CM Punk spent a lot of time away from the professional wrestling ring, and although he’s kept rather busy, by trying his hand at MMA and starring in movies and TV shows, his return seemed imminent to many hopeful wrestling fans.
He didn’t always feel like he’d come back, though. Actually, he questioned his past and his place in the annals of pro wrestling history many times, and even publicly; as he says in the comments below, he needed to heal after the events that led to his disillusionment with the sport of professional wrestling.
It was while speaking with DAZN that he let his feelings on if AEW wasn’t around, would he ever have returned to pro wrestling? He said:
“…It’s a great question. One I’ve actually thought about, but I don’t think so…It happened at the right time, and timing is everything. There’s a lot of stuff that I had to heal on my own. I’m happy AEW is around now because I really don’t know if I’d have gone there sooner…I’m not so worried about the past. I’m not so worried about the future. I’m worried about the present. That’s where I’m at now. I’m worried about the fans in the building; if they’re having a good time. If they’re going to tell their friends that they had a great time and they’re gonna come back next time. I want to I want to make sure they’re leaving with a giant smile on their face…”via DAZN /Wrestling Inc (Transcription)
And what of the ‘Forbidden Door’?
The Forbidden door has been around for a wee bit and really, the wrestling world has Tony Khan to thank for it. Since its inception, many stars have passed through that portal and made a difference in the industry to some degree.
Perhaps the largest difference was made by Kenny Omega, who while Impact World Champion, not only took on a plethora of Impact Roster talents, but he single-handedly raised the ratings for the promotion considerably.
Now that Christian Cage has ushered in a new champion in Josh Alexander (albeit temporarily…he lost that belt in mere moments after Moose “called his shot” at Bound For Glory), the deed was done and Christian brought that title back to Impact.
But the question has been brought up many times: Other than the NJPW stars that the ‘Forbidden Door’ allowed through into AEW TV, what did Impact do for AEW?
Interestingly enough, a ‘Forbidden Door’ has been opened before in pro wrestling, and by different promotions…
That question may now never be answered, as many are thinking that it’s over, and the partnership between Khan and Impact is now over and done with for good.
Of course Minoru Suzuki is involved at Impact now, but is that a deal simply between NJPW and Impact, or is AEW involved still, somehow?
These were comments Tony Khan made about the ‘Forbidden Door’ way back in February:
“…Everywhere I go, people have been asking me for months, ‘Tony, when are you going to open the forbidden door? When is New Japan gonna come to AEW?’ I kept telling them, ‘I don’t know where the forbidden door is. I don’t know what the forbidden door is.’ Then I figured it out, all along the forbidden door was me. I’m the forbidden door. I just had to open myself and that has come from being here with you IMPACT Wrestling … I’ve opened myself up to new experiences…Thank you, Don Callis. Nobody ever expected me to say that. But thanks to you [and Kenny Omega], you’ve opened me up. You’ve changed me and you opened the forbidden door … I love it, I want to do more big ratings. I want to see more people show up. And IMPACT since you’re the ones that started this thing, I’ve got something special for you. I’m gonna show you the forbidden door swings both ways. I’ll be back in Nashville sooner than later…”via Tony Khan, AXS TV
The ‘Forbidden Door,’ and appearances by Khan on Impact TV—as we were used to seeing a few months back—have seemingly ceased, and for now, the partnership and/or deal, seems to be up in the air moving forward.