CM Punk to defend his ‘Real World Championship’ vs. Ricky Starks

Schiavone introduced CM Punk and he came out with the familiar red bag from his debut on Collision dangling from his hand. Without hesitation, Schiavone asked Punk what was in the bag, to which Punk replied the red bag was more symbolic of the burden he carried rather than its actual contents. Punk then opened the bag, unveiling the AEW World Championship with his nameplate and traces of Punk’s own blood.

Proclaiming himself as the real World Champion, he took a can of black spray paint and painted an X on the title. He shared that the X had been his personal symbol since 1997, representing his straight-edge lifestyle and that he’s better than you. Punk then declared himself the Best in the World, highlighting that nobody had defeated him for the title, making him the true Real World Champion.

Punk insisted on having a special referee for his rematch against Starks. Unfazed, Starks said that it wouldn’t make a difference to him who the referee was – whether it be Dave Prazak, Julio Dinero, or even an old acquaintance from Stamford – he was certain he would beat Punk once again.

Punk accepted the challenge for next week’s Collision. He then asked Schiavone to unveil the identity of the special guest referee to Starks. Schiavone revealed that the referee would be none other than Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, who has a longstanding history with Punk dating back to their days in Ring of Honor in 2004.

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