Trouble in Paradise: Is This the End for CM Punk?
Source – CM Punk has been pulled from all advertising of WWE live events going forward after a meeting with WWE management at Monday ‘s WWE Raw tapings. Punk is under contract until July, but the feeling right now is that he is no longer factored into the company ‘s plans moving forward. The plan was to work towards a CM Punk vs. Triple H match at WrestleMania 30, but not it seems as if WWE may slide Daniel Bryan into that slot.
Some sources have stated that the original script for Monday’s Raw called for Punk to wrestle Antonio Cesaro and lose after Kane interfered in an Elimination Chamber Qualifying match . Other sources claim that he was not scheduled to wrestle, but instead say he was booked to do a promo that would follow up on Kane causing his elimination from the Rumble. Either way Punk was booked for Raw, but was not backstage for the show or at Smackdown.
The feeling is that the late re-writes for the show on Monday were because Punk had informed the company he was going home and wouldn’t be back. Word is that this is not an injury situation, but instead a case of burnout and unhappiness with the overall direction of the company. Punk had been very vocal in the past about the usage of returning and “part time ” stars being pushed beyond wrestlers who were working full-time for the company.
During a recent interview with Ariel Hewani , Punk spoke about working the crazy WWE schedule, and only ever taking time off for injuries . Punk worked over 50-minutes in Sunday’s Royal Rumble match , and was described as being “pissy” backstage. But some has said that this is not unusual for him.
Another source noted that Punk ‘s last goal was to work a WrestleMania main event, and that it may be a situation where Punk realized it wasn’t going to happen this year and with his WWE deal expiring and him being so goal oriented, it may have weighed him down when he realized it would not happen.
Also during the Ariel Hewani interview, Punk was asked about WWE killing his momentum at times and why such things happen and stated that he’d like to think they don’t make those decisions on purpose and it’s more they wanted to go in another decision and that it was a different era.
I’ve followed WWE and wrestling in general for far too long to blindly believe anything based on the initial reports. According to numerous wrestling websites, CM Punk, a la Stone Cold in 2002, has taken his ball and gone home. We’ve all made the Stone Cold/CM Punk comparisons in the past, but I doubt anyone saw Punk mirroring this part of Austin’s career. Punk was mysteriously absent from this weeks Raw, and initial reports (there are those words again) suggested he didn’t appear on screen to further the storyline from Sunday’s Royal Rumble, in which he was choke slammed through a table by Kane. Now it’s come out that Punk is frustrated with the current direction of the company, including the inclusion of part time wrestlers Brock Lesnar and Batista in main event spots, so he went home. Is this part of a storyline, or this the end for CM Punk? I say the latter, and here’s why.
They did this exact storyline the last time Punk’s contact was up, so repeating the same angle without the help of that incredible Chicago crowd at Money in the Bank would be stupid. If I had to bet on one scenario, it would be that Punk is really gone. WWE has a lot of good storylines going on right now between The Shield, Wyatt’s, Daniel Bryan, Lesnar, the Authority and the eventual return of the Undertaker. It makes no sense to make this a storyline. Punk going through Kane at Elimination Chamber then finally getting his hands on HHH at WrestleMania would have been great. Now it looks like he’ll be sitting on his couch for the biggest event of the year. This isn’t a storyline. Will Punk return? Possibly, but that doesn’t mean it’s part of the story, It means he’s smartened up and agreed to fulfill the rest of his contract.
I’ve always been confused as to why people like Punk get upset when part timers come back for WrestleMania season. Batista’s return last week was the highest rated Raw in months. Lesnar’s return after last years WrestleMania got mainstream coverage. The Rock made WrestleMania 29 one of the most bought PPV’s in history. If these guys came back and didn’t make the WWE more money, which also means more eyes watching guys like Punk, then they wouldn’t be back. If you have the choice between 100 people watching your show or 500 people watching your show, wouldn’t you take the 500? And wouldn’t you do whatever it takes to get those 500 people watching? I love Punk, and guys like Ziggler and Daniel Bryan. They put on great matches. They get the crowd behind them like no one else in the industry. But without those top tier guys, they’d be performing for a drastically smaller audience, and that’s not good for anybody.
Hopefully Punk comes back and furthers the Authority storyline like he should, which would ensure Daniel Bryan would stay in his current spot in the Elimination Chamber, win the title and fight in the main event at WrestleMania. If he doesn’t come back, then I hope we never see him again. I’d hate to see him turn into one of those part timers he despises so much.