CM Punk made his big return on the debut episode of AEW Collision on Saturday night from the United Center in Chicago, IL.

The former AEW World Heavyweight Champion teamed with FTR against Jay White, Juice Robinson, & Samoa Joe in a trios bout on the show. Before the bout happened in the main event, Punk opened the show with a promo.

He said he is tired of being nice and as long as he is in AEW, this is a wrestling business. He said his past is not checkered and brought up how he wouldn’t have ever thought he would sell out countless arenas such as MSG. He wants to know when he told lies. He said that he got here by riding the backs of smart and passionate fans. He said that he loves the fans because they love him. He said he never apologized for anything in his career and he couldn’t have done anything without the fans.

He said there are some people who hate him for the same reasons the fans love him. He said his presence makes people uncomfortable and the truth makes people uncomfortable. The fans started a “F**k The Elite” chant. Punk said he gets a reaction no matter what it is because he speaks the truth. WBD CEO David Zaslav calls him “One Bill Phil,” and the business is full of “Counterfeit Bucks.” Punk noted the king is back and he does have a lot of things to get off his chest. Punk said if fans want an apology from him then they’re softer than the wrestlers they like. Punk said the last time they saw him, he had a title belt and he still has it. He said the World Title belongs to him until someone can beat him for it. Until someone can fill his boots, then he will keep filling them.

Punk hadn’t been seen in the ring on AEW programming since last September’s All Out due to recovery from both a torn triceps suffered that night and the actions at the post-event press conference where he ripped countless wrestlers such as Hangman Page, AEW’s EVPs, and Colt Cabana. He got into a backstage brawl with The Elite (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks).

Because Punk suffered a torn triceps injury in the main event of All Out when beating Jon Moxley for the World Heavyweight Title, regardless of the All Out brawl, Punk was going to be sidelined.

While speaking with ESPN ahead of the return, Punk noted he apologized to AEW President Tony Khan for his actions and they have a great relationship now. He noted he tried to reach out to The Elite, but hasn’t been successful.

He said he regretted his actions at All Out and was frustrated with the situation at the time, being injured again, and more. He admitted that he handled the situation the wrong way.

(H/T Andrew Ravens)