CM Punk: Latest Rumors and Speculation Heading into WrestleMania 30

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2014

In this Dec. 11, 2011 photo released by the WWE, WWE Champion CM Punk performs during WWE’s 9th annual
Jim R. Bounds

WWE and CM Punk have always appeared to have a love-hate relationship, though there is no denying the two sides needed each other for a long time. 

Punk fell out of love with the company after the Royal Rumble, leaving WWE after the big event and throwing a monkey wrench into certain plans for WrestleMania 30.

There are reports that Punk was at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony in New Orleans on Saturday night:

Seemingly, there's a report going around that a certain CM Punk is at the Hall Of Fame ceremony tonight. #WWEHOF

— WrestlingNewsSource (@WNSource) April 6, 2014

Even though there's been constant speculation about the future of Punk in WWE, Vince McMahon made it sound like the former WWE champion would return some day, saying in February, via PWTorch, that Punk's departure is nothing more than a "sabbatical."

If you are to believe the WWE chairman, it would make sense that Punk would somehow get involved in WrestleMania. It's the company's biggest event of the year and would generate the kind of post-show buzz McMahon loves so much. 

Since rumors and speculation are going to come flying out of WWE at all angles, we wanted to put together a list of the latest word on a possible Punk appearance at the biggest pay-per-view of the year. 


Steve Austin predicts a Punk appearance

LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 22:  Actor and WWE personality 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin attends the UFC 170 event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on February 22, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

One of the most-talked about dream matches for WrestleMania 30 was Punk against Stone Cold Steve Austin. It obviously never materialized, but that isn't stopping the Rattlesnake from talking about the Straight Edge Superstar. 

Speaking on his podcast, Austin said that he thinks Punk will show up in New Orleans on Sunday night:

I'm telling you, I'm going to stick to my prediction that CM Punk is going to make his return at WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans. I made this prediction two months ago here on the show. It's been a long time; I think he's cooled his jets, he's got some rest and I think it's time to get back to work. I don't see him participating in a match, but it would be great to see him in a run-in to establish himself, to entrench himself immediately in a memorable and just a great moment, and I would say plant himself firmly in the middle of an angle, because he would be the angle, by attacking whomever he sees fit to attack or asserting his presence rather, whatever the case may be.

It's easy to take that seriously, because the assumption is that Austin and Punk have communicated in the past. After all, it was 12 years ago when Austin left WWE in a similar manner as Punk due to creative differences. 

Austin was able to put his issues aside and returned to the company in early 2003. Punk doesn't seem like the kind of guy who needs or wants WWE anymore, though. 

Punk's got a limited ceiling in the company, despite being champion for more than a calendar year, because he's not, as he has famously said, one of WWE's guys. He's got a different look and attitude about him than someone like John Cena or Triple H. 

WWE was never going to put Punk in the closing match at a WrestleMania, despite giving him a bout with Undertaker last year, so unless he's a frivolous spender who's desperate for money, what's the motivation for him to return?


A setup for WrestleMania 31?

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 15:  CM Punk wrestles Shelton Benjamin during WWE Smackdown at Acer Arena on June 15, 2008 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Gaye Gerard/Getty Images)
Gaye Gerard/Getty Images

While we are on the subject of Austin and Punk, a hot rumor floating around the Internet (which is never wrong) had the Texas Rattlesnake calling out the Straight Edge Superstar during an appearance at WrestleMania 30. 

According to Justin LaBar of Wrestle Zone, the angle pitched involved Austin giving Punk a stunner to set up a match at WrestleMania 31:

The segment was based around its ending, which would have seen Austin giving Punk a stunner, to set up a match at WrestleMania 31. There has been no word on whether or not either man agreed to the angle, and we reported earlier today that Punk was still in Chicago as of last night.

There would be some upside for Punk to do this angle. Austin's return match if/when it happens is guaranteed to be the main event at a WrestleMania, just as The Rock's was two years ago. But is that one match enough to get Punk back in WWE full time, or is this strictly a one-off thing that wouldn't be revisited until next January or February?


If you want to talk sports, hit me up on Twitter.