Google "March 3 CM Punk."
Go ahead. I promise this article will still be here when you get back.
Any search result worth its salt immediately speculates on Punk's whereabouts and how the Rawmageddon show, from Chicago's Allstate Arena, will play out.
For more shameless fun, try it on Twitter. That part we can do together:
March 3 Raw Is In Chicago !! Cm Punk Hometown ! Please Let It Be His Return !😩— #WeWantCmPunk (@PunkCee) February 22, 2014
@JRsBBQ Hi Jim do you think Cm Punk will be back at the Raw in Chicago march 3 ?— Alain Lambert (@al2626) February 20, 2014
The impromptu saga, sparked when Punk reportedly went home, per TMZ, prior to the post-Royal Rumble Raw, has taken on a life of its own.
In fact, the omission of CM Punk has drawing power.
Fans will either be interested in seeing how close Chicago comes to a riot sans him, or if WWE will actually blow through a WrestleMania without one of its biggest stars.
Conspiracy is the only thing keeping the endangered CM Punk story alive. Raw in Chicago is just too close to the day that he quit, so maybe—just maybe—this will be the payoff.
This is the final glaring moment that will decide if Punk truly is gone. Not is-he-or-isn't-he gone but shoot, gone. If he is nowhere to be found in Chicago, it's the latter, and fans will be forced to accept the sobering reality, no pun intended.
Despite being away from WWE for a full month, not to mention Punk's deliberate radio silence since, the "Punk Out" controversy will build to its crescendo Monday on Raw.
Not since Bret Hart with Canada has a wrestler been so closely associated or defined by a single venue than CM Punk is with Chicago.
It's where he won his first WWE championship at Money in the Bank in 2011. It's on his trunks. As fate would have it, he made a return to a WWE ring at WWE Payback in Chicago following the scripted version of his walkout.
Stranger things have happened in pro wrestling, and regardless of his appearance, the March 3 Raw will forever be known as the CM Punk episode.
Most are resigned to the very real possibility that WWE has moved on. With a guest host in Hollywood star Aaron Paul and backstage reports from Wrestling Observer newsletter (via SEScoops) of WWE's panic/strategy in regard to a potential Chicago hijacking of Rawmageddon, WrestleMania XXX is far too important to spend negotiating with an anarchist, as CM Punk was once described by Michael Cole.
If professional wrestling is the ultimate spectator sport, March 3 will be Exhibit B. If and when CM Punk is nowhere to be found, that distinction will be upgraded to Exhibit A.