It has been over 7 years since CM Punk left the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburg, and never entered a WWE ring again. Fans have chanted his name ever since that day, but will CM Punk return to WWE ever again, or even start a new chapter in AEW? Is CM Punk coming back to WWE? Is a CM Punk WWE return on the cards?
CM Punk has signed for AEW, and made his AEW debut at AEW Rampage The First Dance. To read about CM Punk Dream matches in AEW, click here.
Royal Rumble 2014
Punk was last seen on WWE TV on January 26th, 2014. He entered number one in the 2014 Royal Rumble, a punishment from Triple H and the Authority, who he was feuding with at that time on Monday Night Raw. CM Punk started the match wrestling Seth Rollins, and lasted almost 50 minutes. The Chicago native was eliminated by Kane and finished 27th in the match.
After the match, Punk went backstage and squared up to Vince McMahon and Triple H. He confronted them about his booking, losing to Undertaker, Brock Lesnar and the Rock. He told them that he didn’t need to face Triple H at Wrestlemania, that Triple H needed to face HIM.
Punk walked out that night and never looked back. But will he ever return to WWE?
CM Punk WWE return
CM Punk has hinted in the past that a return to wrestling could be on the cards.
He has stated that he would, if he did return, love to face off against Will Ospreay. This is the first time he hasn’t hinted about thinking about wrestling, and outwardly stated he would like to.
Ospreay recently had to vacate the IWGP Champion due to a severe neck injury that could leave him on the shelf for the rest of the year. This would make his match with Punk very unlikely, which itself is very much so due to the fee he would command to wrestling for New Japan Pro Wrestling
Punk to AEW?
The Young Bucks talked in their book about Tony Khan meeting with Punk at the dawn of AEW, and that the company put in a very real offer to the man. Rumours had been floating round that no offer had been given, and that The Elite members had merely texted Punk to gauge his interest in a return.
When asked is CM Punk coming back to wrestling, Cody Rhodes, EVP of AEW, stated as such, that Punk demanded “Outrageous” amounts of money during negotiations, but with Cody stating he “was worth a great deal of money”
This could mean that Cody and the other EVP’s seriously considered Punk as an addition to their roster, and that the door was not shut for any future involvement.
Punk hasn’t stayed away from wrestling since his departure from WWE. He returned, donning a mask at an independent event in Wisconsin, run by former ROH wrestler Silas Young. A masked man ran in on the event, hit Punk’s signature GTS and ran out. This was confirmed to be CM Punk, and so far known to be his only wrestling appearance since 2014.
It may be wishful thinking for all Punk and AEW Fans out there, but AEW’s yearly show ALL OUT provokes chatter about the Best in the World’s return every year.
The event, once again held in Chicago, would be the perfect place to debut Punk. In his hometown, where his best match ever took place, would be a monumental occurrence and undoubtably one of the biggest debuts in wrestling history, were he to sign for AEW.
Is CM Punk Coming Back to WWE?
A return to WWE is unlikely. He started a new role as a presenter on WWE Backstage, providing analysis on that weeks WWE TV shows. He never got into the ring or appeared on WWE television before his departure from the show, however. If he did not wrestle for them then, it’s unlikely he would return now.
The bad blood between he and Triple H could be a barrier for Punk, although he doesn’t think so. He has said that he would listen to any offer from WWE, and that he would have a talk with anyone, including Triple H or Vince McMahon. However, he said they have not contacted him as of yet. CM Punk is unlikely to make a WWE return, although it is not impossible.
Punk vs Doctors
Punk also had issues with the WWE doctors, and did not like how they treated the wrestlers such as himself. WWE doctors refused to remove or even check out a lump on his back, that was causing the wrestler great pain. Once he left WWE, he had it checked by a non-affiliate doctor, and the result was shocking.
The doctor told Punk that he could have died due to ignoring it for such a long time. Punk had the doctor evacuate the infection, describing it as the worst pain in his life, but said that once it was treated and he was on stronger medication, he was able to sleep better than he had in months.
Wedding Day Firing
The final straw for Punk was his method of firing. WWE filed and sent his papers to confirm his firing to him in June 2014. However, despite leaving the company in January, his papers were sent to his house on the day of his wedding.
This act of spite enraged Punk, who proclaimed that he would never return to WWE and never have any engagement with them again, a claim he has softened up on over time.
Is CM Punk coming back to WWE? or AEW?
My gut answer is yes. CM Punk coming back is a given eventually. It is wrestling after all. No-one ever stays retired. But will it be in WWE? I think not. I think AEW is the destination for Punk, and I think it could finally be time to hear those opening guitar riffs of ‘Cult of Personality’ at AEW All Out.