Of more or less official challenges to return to a wrestling ring, in the last seven years, he has received several. But never during an official press conference of an event. Now this has happened, and therefore we can say that CM Punk has been officially challenged to a match valid for a world title (even if his answer has not yet arrived): and the gauntlet comes from Japan, precisely from Will Ospreay.
The latter faced Kota Ibushi for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at the NJPW Sakura Genesis event. Ospreay did the impossible and ended up defeating Ibushi to become the new champion. And, during the post-event press conference, Will Ospreay named former WWE Champion Drew McIntyre as a possible opponent in an inter-promotional match in the future.
However, soon after, Ospreay also mentioned CM Punk, throwing him a real challenge for the IWGP heavyweight world title. "Before I became the IWGP heavyweight world champion," he said, "a man who started an entire industry of wrestling interest, who goes by the name of CM Punk, was interested in facing Will Ospreay.
Well, now I have the biggest laurel in pro wrestling, so CM Punk if you really want to prove to yourself that you are the best in the world, come here [pointing to the title] and come get this."
Will Ospreay has challenged CM Punk
The reference is to what CM Punk had stated during the 'Swing and Mrs' radio show in March 2020, stating that he would be interested in facing Will Ospreay in a match.
"Who would I like to face in a wrestling match among those I have never faced? I think Will Ospreay. I would listen to this idea, but as I said there are so many situations that are moving. And at the moment I am really very busy with other projects.
And no one, I think, has so far found the right combination of ways to approach me. It's not all up to me, ladies and gentlemen. It depends on the people who actually run the companies," CM Punk said at the time. At the recently-concluded Sakura Genesis show, Will Ospreay won the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship from Kota Ibushi.
The leader of the United Empire is currently scheduled to defend his title against Shingo Takagi at Wrestling Dontaku. A match between Ospreay and CM Punk is very unlikely at the moment. However, if Punk ever decides to make his return to pro wrestling, the former WWE Champion could cross paths with the reigning IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.