Word is already out that WWE is having Punk rest until his WrestleMania match to nurse his arm injury, but that might not be the extent of his time off.
PWInsider (via WrestlingInc.com) reports, "Word now is that Punk may not be working most live events here in the United States once WrestleMania is over, leaving John Cena to once again be the top draw for RAW live events."
After being the company's workhorse for the past year, it makes sense to have Punk ease up on his schedule.
Not only did he hold the WWE title for 434 days, but he constantly defended it and fought in longer matches on Raw. His body and likely his mind need a break.
Few things are as grueling as the WWE schedule. From the traveling and physical toll of getting tossed around a ring, all WWE Superstars need to take a breather from time to time.
A lighter schedule for Punk means he can recover from his nagging injuries. Punk underwent knee surgery in December. He then hurt his arm in a match with Kane on a recent Raw. As with any pro wrestler, Punk is likely suffering any number of other minor injuries.
Time off will serve his body well.
The other benefits of a short-term Punk absence include more time for WWE's other heels to shine at live events. Wade Barrett and Antonio Cesaro are among the younger stars who could profit most from more exposure.
A lighter schedule also gives Punk and WWE time to work on varying his character.
Punk has made a habit of shifting his character in order to keep up interest. He has changed his look and demeanor the way a snake changes its skin. Time off should allow for him to develop new alterations.
With time off coming to him, Punk can go all out against Undertaker. He can then recuperate and re-energize until he returns.
In lieu of a WWE offseason, this is the best way for the company to protect its stars.