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CM Punk Explained Why He Channeled John Cena in AEW 'Full Gear' Match

Photo: Taylor Hill

CM Punk used a familiar series of moves during his match against Eddie Kingston at All Elite Wrestling's Full Gear pay-per-view event in Minneapolis last Saturday night.

Punk hit Kingston with multiple flying shoulder tackles, ducked a clothesline into a sit-out hip toss, and raised his open hand, an obvious nod to John Cena, who famously did the same series of moves throughout his wrestling career, known by many wrestling fans and critics as "the five moves of doom," signifying the near end of the match.

Punk -- who feuded with Cena during the height of his popularity with WWE in 2011 -- revealed that he did the series of moves because he found himself in a similar situation to the 15-time former world champion, with the usually popular Punk noticing that the majority of the crowd was supporting his opponent during his Full Gear match against Kingston.

“I have one boss when I’m in the ring, right? I often like to say I have no boss when I’m in the ring but the truth is (it’s) the people," Punk said during his post-Full Gearmedia scrum via Cageside Seats. "I listen to them. And sometimes I go with the flow and I let them take me places and sometimes, you know, regardless of the seven year gap, I’ve been doing this a minute. I know what I’m doing. For me, it’s fun just to f**k with people. That’s the whole juice for me, right? It’s getting reactions, it’s getting different reactions and getting to play with that.”

Cena was considered WWE's top 'babyface' -- or protagonist -- during the majority of his professional wrestling career, despite a large portion of the live audience choosing to boo him, specifically at the tie he was feuding with Punk.

Punk's signature match in WWE came when he -- a then-heel -- defeated Cena for the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank, with the hometown Chicago crowd overwhelming cheering for him and booing Cena.

Cena had the wherewithal to change his style with the overwhelming reaction and use more rest holds, typically a tactic used by heels, to get more sympathetic reactions for his opponent during his Money in the Bank match against Punk in 2011.

Punk made his return to professional wrestling after a seven-year hiatus in August, debuting on AEW's Rampage program at the United Center in Chicago.

Punk defeated Kingston on Saturday to improve his AEW record to 6-0 since making his in-ring debut against Darby Allin at All Out in September, having also defeated Powerhouse Hobbs, Daniel Garcia, Matt Sydal, and Bobby Fish in televised matches on Rampage and Dynamite.