How much weight we should put into this rumor is up for debate, but according to a recent report, there is a feeling inside (or behind the scenes) WWE that CM Punk might be ready to return to the company as is kind of just waiting for a phone call.
The interesting thing about the rumor — of course outside of the fact any WWE return is a shocker — that the return would be on wrestling and not to AEW.
During the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the discussion revolved around the idea that Punk might be ready to return. The last time anyone had tried to connect Punk to wrestling, it was with AEW’s All Out pat-per-view. Of course, as everyone who watched that PPV knows, that appearance didn’t happen. More interesting, news broke that AEW not only wasn’t able to convince Punk to come over, but they’d insulted him with their offer and that they tried to reach out via a text. Punk then did an interview l with Marc Raimondi of ESPN back in July and was less-than-flattering.
According to this source, all talks between Punk and AEW have broken off.
So, with AEW possibly out, is WWE back in?
Based on the discussion, WWE seems to believe that Punk is not only open to a return, but might actually want to come back. WWE is not relying on it happening, nor are they banking on a return, but the report is interesting.
Why Would Anyone Believe Punk Wants Back In?
It wasn’t long ago that Punk’s people allegedly went to FOX to tried to sell Punk as a co-host of the new “WWE Backstage” studio show on FS1. That job ultimately went to Renee Young and Booker T and it wasn’t something WWE had an interest in. Punk didn’t confirm nor deny that report.
Then, Punk appeared at Starrcast III last month. During his Q&A, he was asked if he would take the call and have a conversation if Vince McMahon or Triple H. Presumably about a return to WWE, even though just taking to two guys people assume he’s not happy with would be a big step forward. Punk said, “I wouldn’t not talk to them.”
Ok, that’s big news in and of itself.
He further went on to say, in any other sport or business, the team that suspended is responsible for reaching out and bribing that player back. This doesn’t necessarily scream that Punk is waiting by the phone (we know he’s not) but he might be ok if WWE reached out and initiated something.
Who Should Take The First Step?
If there’s anything to this, who takes the next step? Clearly, Punk, now 40, has made it clear he’s ok with his career if it ends today. But, the comments suggest he’d like to make another run. And, while WWE is playing the ‘no big deal’ game, should they cast a line out there to see if Punk bites?