WWE Wants CM Punk To Return
On the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Meltzer observed that in his opinion “WWE wants CM Punk back”. These comments came whilst discussing the controversial return of Mauro Ranallo to WWE commentary.
Rumours of a Punk return have been a source of discussion and debate amongst wrestling fans since the day after the 2014 Royal Rumble. As far as wrestling fans knew at that time, he was considered to have “walked out” of the WWE. The Colt Cabana podcast that Punk did later that year was another Pipebomb that Punk spilled the beans on the inner workings of WWE. He described years of frustration with higher management and the agony of working whilst injured. He described what many Punk fans felt, that Triple H had been personally responsible for ruining his red hot run in the immediate aftermath of the Pipebomb. He also revealed that the plan was him to face Triple H at Wrestlemania 30, something Punk did not care for. Finally Punk also revealed that he was fired on his wedding day, something he claimed he would never be able to forgive them for.
Punk since went on to have a highly anticipated but ultimately disappointing debut in the UFC, resulting in a first round loss to Mickey Gall. Despite the disappointment, it could be viewed that his debut and appearance in the UFC was a success. Both UFC and Punk personally profited heavily from his appearance. That said, as yet his performance in the Octagon was not deemed to have been good enough to warrant the scheduling of a follow up fight and another pay day. Punk also recently stated that he wanted to return to fight, but admitted to not having spoken to Dana White in months. Could all of this lead to a spectacular return to WWE? That’s certainly Meltzer’s opinion. “That’s why, no matter what is said, WWE wants CM Punk back and even though CM Punk was adamant about never doing it, history tells you time heals a lot of wounds.”
In recent years Triple H has been highly instrumental in the return or debut of superstars long thought to never return or set foot in the WWE. From Bruno Sammartino to Sting, Ultimate Warrior and Kurt Angle, WWE have consistently been able to put bad feeling aside to do business. Given the issues with Triple H personally, it will be incredibly interesting to see if Hunter is able to swallow his pride, ignore the Cabana podcast comments, and reach out to Punk for a sensational return.
Certainly WWE were not able to ignore the comments made at the time. Another wrinkle to the possible return is the class action lawsuit that Chris Amann brought against Punk and Cabana. In light of the disparingly comments Punk made, and Cabana facilitated, with regards to the WWE medical team, Punk found himself being sued. Punk himself believed that the action was WWE’s response to him “calling them out for their bs”. Any return would also need to include the cessation of the legal action taken against Punk. One would also assume Punk would need to withdraw or apologise for the remarks he made.
There is no doubt that we have seen spectacular returns to the WWE in recent years. Mostly recent we were all enthralled when the Hardy Boyz returned at Wrestlemania 33, and it was arguably the best moment of the night. The main stumbling blocks here are Punk’s stubborn personality, and the public nature of the comments that he made. Punk is notoriously stubborn, even his best friends admitting that he often sticks to his guns, even when no-one else will.
With WWE ratings and viewership dropping each week, will WWE be able to consider all that has happened as water under the bridge and reach out to Punk? Similarly will Punk realise that he is getting older and does miss wrestling after all? If he came back for a huge payday, he should ultimately aim for what he truly desires, the main event of Wrestlemania. Time will tell, but mark my words, if he does return, it will rank up there as one of the biggest reactions of a wrestling crowd to a return ever.