CM Punk Talks Possible AEW, NXT Opponents; WWE WrestleMania Rumor; McAfee on HHH

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2020

CM Punk stands in his corner before a welterweight bout at UFC 203 on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, in Cleveland. Mickey Gall won via submission. (AP Photo/David Dermer)
David Dermer/Associated Press

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.


Punk Talks Intriguing AEW and NXT Opponents

CM Punk has not competed in a pro wrestling match since leaving WWE after the 2014 Royal Rumble, but he is constantly asked questions about a potential return.

While the 41-year-old has made it clear that he isn't actively looking to return to the sport, the former MMA fighter also hasn't completely shot down the possibility of doing so at some point.

During a Twitter Q&A session Thursday, Punk was asked who he would most like to wrestle against in both AEW and NXT.

For AEW, Punk said Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks. For NXT, Punk went with Finn Balor.

Any of those opponents would be huge within the world of wrestling, especially since Punk has never stepped inside the ring with any of them.

Many consider Omega to be the best in-ring worker in the world and Punk called himself the best in the world during his WWE tenure, so a rivalry between them would make perfect sense if Punk were to ever sign with AEW.

Punk would need a partner in order to take on The Young Bucks, but that would be a newsworthy match as well since The Young Bucks have long referred to themselves as the best tag team in the world.

As for NXT, Balor stands out as an ideal opponent because of their similar size, in-ring style and demeanor. Both Punk and Balor enjoyed a great deal of success around the world before hitting it big in WWE, so they took similar paths to get to the top as well.

Punk against anyone inside a wrestling ring in 2020 would be a huge deal, but if WWE or AEW want to convince him to come out of retirement, they now know what a good starting point would be based on the answers Punk gave.


Rumor on WrestleMania 37 Main Event

WWE is reportedly unsure what it wants to do with regard to the main event of WrestleMania 37 in Los Angeles next year.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc's Marc Middleton), WWE's original plan was for Randy Orton vs. Edge in an I Quit match to headline WrestleMania, with Orton potentially entering that match as WWE champion, but there is no longer a "100 percent clear" main event in place for the show.

WWE still has about seven months until WrestleMania 37, which gives the company plenty of time to figure something out, but it has long been said that WWE books certain angles and matches as far as one year in advance, especially when it comes to a huge event like Mania.

Edge and Orton were engaged in a highly entertaining and heated rivalry for a few months beginning the night after Royal Rumble 2020 when Orton turned heel by attacking Edge.

They had a Last Man Standing match won by Edge at WrestleMania 36, and The Viper then beat Edge at Backlash in what was billed as the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever. Edge suffered a torn triceps in that match and has been on the shelf ever since.

If Edge is unable to return until WrestleMania season, then it could make sense for the blow-off to his rivalry with Orton to occur at WrestleMania 37. If he returns before then, however, it is difficult to envision WWE holding off on the match until March.

WWE has several top stars it must figure into the WrestleMania 37 card, including Drew McIntyre, Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt, Sasha Banks and Bayley among others.

The company has no shortage of options with regard to WrestleMania main event matches, and that picture should become much clearer in the coming months.


McAfee Open to Match vs. Triple H

After an impressive and successful in-ring debut against Adam Cole at NXT TakeOver: XXX, former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee suggested that he is open to more matches in the future.

During an appearance on WWE After The Bell with Corey Graves (h/t WrestleZone's Robert DeFelice), McAfee said he would consider having a match against NXT founder Triple H should the opportunity present itself.

As part of the build toward his match against Cole on Saturday, McAfee was on NXT commentary a few weeks ago. Cole threw water in his face after he made disparaging remarks about the Undisputed Era leader, which prompted McAfee to punt Cole in the head.

A furious Triple H gave McAfee a hard push and called for him to exit the NXT Arena at Full Sail University.

McAfee acknowledged that the push was "pretty hard" and suggested that The Game would have been OK with him falling to the floor.

Triple H has never had a match in NXT, but there is no question that there would be a great deal of interest in the WWE Hall of Famer mixing it up on the brand he built from the ground up.

McAfee is inexperienced, but he has already cut some great promos. During his match against Cole, he displayed great athleticism and the ability to be a strong heel.

If anyone can get a great match out of McAfee like Cole did, Triple H fits the bill, and it would likely get the wrestling world buzzing.


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