CM Punk has developed a habit of tipping the wrestling world on its head, and again he’s shown it’s a habit he has no intention of kicking.
In recent weeks it has been reported that the star is on the verge of returning to AEW where he will be the star name on the promotion’s new Saturday television show. The plans will reportedly see the AEW roster split — at least to some degree — in an effort to improve backstage harmony.
It is believed that the new show will debut on June 17th at the United Center which just so happens to be in CM Punk’s hometown of Chicago.
However, if it seemed that plans were running smoothly and AEW was heading to a peaceful resolution, CM Punk made a shock visit to WWE Raw on April 24th. The visit caught many by surprise both inside and outside of both companies.
Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted that Punk actually travelled to the Allstate Arena from Florida with “a lot of talent” heading to the show. Furthermore, it is believed that Triple H is the “main guy” the AEW star talked to during the visit.
With regard to Punk’s reasons for attending the taping, Meltzer wasn’t prepared to dive into the speculation, although he did add that there’s a feeling within WWE that Punk wanted to come back.
“If I say what I think I’ll be as wreckless as all the people who say what they say about us. So I’m not gonna say anything. We all have our theories and whatever. I threw my theory past a bunch of people today including (Alvarez) and people that know him very well, much better than I do, and they all said you were spot on. So my theory is that I was spot on.
“[…] The feeling in WWE is that he was there because he wanted back, whether that’s true or not I have no idea. Obviously, there were talks of him going back late last year but he couldn’t go because he was still under contract (to AEW) and my impression is – this was Paul Levesque in charge, not Vince – my impression was they didn’t have any interest in him at that time.”
Continuing on, Meltzer questioned Punk’s motives, noting that the timing was “suspicious.”
“Was it a publicity stunt for him to get publicity? I don’t know, you’d have to ask him. The announcement of him coming back to AEW in theory was gonna be anytime now, the announcement of the new TV show would be anytime now so I’m sure it all ties together in some way and (if) he wants to say what his motives were, what his reasons were, he can say it.
“The timing of everything is suspicious. Let’s face it, WWE has been doing shows for many, many, many years since he left the company, and choosing to go there right before the announcement AEW is going to make for whatever reason, I’m sure there’s a reason in his head why he did that. It’s not like he was walking down the street.
“A lot of people pointed out to me today, the entire thing that got the ball rolling which came because of the fallout between CM Punk and Colt Cabana came because Colt Cabana went and visited some of his friends – I don’t remember if it was WWE or NXT – but very good friends of his from the indy scene that he went to visit at a show while the lawsuit was going on and Punk was furious at him for doing that.”
When Did CM Punk Leave WWE?
CM Punk’s last appearance for WWE came in the 2014 Royal Rumble match that was eventually won by Batista. In the days after the event, Punk walked out of the company upset with his role and feeling creatively stifled, while he also accused the company of making him work while he was injured.
For years Punk vowed not only never to return to WWE, but to wrestling as a whole.
H/t to TJR Wrestling