All Elite Wrestling (AEW) has made waves to become one of the biggest pro wrestling companies in the world. In the last month, AEW has added two big names to the roster — former WWE Superstars CM Punk and Bryan Danielson (known as Daniel Bryan in WWE). PopCulture.com recently caught up with AEW star and executive Cody Rhodes, who talked about Punk and Danielson's impact in AEW.
"I think you're looking at really a flashpoint in wrestling history, the day that Punk returned in the United Center," Rhodes said to PopCulture about Punk's return in August. "I had texted one of the guys who format the show, and I said, you should be proud of yourself. You're formatting the most important show since Bash at the Beach, and everyone should know the Bash at the Beach I'm referring to, and really that was so special. Every wrestler wants to be in that spot. To hear that crowd that way, and seven years his audience had waited, and to be in his home and the ice cream and just the synergy and the love. I really enjoyed the steam, the look in his eyes; we walked out and saw not just his fans, but what the AEW fans look like. It's changed our business; he's broke every record there was."
Punk's return was highly anticipated after having a very successful run in WWE that included four world championships and a Triple Crown title. He left the company in 2014 and hasn't competed with a promotion ever since. But not too long after Punk returned, Danielson made a surprise appearance at the pay-per-view event All Out in September. During his career in WWE, Danielson was a five-time world champion and the 26th Grand Slam Champion in WWE history. He looks to have similar success in another top promotion.
"It was a flashpoint to have Bryan, the last star who organically kind of got over on his own, culminating at WrestleMania 30, when that happened to have them, but having them is one thing, holding them and their passions manifesting on the screen will be the ticket," Rhodes said.
"I'm confident that both of them will just continue to be massive, massive pieces of our business and great examples for the locker room, because they're top guys, they're top guys in reality, in presentation, in work ethic. That is only going to bring up everybody who surrounds them. And that is the job now for anyone who has any modicum of fame, is to reach your hand down and bring up. And, I look forward to what they do with us and helping them in any way I can."