Saturday, February 24

Why CM Punk’s WWE Return Will Make Or Break His Legacy

Highlights

  • CM Punk’s return to WWE at Survivor Series was unexpected and caused a frenzy among fans who had given up hope.
  • Punk’s departure from WWE in 2014 was highly publicized, with reasons including dissatisfaction and feeling unsafe.
  • Despite controversies and past jabs at WWE, fans are willing to accept Punk again, but he must keep his ego in check and not cause trouble backstage.


Following CM Punk’s departure from AEW earlier this year, speculation started that The Cult of Personality could finally make his way back to WWE. The same company he took a very public dig at two years ago when he debuted on AEW Rampage. Now wrestling journalists like Sean Ross Sapp and Meltzer repeatedly said a CM Punk return was not in the works. Sources within WWE and people from Punk’s side told them that he wasn’t returning at Survivor Series. WWE even went out of their way to announce that the fifth member of this year’s Men’s WarGames Match was going to be Randy Orton and not CM Punk, so as not to disappoint the Chicago crowd, who are known to hijack the show when it comes to their hometown superstar. And as expected, The Viper made his return after over a year and a half of being on the sidelines during the main event. His team won, and as the show was about to close, the Cult of Personality hit the arena. Everyone went bonkers instantly because most people had long given up any hope that Punk was going to appear at Survivor Series. But there he was, walking out through the gorilla position – CM Punk.

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CM Punk Returned At Survivor Series

Left WWE In 2014

  • Made WWE Debut In 2005
  • 5 Time World Champion In WWE
  • Worked As An Analyst On WWE Backstage

CM Punk’s departure from WWE was very public. After he got fired, he did a podcast with his former friend and fellow wrestler, Colt Cabana. This landed him in a defamation suit, which he eventually won, but on the podcast, Punk talked about a lot of things that went wrong during his run. He felt dissatisfied, he felt unsafe working, and the medical staff did not pay attention to him and his injuries. All of these compounded and he could not take it anymore, so he quit wrestling altogether. Punk left the January 27th, 2014 edition of WWE Raw and a few months later, on his wedding day, he got his termination papers, which left a very sour taste in his mouth. Vince McMahon did publically apologize to him on The Stone Cold Podcast but Punk felt that this was just an insincere publicity stunt.

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The 10 Greatest Moments Of CM Punk’s Career

CM Punk is one of the greatest of all time, and his career has been littered with some of the greatest moments ever.

Signed With Tony Khan’s AEW In 2021

CM Punk’s AEW Run Was Controversial

Punk made his AEW debut back in 2021 and then quickly became one of their top stars. He became their top merch seller and even won the AEW World Championship two times. However, he did not really have an outstanding run as a World Champion – his first title reign ended because of a foot injury, and then he defeated Jon Moxley and immediately got suspended. Upon his return earlier this year, Punk did the storyline where he called himself the Real AEW World Champion and even defended his belt a few times. Tony Khan even gave him his show, Collision, where he was given a lot of power over who would be on the show. And all of this was after he assaulted AEW’s EVPs at last year’s All Out and managed to make powerful enemies within the company. Tony Khan took a big risk with him and his last AEW match wound up being against Samoa Joe at this year’s All In pay-per-view. Soon after this, rumors emerged that Punk was looking for a job in WWE.

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Why CM Punk Helped AEW As A Company (& Why He Didn’t)

During CM Punk’s time with AEW, there were a lot of major highs and huge lows mixed into his run.

CM Punk’s Last Chance To Save His Legacy In Wrestling

CM Punk Can’t Assault People Backstage

Now fans can make all kinds of arguments as to why his WWE run will be different. But we’re talking about a guy who got everything on a silver platter, and most people still can’t wrap their heads around the fact that he went from having one of the best returns in all of wrestling to getting fired with a cause in about two years. As well, notable WWE wrestlers like Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and more have publicly said that they’re not fans of Punk. On top of that, it’s a public company. They can’t afford bad PR, and more importantly, they won’t let Punk get away with things as easily as he did in AEW. There, he was their main superstar, but in WWE, he’s just one of the top stars.

There are already fans making bets with their friends that Punk will get himself fired from WWE within months. This WWE run will be his last chance to show that he’s not the same wrestler anymore. Triple H has said that things will work out, so he gave Punk another chance to prove himself. He’s a top guy, he’s in WWE, but he has to prove to everyone that he can work with other wrestlers, especially those he doesn’t get along with too well, and not screw things up. He can’t fight with other people backstage and risk their safety.

CM Punk Has Settled A Lot Of WWE Grudges

CM Punk Made Peace With The Miz & Triple H Earlier This Year

Even after all the controversies he’s been a part of, the fans are willing to accept him again. He took jabs at WWE for years, and said he almost died there, made fun of wrestlers like Triple H and The Miz and while he may have reconciled now, he has to keep his attitude and ego in check. Because there are only so many times Punk can hurt his reputation before it’s too late to sustain what’s left of his legacy. His return has already overshadowed everything WWE did at Survivor Series. Nobody’s talking about the Women’s WarGames Match, Randy Orton’s return, or that great Miz vs Gunther match for the Intercontinental Championship – it’s all about CM Punk. WWE did what they could, now Punk has to prove to everyone that he can do what’s best for business and keep his end of the deal (in this case, not causing trouble for anyone around him). It’s a very reasonable ask from a wrestler, but only time will tell if Punk can manage to keep himself in check.

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