CM Punk is one of the greatest WWE Superstars of this generation, and the stage has been set for the charismatic wrestler to return to the company on the post-WrestleMania edition of Raw on Monday, April 7.
There have been rumors for weeks that Punk could be making his return, but after watching WrestleMania 30 from New Orleans, it is now clear that the WWE desperately needs the straight-edge superstar back in a hurry.
The episode of Raw following WrestleMania has become known as one of the wildest shows of the year due to the fact that the company looks at it as a reset button as it moves into the next year of programming.
After watching The Undertaker take a devastating loss to Brock Lesnar on Sunday night—one of the most shocking moments in wrestling history—the entire WWE Universe feels empty inside. Not even a victory for fan favorite Daniel Bryan was enough to shake the sadness brought on by Undertaker’s loss.
A potential Punk return would alleviate some of the despair brought on by the end of the streak, and the upbeat feel and surprise entrance from the former champion would be one of the first steps toward accepting reality.
For wrestling fans, reality is something we struggle with.
There is no question that Punk would be fully rested for another run as one of the top stars in the company—he hasn’t wrestled since the 2014 Royal Rumble—and the talent and depth he would add to the roster at a time when several of the part-time superstars will be leaving the company is incredibly important to the WWE’s success throughout the summer.
One of the most prolific rumors concerning Punk leading into WrestleMania was a potential confrontation with WWE legend Stone Cold Steve Austin, according to Justin LaBar of WrestleZone:
WZ has learned from WWE sources that a segment was apparently pitched to Stone Cold Steve Austin and CM Punk for WrestleMania 30. 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.
The rumors were flying about Punk returning leading up to Sunday’s PPV, and Stone Cold Steve Austin stated on his podcast that he firmly believed the straight-edge superstar would return 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.
While Stone Cold may not have been correct about Punk returning at WrestleMania, there is always an outside chance that the former WWE champion makes his triumphant return to WWE on the post-WrestleMania Raw.
There will be many fans that question if Punk’s return will steal the thunder from new WWE World Heavyweight champion Daniel Bryan, but adding more depth and talent to the roster is never a bad decision for the WWE.
Punk can return to attack Brock Lesnar to avenge The Undertaker’s loss and continue his feud with Paul Heyman, or he could return as the ultimate heel looking to take the title away from Bryan.
Regardless of how the WWE were to use a returning Punk, his presence on the show makes it more interesting and he has been missed. While the programming has been entertaining, many fans wonder how much better the road to WrestleMania would have been with Punk in the fold.
If there was ever a time for Punk to return to the WWE, it would be on Monday night when the company needs him most. If Punk doesn’t return, though, his time with the company is likely over and the WWE Universe may be without Punk for a long time.
After watching The Undertaker lose, the fans needs all the star power they can get.
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