CM Punk will be making his WWE return perhaps sooner than we expected, as Paul Heyman spoke on his behalf and agreed to a match with Chris Jericho. The bout is due to take place at WWE’s upcoming Payback pay-per-view, and while I do want to see him return, I can’t help but wonder exactly when he will once again cross paths with John Cena and the WWE Championship.
We have not seen Punk since he left WWE to rest and heal his body. He said very little the last time we saw him, only that he just didn’t know what was left for him to accomplish in the company.
And to be honest, I am right there with him.
Punk has done it all in Vince McMahon’s company. He has had classic matches against some of WWE’s all time great Superstars; he headlined pay-per-views, worked The Undertaker at WrestleMania and was the WWE champion for an astonishing 434 days.
In essence, CM Punk walked on the moon and now has to make do with life back on Earth.
How do you follow that up? Punk dropped the infamous pipe bomb in 2011, and his career immediately took off. He was booked in the best possible storylines and was given the keys to the kingdom. He could do no wrong, and despite how controversial he was, he continued to reign at the top of WWE, doing whatever he wanted to do.
And he did all of that while standing next to the face of WWE, John Cena.
What’s next? When he does come back, what will CM Punk do that could possibly compare to his last run?
Some fans believe that he will have heat with Curtis Axel, Paul Heyman’s newest client. This makes sense, as Punk could accuse Heyman of leaving him behind and putting his focus on an untested Superstar without even telling him about it first.
Axel versus Punk would be good for Curtis and help strengthen his character in the company. It would also be a very interesting storyline to see Heyman at ringside, perhaps torn as to which Superstar he should be supporting throughout the match.
Of course, instead of Axel, we could see Heyman’s other client, Brock Lesnar, stepping up to face the “Best in the World.”
Punk versus Lesnar would be a very interesting bout because, while Punk could not match Brock’s power, he could go toe to toe from a technical standpoint. Plus, there’s also the fact that much of Punk’s move set consists of submission holds so WWE could use that to hype the match.
But, if the match with Jericho does indeed take place at Payback, then we could see Punk simply just be reinserted into the storyline one step at a time. Why rush him if there’s no need to?
However, no matter who he faces or what storyline he finds himself in, it’s only a matter of time until CM Punk crosses paths with John Cena once again.
It’s inevitable. Punk is just too big of a personality—a guy who was at the top of his game and at the top of WWE for too long—to not be noticed by the No. 1 champion in the company. Imagine Batman and Superman existing together in the DC universe but never having contact whatsoever.
The only thing that could potentially stop that from happening would be if Punk returned and was relegated to mid-card status. That’s right; CM Punk, the voice of the voiceless, the man who stood up to WWE and dictated the way he wanted his career to go, now being satisfied going right back to where he was before he caught fire in 2011.
Somehow, I just don’t think that will happen.
The fact is that every time Punk and Cena touched, they made for some great drama and intensity in the ring. They brought out the best in each other, and when Punk does return, he and Cena will surely hook it up again.
They have to, right?
I believe that WWE will take their time with this one. Punk versus Cena is a guaranteed draw, a reliable money maker that will get fans talking and deliver on every level. The truth is, this match will always be there, and it’s always readily available and can be booked at anytime.
And when it is, it will not be a surprise. Punk is perhaps Cena’s best opponent of all time, and when you have two guys with that much chemistry, it’s impossible to not revisit. We will most definitely see John Cena versus CM Punk again.
That’s one way to follow up.