CM Punk is gone.
As unlikely as a CM Punk return was, if it were ever going to happen, it would have happened on March 3 during a Raw in danger of being hijacked in his absence.
WWE was able to survive Raw: Chicago without Punk, and following a show dominated by CM Punk chants, it's time to move on.
In true rebel fashion, Punk left (via TMZ) WWE on his own terms without so much as saying goodbye. With WrestleMania steadily approaching, fans need to follow suit.
The CM Punk bubble has burst, and although Punk's departure will remain a mystery, WWE received closure with the incident after getting through a highly anticipated Raw unscathed.
March 3 in Chicago was a last hoorah. Through a combination of Paul Heyman and a raucous Allstate Arena, this was CM Punk's farewell party whether he was in attendance or not.
The WrestleMania picture is beginning to take form. Two matches have been announced with at least four—Christian-Sheamus, Bryan-Triple H, Cena-Wyatt and whatever happens with the Shield—close to being finalized.
From this point on, any ensuing CM Punk chants will be equivalent to "boring" or "JBL" chants, with fans simply entertaining themselves rather than expecting a miracle return.
As Punk once said during his most famous promo, "I'm just a spoke on the wheel, the wheel is going to keep turning."
WWE's seamless switch from the rumored Punk-Triple H match to the current Bryan-Triple H feud validates that quote. While WWE fans are a nostalgic bunch, who never forget noteworthy stars, their tendency to move forward mirrors that of WWE.
In WWE's alternate universe where "anything can happen," the possibility of a CM Punk return will always remain.
For now, however, the CM Punk era is over. The closer WWE gets to WrestleMania XXX, the more it will take center stage.