Every couple of months another report surfaces about a potential CM Punk return to wrestling. It’s getting to the point where no matter who says it, you have to take it with a grain of salt.
Wrestling News World reported, so take this with a grain of salt, that Vince had sent feelers out to CM Punk. Current Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, reportedly, will not be returning to WWE after his contract expires in April. It makes sense that Vince may be panicking to get big name stars back in WWE. To fill the void that would be left by Lesnar.
While it’s unknown what Punk said back to WWE if he said anything at all; in an interview with ESPN Radio Chicago, when asked if he missed wrestling, Punk responded, “Not at all.” Punk would go on to state in the interview that he is still caught up in a defamation lawsuit against WWE’s doctor Chris Amann. A lawsuit Punk believes WWE is funding.
So, it doesn’t sound like the bridges that burned when Punk walked out in January of 2014, have done much healing.
When Punk left in 2014, it took the wrestling world by storm. No one understood why at the time. Punk had just wrestled in the Royal Rumble the night before. Although, and it was noticeable, Punk suffered a concussion during the match. Still though at the time that didn’t seem like a reason to be completely absent from WWE programming.
Vince McMahon would say in a conference call with investors that Punk was on a sabbatical. A statement Punk refuted on Art of Wrestling. A podcast hosted by Punk’s former friend Colt Cabana. Punk said he was suspended, by Vince, at the time.
According to Punk on AOW, the concussion was merely the final straw, in a series of frustrating circumstances that had been building over time.
Spanning from late 2011 until early 2013, a total of 343 days, the sixth longest of all time, Punk held the WWE Championship. Punk would drop the belt in January of 2013 to The Rock so that the Rock-Cena feud could have the belt going into the main event of that year’s Wrestle Mania. Punk would go on to wrestle industry legend The Undertaker at that year’s Mania. In the best match on the card.
Still though, Punk was unhappy about dropping the belt. Punk felt that he had earned the right to be in the main event of Wrestle Mania. And you really can’t argue that he didn’t. He even said on AOW that he pitched the idea to Vince. Asking Vince to make the main event an elimination match, and have him get eliminated five minutes into the match. Punk didn’t care; he just wanted to be in the main event of Mania. It is the only thing he has yet to do in his WWE career. And probably the only way Vince and co., could entice Punk to return.
Fired on His Wedding Day!
WWE would later pull off the most unprofessional move they’ve ever pulled, and fire Punk on his wedding day. Punk said on AOW that WWE knew his wedding date well before hand. Punk, naturally, requested time off before and after the date. And he was marrying former WWE Diva’s Champion AJ Lee. On the podcast, Punk called this, “a calculated and deliberate move.”
Vince has since apologized to Punk, on Stone Cold Steve Austins podcast on a WWE Network exclusive. McMahon called it a “coincidence that Punk got his severance papers on his wedding day.” He blamed the situation on a lack of communication between WWE Legal, and WWE Talent Relations. Vince would go on to say, “Multiple individuals in the past have been disgruntled with the company, and said things they would later regret, and still returned to the company.” And that he hoped Punk and the WWE would “get together again in the future.”
Will Punk Ever Return?
Never say never. Given everything, WWE put Punk through. It doesn’t seem likely. The stuff I mentioned before only scratches the surface.
Punk has seemed adamant about never returning to wrestling in any capacity. He’s stated multiple times that he doesn’t love it anymore. Which is a shame, because Punk truly is one of the best to lace up a pair of boots. He’s one of the best on the mic WWE has ever seen.
While on the Jim Norton and Sam Roberts show to promote her book ‘Crazy is My Superpower.’ AJ Lee, CM Punk’s wife, said that she missed wrestling, while her husband didn’t really.
“Him and I have different views on that for sure. My heart is always gonna have this giant place for wrestling, so I’ll always miss that moment right in the ring where you feel the energy from the crowd, and there’s nothing that can replace that. But I think that you should appreciate the different kinds of happy there are. So I have positive memories of that and I miss the fans and so doing these autograph signings and seeing these people that I’ve seen for the past 7 years is the coolest thing in the world to me, so it’s nice to kinda see them again. But he [Punk] is very okay without the crowds.”
Going off that, it doesn’t seem very likely we will ever see Punk in a wrestling ring again.
Away from WWE
Since Punk left in early 2014, he has taken on many other jobs. Other than professional wrestling. In fact, since the 2014 Royal Rumble, Punk hasn’t stepped foot in a wrestling ring. At least not publicly.
Punk very famously made his UFC debut in September of 2016. Losing in just over two minutes to Mickey Gall, via submission. Since the loss though Punk has stated that his UFC days are not over and that he plans on getting back in the octagon again.
Aside from MMA work, Punk has also acted in a few reality TV shows and has written for Marvel Comics.
Punk has stated that he is the happiest he’s ever been, since leaving WWE, and has no plans on returning. He said in AOW that wrestling made him miserable. Most of that stemmed from the injuries he had suffered while with the company. Most of which he wasn’t given proper time to rehab from before returning to the ring. But he said in the interview, that some of that was on him.
Time Heals All Wounds
Those four words are the “battle cry” of every CM Punk fan when they wish for a return. But in this case, I’m not sure if anything can heal these wounds.
The WWE, by mistake or not, fired Punk on his wedding day. That’s something you can’t just forgive and forget. (Screwing someone over in their hometown is a different story. That’s forgivable.) If it were me in that situation, I could never entertain the thought of joining that company again. It takes a special kind of horrible person to pull something like that.
Not to mention Punk appears to be ecstatic since he left WWE. And if wrestling truly does make him miserable. Then why would he return to that? It’s why he walked away in the first place. He didn’t love it anymore.
Maybe things have changed. And maybe Punk has found his love for the business again. But it sure doesn’t sound like it. So, as much as this may hurt some, Punk will probably never return to the WWE. It’s something we just need to accept and move on from.
Don’t get me wrong I wish, and hope, Punk would return. I just don’t see it happening. At least not as a wrestler. Years from now, much like Bret Hart did, Punk may return as an ambassador of sorts. But we will, probably, never see Punk in a WWE ring again.