CM Punk is back in WWE and this run will be the one that shapes the final thoughts on his famed wrestling career.
WWE pulled off a major moment at Survivor Series as CM Punk walked out at the end of the show, catching the wrestling industry by surprise. This is on the heels of his widely reported firing from All Elite Wrestling, amid multiple instances of physical altercations with co-workers, and other issues continued to abound. Punk has long been a controversial member of the wrestling community, with thoughts on his presence ranging from both the positive and the negative. His return to WWE creates a huge opening and excitement, but it is also his last chance to end things with more positive thoughts than negative ones.
The excitement heading into the November 27 edition of WWE Raw is palpable. Both Punk and Randy Orton are making their return to the show, and with the way Survivor Series ended, there is so much to look forward to seeing. What does Punk say? Who does it say it to? And what does WWE plan to kick off his initial interaction? All those questions will be well-managed and answered. But it’s the behind-the-scenes stuff that also has the attention of wrestling fans.
Any rumors or speculation involving Punk already get blown out of proportion. Returning to WWE is going to make that situation worse. AEW fans are ready to point to Punk as the “cancer” that Seth Rollins described him as, while WWE fans want to see Punk behave to “prove” the idea that AEW is run by a “bunch of children.” It doesn’t matter that the truth tends to lie somewhere in the middle of all things, when it comes to Punk too many people want it to be either black or white.
Fans should expect Punk to be on his best behavior, but of course, that is how things always begin. What happens when rumors begin to bubble up? Fans are already speculating about Drew McIntyre and what Punk’s return means for him. Things will not be “sunshine and rainbows” forever. The focus will turn to how Punk responds and what his peers in the back say about said response. What happens when the good faith efforts and initial fan excitement end? Will Punk still be within the WWE when 2024 is coming to a close? Everyone is watching with bated breath.
This return to WWE is CM Punk’s last opportunity to end his famed wrestling career as he sees it. His tenure with AEW could have been the end, but that would have tarnished a career that isn’t truly shiny to begin with. Acting out in the WWE would make the matter even worse. But if he comes into this company under Triple H, mends all the burned bridges, and walks out as the Employee of the Month or Year – then the story of CM Punk will have a drastically different finish.