With the recent revelation that CM Punk met Triple H backstage at the latest WWE event, we look back at the planned match between the pair that was meant to take place at WrestleMania 30. This match would have been a rematch three years in the making, following their disastrous bout at Night of Champions 2011.
In 2014, CM Punk was one of the top stars in the WWE, but was far away from the main event of WrestleMania. After three years as the hottest act in the company and pulling out fantastic matches against the likes of John Cena, The Rock and Alberto Del Rio, CM Punk was broken, battered and checked out of the business.
His goal of main eventing WrestleMania had gone. He could not have worked harder, wrestled better or put on any better performances than he did between 2011 and 2013, which included holding the WWE Championship for 434 days before dropping it to The Rock. Despite this, Vince McMahon never gave him what he craved most, instead promoting back-to-back John Cena vs The Rock matches while Punk languished in the under-card.
At WrestleMania 29, he was denied his rightful spot in the main event, instead losing out on the rematch between The Rock and John Cena. This was the one year when he truly deserved the accolade, and even pitched the idea of a three-way with the two Hollywood stars, even admitting that he could be eliminated in the first five-minutes – just so he knew he main evented WrestleMania.
Sadly, Vince McMahon rejected the proposal, going forward with the planned rematch from the “Once in a lifetime” match. CM Punk was aggrieved by this, and put on an incredible performance against The Undertaker that year to show the world how much he truly deserved to go on last at the biggest show of the year. This was by far the best match of that night, and one of the best matches in 2013 all together.
WrestleMania 30 was a better chance to main event, with Randy Orton looking to defend his WWE Championship against Batista. However, once again, it was somebody elses year.
Daniel Bryan was the hottest wrestler in the world, on the run up to WrestleMania 30, something that CM Punk ultimately agreed on. Instead, he was partnered with a Hall of Famer with a huge match for WrestleMania, although obviously it never happened.
That match was CM Punk vs Triple H, which would have been a huge match at WrestleMania 30.
CM Punk vs Triple H
This match was heavily rumoured after Triple H and the Authority forced CM Punk to enter number 1 in the 2014 Royal Rumble.
Punk was being screwed by the Authority, much like many WWE Superstars at this time. He was forced into entering first at the Royal Rumble, to give him the worst chance of going all the way to WrestleMania.
He entered first and faced off with Seth Rollins, and lasted the longest of any star in the match. He was eventually thrown out at the end by Kane, another part of the dastardly Authority stable.
CM Punk revealed on the Art of Wrestling Podcast that he was set to take on Triple H at WrestleMania 30.When Vince McMahon told him he’d be in “A Main event” against Triple H, CM Punk simply said “I don’t need to wrestle him, he needs to wrestle me”.
It came when Punk was at his wits end, and the next night would walk out of WWE, not to be seen in wrestling again until his surprise debut in AEW 7 years later. The match was also leaked by CM Punk, who found an early script for WrestleMania some years after the event took place.
Posting on his Instagram story years later, Punk posted a sheet (dated January 20, 2014) showing a preliminary card for the upcoming WrestleMania 30. This included the aforementioned CM Punk vs Triple H match, as well as a number of other bouts that never happened at WrestleMania.
Triple H vs CM Punk was placed second highest on the card. It was featured above Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker, and below Randy Orton vs Batista in the main event. This seems like the obvious place for the match, especially with such a different card to the WrestleMania 30 that we did get in the end.
The biggest changes for the show saw The Shield’s Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns’ battling for the United States Championships, months before they split up in real life. Kane vs Big Show was also planned (about 10 years later than it would have actually been viable), as well as the terrible choice of relegating Daniel Bryan to a mid-card match against Sheamus.
While we saw CM Punk vs Triple H three-years earlier, when Triple H killed the “Summer of Punk”, that match was a huge disappointment. The WrestleMania XXX bout between the two legends could have made up for that bout, and given Triple H the opportunity to finally put over CM Punk in the way that he should have been.
Unfortunately, fans never got to see that match. CM Punk left the WWE before that match could take place. He walked out on the company on the Raw after the Royal Rumble, citing a number of grievances that had been growing over his near-decade in the company. This included WWE ignoring injuries, lying to him and many other issues, which you can click here to read about in detail.
CM Punk was recently seen backstage before Monday Night Raw, allegedly to see both The Miz and Triple H. They were two people he has clashed with over the years, so the former AEW Champion could be making amends before his return to All Elite Wrestling in June.
While Punk did make a long-awaited return to AEW, he was soon fired after a backstage fight with Jack Perry at AEW All In. This was just minutes before he defeated Samoa Joe in front of a record crowd at Wembley Stadium, and looks set to make a miraculous return to the WWE at Survivor Series 2023.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.