Last night, Rosemont’s Allstate Arena, home of the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, hosted the pay-per-view event WWE Payback. It was the 18th time the arena has hosted a WWE pay-per-view event, the most out of any venue the WWE goes to – even more than Madison Square Garden. One of the matches on the card that night was Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk. It was the first time the Chicago-made WWE Superstar wrestled in a match in 2 1/2 months. The crowd was anticipating the Second City Saint’s return the entire night. But before we get to the match, I want to describe Punk’s time off in one description. mostly everything Chicago Blackhawks. As a matter of fact, during the 5-game Western Conference Final series against the Los Angeles Kings, he had a war of words on Twitter with Bailey, the Los Angeles Kings’ mascot. Here are a few quotes from the twitter war:
“Who is this @CMPunk person? He looks like Ogie Oglethorpe I am not scared of a Ogie!!” – @BaileyLAKings
“Hey @titoortiz I might need you 😉 Some Blackhawks fan @CMPunk named is coming after me out of pure jealously #royalty” – @BaileyLAKings
“@BaileyLAKings you’re going to hide behind @titoortiz like Gretzky hid behind McSorley! He can’t help you!” – @CMPunk
“Guys, @BaileyLAKings says LA is going to win this game, but he’s lion. #chivslak” – @CMPunk
“@CMPunk You run around in public in underwear … That is not a job. #weird” – @BaileyLAKings
“It has come to my attention that you may be a woman. Confirm or deny. @BaileyLAKings” – @CMPunk
“@CMPunk Have you seen my mane? You should have learned the difference between a male and female lion in 5th grade. #wrestlerproblems” – @BaileyLAKings
The straight-edge WWE superstar was in attendance during the Game 5 clincher where he tweeted this photo just after Patrick Kans scored the double-overtime game-winning goal:
Which led to last night, when Punk made his triumphant return to a WWE ring. In his match against the son of former NHL player Ted Irvine, Punk’s ring attire was influenced by Chicago’s hockey team. In the photo below, the C on his trunks and kick-pads were a variation on the ” C and crossed tomahawks” shoulder patch seen on the Blackhawks’ white jersey. However, take a look at the top of the tomahawks: it’s actually Punk’s signature taped fists with a black-marker ‘X’ signifying his straight-edge lifestyle (drug-free, alcohol-free, tobacco-free). Also, take another look at Punk’s facial hair: It’s an homage to Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews’ playoff mutton chops he wore when the Hawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010.
Punk won his match against Jericho by delivering back-to-back Go 2 Sleeps. On the second GTS, he emphatically screamed to the crowd of over 14,000 “Blackhawks in 7!” before striking his knee to Jericho’s face for the three-count pin and the win.
UPDATE: Punk was invited to the Blackhawks’ party at Billy Dec’s Rockit Bar & Grill in River North yesterday, where this happened.