Huge news coming from the WWE overnight, as it was revealed that CM Punk’s omission from Raw this past week may have been a much bigger deal than we first thought.
Mike Johnson of PWInsider writes:
Former WWE and World champion CM Punk has been pulled from all advertising of WWE live events going forward after a meeting with WWE management yesterday at the Raw taping in Cleveland, Ohio.
We have been working on details for the last 24 hours (as Dave Scherer and I noted on our respective Elite audios earlier today), but the belief among those who are willing to talk about the situation is that Punk is no longer factored into company plans. Punk is under contract to WWE through July.
Johnson goes on to suggest that Punk was indeed set to feature on Raw this week, but was pulled from the show at the last minute after informing the company that he was “going home and wouldn’t come back”.
Given the Straight-Edge Superstar’s position as one of the company’s top stars right now, this really is a massive development.
One could be forgiven for thinking that this pulling from live events could be a safety precaution to protect the former WWE Champion from injury. However, the tone of Johnson’s piece—plus the fact that Punk is allegedly no longer a part of company plans—suggests that this disappearance may not be a matter of safeguarding the Superstar’s physical condition.
Punk has been vocal in his criticism of the WWE’s use of part-timers before, but he recently endorsed the return of Batista. Thus it’s difficult to attribute this latest news to a case of Punk simply throwing his toys out of the pram in protest.
Furthermore, his run-ins with the Authority looked set to culminate in a WrestleMania feud with Triple H.
Punk hasn’t necessarily been the focal point of WWE programming as of late, but a programme with the Game would have guaranteed Punk a spot in the limelight at the Show of Shows. Though it may not be on par with a WWE Title match, it would certainly be one of the more significant rivalries on the WrestleMania card. For these reasons I don’t necessarily buy into the idea that Punk wasn’t happy with his current direction.
Another factor to consider is the suggestion—made by the man himself—that Punk’s days in a professional wrestling ring could be numbered.
In the past he has openly expressed his desire to retire within the next three years. Given the rigours of a full-time WWE schedule, could the Best in the World be planning on bringing that retirement date forward?
At 35 years of age such a decision may seem a little premature. But a decade-and-a-half in such a physically-demanding profession can often shave years of one’s life. As much as I hope it not to be true, such a turn of events may not be entirely out of the question.
Whatever the reasoning behind Punk’s alleged exile, the repercussions look to be huge.
Are reports simply blowing this issue out of proportion?
Or has the rebellious Superstar rubbed WWE management the wrong way one too many times?
There’s also of course the possibility that this is all a work—having the Authority ban Punk from doing what he does best would certainly be a good basis for the aforementioned WrestleMania programme with Triple H.
Either way, this is certainly a story to keep your attention on over the coming weeks.
Until then though, feel free to comment below with your thoughts on the news, the article and any of the issues that were raised.