On Monday's edition of Raw, Triple H took a not-so-subtle dig at CM Punk during his confrontation with Daniel Bryan. “The Game” noted that, despite his animosity toward Bryan, he at least respected that fact that the star had not “taken his ball and went home” like other wrestlers had.
Triple H didn't explicitly say Punk's name, but then, he didn't have to. The message was clear. Sure enough, some mild “CM Punk” chants broke out in the crowd soon after.
One recent report from PWInsider (via WrestlingInc.) mentions that the feeling among people in the company is that Triple H may still be perturbed by Punk's unwillingness to work with him in their planned WrestleMania program:
There's a feeling within WWE that while Triple H probably won't admit it publicly, he's probably offended that CM Punk didn't want to work with him at WrestleMania XXX. WWE officials, including Triple H himself, see being able to work with him as a big deal.
Interestingly, the report goes on to note that the tide may have turned on Punk backstage, too:
On a related note, the attitude within WWE in regards to Punk has changed from "Vince is going to take care of this, everything will be fine" to a very negative response when asking around. The feeling now is that WWE made Punk a lot of money and then he left.
So, what to make of all this?
Well, inevitably, CM Punk will return to the company at some point. Virtually everyone does.
Heck, even the Ultimate Warrior came back, and management dedicated an entire DVD to burying him and calling him crazy!
Sure, people may be trashing Punk backstage now, but that's likely more politics than anything. (If Triple H and other key higher-ups are criticizing him, everyone else probably feels the pressure to join in.)
It may be next year, or it may be the year after that. But we'll surely see “Voice of the Voiceless” on WWE screens again.
Of course, by that point Triple H—who is being groomed to take over from father-in-law Vince McMahon—may be fully running the company.
Will the star have forgotten the offense he took at Punk's dismissal of working a program with him and welcome him back into the fold? Or will Punk's walkout come back to haunt him?
Hey, he would hardly be the first wrestler to face petty punishment from the bookers, would he?
Who knows? Punk's rash departure may have ramifications for years to come.