AEW video: CM Punk captures first pro wrestling title in 9 years, Paige VanZant successful in debut

@AEW, Twitter

CM Punk is a champion again in the industry in which he first became a star.

Eight years after parting ways with the WWE and four years after venturing into the UFC, Punk captured the All Elite Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship with a victory over Adam “Hangman” Page in the main event of AEW’s annual Double or Nothing pay-per-view Sunday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

CM Punk is world champion again in 2022. It feels right pic.twitter.com/5jxmzhE3yE

— B/R Wrestling (@BRWrestling) May 30, 2022

This is the first time in nine years that Punk, 43, has held a professional wrestling title. He was most recently the WWE World Heavyweight Champion in January 2013, a belt that he famously wore for 434 days.

Punk and Page engaged in an entertaining, hard-fought contest, that saw both performers hit plenty of their signature spots (including utilizing each other’s finishing maneuvers) while riling up a voracious Vegas audience. This was the seventh scheduled championship defense for Page, whose reign had already included thrilling encounters with veterans like Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole, and Lance Archer after taking the title from Kenny Omega this past November.

In the end, the story of the match portrayed Page as a champion who appeared to be torn between wanting to win the match and wanting to humiliate the highly venerated Punk. Page’s downfall came after teasing that he would hit Punk with the title belt, deciding against it, and then falling prey to Punk’s “Go 2 Sleep” finishing move.

Punk appeared to legitimately be in tears following the win, which was the culmination of his decision to return to professional wrestling following a seven-year hiatus that was caused by an acrimonious departure from the WWE.

Watch his emotional reaction to becoming AEW champion above.

Punk is well known to MMA fans for signing with the UFC six years ago and going winless at UFC 203 and UFC 225, and he wasn’t the only former UFC fighter to shine on Sunday.

Current BKFC competitor Paige VanZant was also successful in what was her first-ever pro wrestling match. VanZant teamed with veterans Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page in a mixed tag match against the trio of Tay Conti, Sammy Guevara, and Frankie Kazarian.

While the more experienced wrestlers handled most of the match, VanZant had her moment in the spotlight in the middle of the contest as she showed off her MMA skills with a double leg takedown and then her newfound pro wrestling skills as she connected with an impressive spinning DDT.

.@paigevanzant made her in-ring pro wrestling debut at AEW Double or Nothing on Sunday (via @AEW) pic.twitter.com/wK4J2DXCRq

— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) May 30, 2022

Putting her in the ring opposite skilled performers like Conti and Guevara proved to be a wise choice as VanZant looked like a natural in her first match. Her team eventually won when Sky pinned Kazarian. VanZant’s husband, Bellator middleweight Austin Vanderford, was shown in the crowd cheering loudly in celebration.

Watch more of Punk and VanZant’s big nights below:

History was made last night on #AEWDoN Double or Nothing as @CMPunk became the new #AEW World Champion! Order the replay & watch the #AEWDoN Double or Nothing PPV on @bleacherreport & Internationally on @FiteTV / https://t.co/30z8K48kUT pic.twitter.com/hVqgfHfUld

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 30, 2022

Who will walk out the #AEW World Champion tonight?! Order #AEWDoN NOW on @BleacherReport & Internationally on @FiteTV / https://t.co/30z8K48kUT pic.twitter.com/QvXMNgEaj5

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 30, 2022

.@CMPunk and #Hangman @theadampage trading heavy attacks! Order #AEWDoN NOW on @BleacherReport & Internationally on @FiteTV / https://t.co/30z8K48kUT pic.twitter.com/dbc7myOqUr

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 30, 2022

#Hangman @theadampage‘s Rolling Elbow flattens @CMPunk! Order #AEWDoN NOW on @BleacherReport & Internationally on @FiteTV / https://t.co/30z8K48kUT pic.twitter.com/H5sGtchF3Z

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 30, 2022

The spine of @CMPunk colliding with the edge of the ring! Order #AEWDoN NOW on @BleacherReport & Internationally on @FiteTV / https://t.co/30z8K48kUT pic.twitter.com/DOzmnojcvX

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 30, 2022

Huge bulldog by @CMPunk! Order #AEWDoN NOW on @BleacherReport & Internationally on @FiteTV / https://t.co/30z8K48kUT pic.twitter.com/DSHTIVuZbF

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 30, 2022

The champ #Hangman @theadampage risking it all for the title! Order #AEWDoN NOW on @BleacherReport & Internationally on @FiteTV / https://t.co/30z8K48kUT pic.twitter.com/k3to7s9r0Q

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 30, 2022

Is it GTS time?! Order #AEWDoN NOW on @BleacherReport & Internationally on @FiteTV / https://t.co/30z8K48kUT pic.twitter.com/FkfuEXxwNn

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 30, 2022

#Hangman @theadampage with a huge declaration but the match isn’t over yet! There’s still time to order #AEWDoN on @BleacherReport & Internationally on @FiteTV / https://t.co/30z8K48kUT pic.twitter.com/4tJnPfIUBD

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 30, 2022

.@CMPunk with the GTS!! There’s still time to order #AEWDoN on @BleacherReport & Internationally on @FiteTV / https://t.co/30z8K48kUT pic.twitter.com/GD4pRlnU7y

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 30, 2022

TNT Champion @ScorpioSky, @OfficialEGO and @PaigeVanZant are here and more than ready for this Mixed Trios Bout on #AEWDoN! Order #AEWDoN NOW on @BleacherReport & Internationally on @FiteTV / https://t.co/30z8K48kUT pic.twitter.com/2OTH8mkkDG

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 30, 2022

.@FrankieKazarian leaving @sammyguevara and @TayConti_ high and dry! Order #AEWDoN NOW on @BleacherReport & Internationally on @FiteTV / https://t.co/30z8K48kUT pic.twitter.com/zsVoQef1ru

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 30, 2022

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