CM Punk wrestled his first match in Philadelphia in over seven years last night (October 8), when he defeated Daniel Garcia on AEW Rampage.
Punk spoke long on Dynamite about his history in Philadelphia, and one such moment that took place in the city was at the 2006 Survivor Series event, when CM Punk teamed with DX (the Triple H & Shawn Michaels 2006 version) and the Hardy Boyz to face Rated RKO, Johnny Nitro, Gregory Helms & Mike Knox in a Survivor Series Elimination match.
The match was notable for the pre-match promo, where DX were doing their traditional routine, while 18,000 Philadelphia fans chanted for CM Punk, to the point where Triple H had to let Punk speak.
Punk recently spoke about this moment in his career to the Philadelphia Inquirer, saying that the reaction Punk got that night made some people upset, and that WWE used the crutch that it was ‘internet fans’ cheering for him.
“People were mad because, ‘We don’t understand. Why’s this kid over?’ Then they’ll use the crutch of, ‘Oh, it’s just internet fans.’ Yeah, OK, 18,000 people packed the place and they’re all just internet fans but whatever. It means something to me now because it was validation. Like, ‘Yeah. My hard work is paying off. Yeah. People are seeing me and the things that I’m doing and people like me. Let’s go.’ Now I’m in a spot where if that happens, it’s embraced. It’s not picked apart and told why 18,000 screaming people are wrong. Now we’re just like, ‘Yeah, those 18,000 screaming people were right.’”
Those same internet fans packed out a sold out United Center 15 years later, to watch the same man make his return to wrestling following a seven year absence.
Punk’s team went on to clean sweep the heels in that match, for those wondering.
transcription via Post Wrestling