Various apparent references to CM Punk have sprung up across WWE as of late following reports that the former AEW World Champion is in talks with the promotion about a potential return. Punk is now a free agent after his two-year run with AEW ended abruptly last month when he was been terminated with cause following a backstage altercation with Jack Perry at AEW All In: London. Now, WWE’s most notable reference to Punk has even attracted the attention of the innovator of his iconic finishing move: KENTA!
During WWE Raw last night, Shinsuke Nakamura attacked Ricochet ahead of the latter competing in a triple threat #1 contender’s match for the Intercontinental Championship – which was won by Bronson Reed. The two brawled on the stage with Nakamura eventually gaining the upper hand with the use of the Go 2 Sleep, a move innovated by KENTA and made popular in the United States by Punk. A video clip of the move made the rounds on social media, eventually prompting its innovator KENTA to react. In a post on X, the NJPW star wrote, “see you at Survivor Series lol.”
Whilst the move was not acknowledged by either of the red brand’s commentators, with Michael Cole simply referring to it as “a knee right to the jaw,” this is not the first time WWE has seemingly referenced Punk recently. On last week’s SmackDown, Corey Graves quoted the line, “the greatest trick the devil ever played was making the world forget that he existed,” an apparent reference to Punk’s use of the quote in Ring of Honor as well as MJF’s during his feud with Punk in AEW. Graves later claimed it was instead a reference to The Usual Suspects following the show.
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