step during his time away from the squared circle, the Straight-Edge Superstar bested Allin in a 17-match that won plentiful praise amongst fans.
While he's only had the one AEW match so far, Tony Khan's promotion has maximised Punk's star power by having him provide commentary and cut in-ring promos - with the Chicago native's post-All Out promo on Dynamite setting the stall for his burgeoning beef with Team Taz.