People come and go in the WWE but as a general rule, since the days of the Monday night wars, their top stars don’t tend to bow out while in their prime. Sure people grow too old or too broken down and retire or fade away, but CM Punk was an anomaly.
Cult of personality
CM Punk was an internet darling that gained mainstream superstardom, through hard work and commitment he became bigger than the system he came through should have allowed him. And then he left. As a young man who could have gone on to break records with the WWE. But why?
Reason for leaving
There are probably many factors in Punk taking his ball and going home. I doubt he would have been happy with having to give up his belt to The Rock. He was displeased with never being given the main event at Wrestlemania. It would seem he had a lot of issues with authority figures. He seems very bitter about things with Triple H and Vince McMahon in particular. Then there was the court case against a WWE doctor. Chris Amann sued Punk to the tune of 4 million dollars after Punk was highly critical of his practices on his (at the time) Friend, Colt Cabana’s podcast.
While there is no hard evidence that the WWE supported Amann’s case it is generally assumed that they did, especially around the wrestling dirt sheets. Obviously, this soured Punk’s relationship with the company. But that bridge was further torched when Punk was effectively fired on his wedding day. As if that wasn’t enough to put him off a return to the company following his initial defeat after testing himself in the UFC Stephanie McMahon made subtle digs at him and Dolphins Ziggler did a skit in one of his matches throwing shade at Punk’s defeat.
Punk’s stance on a return
Despite the internet and social media desperately trying to find hints that Punk may return to the ring, he has stated on countless occasions that he is done with Wrestling. Although his MMA career has been poor he is still training in MMA. He has dabbled in acting and even turned his attention to MMA commentary and whenever quizzed on a return, especially to the WWE he has insisted it is never going to happen.
If you are a wrestling fan you may have heard of a company called AEW. All Elite Wrestling is a company propped up by the billionaire owners of the Tennessee Titans. This is not some small upstart Indy promotion. This is a company with real financial clout and they proved that by acquiring some of the worlds top Indy talent and former WWE undisputed champion Chris Jericho.
With a wrestling company with the financial clout to afford a star of Punk’s calibre many hoped he would stick his finger up to the WWE and join them out of spite. After all, it isn’t just Punk’s wrestling persona that has a rebellious side. You only have to follow his Twitter to see that you can take away the Punk moniker, but Phil Brookes still lives the punk life.
Punk, unfortunately, kyboshed the rumours. This isn’t surprising as he seems to have heat with Cody and Jericho. Although this could all be bravado and sewing seeds for potential stories should Punk join up?
Fast forward to the current day and punk wearing a hood crashed a small Indy show under a mask and delivered his trademark GTS finisher on a wrestler. The internet is abuzz with renewed hope that this means he will be returning. Rumours range from him using the angle to create a bidding war between AEW and WWE to him just having a laugh! Interestingly Vince McMahon recently followed CM Punk and his wife AJ Lee on Twitter. Vince only follows 49 other people.