CM Punk may have only had a few years on top of the WWE Universe, but the straight-edge superstar has been wrestling for more than a decade and could begin to consider retirement, based on a PWInsider report (h/t Wrestlezone).
Punk has battled injuries since he arrived in the WWE. His hard-hitting style can sometimes beat up his slight frame, and we all know that Punk doesn't hold back when between the ropes. Punk had been nursing numerous injuries throughout his entire historic run with the WWE Title, and it didn't keep him from leaping off the top rope onto the Undertaker at WrestleMania this past year.
According to the report, Punk tweeted yesterday that his ribs are "busted" without giving any specifics to the injury. Last month he suffered a back injury, and there are other concerns about concussions.
Punk has stated before, according to the report, that he does not want to overstay his welcome in the WWE and professional wrestling. Punk has made a lot of money in the last few years and has a number of other interests outside of the industry. If nothing else, he could make appearances at comic book and wrestling conventions to pad his bank account for the next 20 years with ease.
Punk, who turned 35 years old in October, began touring independent wrestling with Independent Wrestling Association: Mid-South in 2000. He is without question one of the most talented and beloved wrestlers in the WWE, and losing Punk from the roster would be a major blow to the company. I suspect if he were to seriously consider retirement, Vince McMahon and Triple H would first approach him with a part-time contract, the way Chris Jericho has worked on and off again for the company while pursuing other interests.
Aside from recent examples of Shawn Michaels and Edge, it's a cliche in wrestling that no star ever fully retires. Being a passionate fan of the business, Punk would be hard-pressed to find the same rush he receives from wrestling through any other avenue. It's that feeling that keeps guys coming back, just to hear the roar of the crowd.
I'll believe Punk is retiring when it actually happens. Until then, I'll enjoy his work as the best in the world.