CM Punk: How a UFC 203 Win Helps His Chances for WWE Return


 If CM Punk can pull off the upset at UFC 203, the magnitude of his eventual WWE return may be too difficult for either side to resist.

CM Punk returning to the WWE at this point has plenty of obstacles to say the least. For starters, there is bad blood between the two. There’s also an ongoing lawsuit brought on by WWE’s physician Dr. Chris Amann against Punk and Colt Cabana. To which Punk recently indicated in an interview with AXS TV that the lawsuit is being funded by Vince McMahon. He has had royalty disputes since his departure and plenty of unflattering things to say about WWE and certain employees. Plus, Punk is a significant underdog in his upcoming fight. But a victory for CM Punk over Mickey Gall at UFC 203 could be a huge motivating factor for his return to WWE down the road.

First things first, this return wouldn’t happen right away. A win at UFC 203 would put Punk in position to have multiple high profile fights going forward. Also, his status and credibility would be greatly heightened. But at age 37, he doesn’t have many years to physically compete at a high level in MMA. Best case scenario would likely be a max of about 3 or 4 fights for Punk over the next few years. That would put him out of the sport around the age of 40.

WWE would provide a longer shelf life for CM Punk. In addition, if he were coming off a successful stint in the UFC, his star power would likely be at an all-time high. The legitimacy that would come from winning a UFC fight would skyrocket his earning potential. Brock Lesnar is a prime example, he is a superstar in the sports world due to his UFC success. He parlayed his stardom into a multi-million dollar part-time contract with the WWE. Comparatively, CM Punk was more beloved by the wrestling fan base than Lesnar during his wrestling career. This would likely cause Punk’s demand to be higher than Lesnar’s was exiting the UFC.

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Vince McMahon will forgive past grievances with talents if it’s “best for business”. In fact, Bret Hart and Ultimate Warrior both returned to WWE despite having arguably worse issues with the company than Punk. The huge earning potential of a CM punk return to WWE would give both sides incentive to reconcile.  Especially considering he would instantly be a WrestleMania main event level star. Ironically, not being in the WrestleMania main event was a primary reason for Punk’s departure from WWE. He would return as a conquering hero. Not to mention, there would be plenty of potential feuds waiting for him. Obviously, a lengthy program involving Triple H and Stephanie McMahon would likely be the first option.

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It’s definitely a stretch to speculate on a CM Punk win at UFC 203. He has no background in MMA and Gall is a legitimate competitor. However, major upsets in UFC are not uncommon. In either case, his shelf life is limited and retirement around the age of 40 doesn’t seem to fit Punk. Win or lose at UFC 203, a return to WWE is a possibility in the future. But a win at some point in UFC would easily set him up to main event a WrestleMania. It’s reasonable to think that an opportunity at a WrestleMania main event would interest Punk. It’s something that he wanted in his WWE career but never achieved.