CM Punk fans may get what they have been hoping for this Monday on WWE RAW. A new report suggests that Punk will end his sabbatical in Chicago and return just in time for a prime spot on WrestleMania 30.
I am not surprised at all. Quite frankly I thought something was up after seeing Batista’s promo on the most recent SmackDown. Batista sort of, kind of, maybe turned heel which turned the whole championship match upside down. With Daniel Bryan looking like he’ll be matched up with Triple H, the only scenario I saw here was for Punk to get into the match. That said, there was one line in particular in his promo that gave it all away.
“Where are all the real men? What happened to the attitude? You chant the names of 195-pound wannabes.”
Now that comment could have been taken as a shot at Daniel Bryan but I don’t think anyone would refer to Daniel Bryan as a 195 pounds. I immediately thought Punk when I heard that comment. This certainly puts a new twist on the championship match, if that is where this is going. This also fulfills Punk’s goal of getting a WWE championship match on Mania.
I can’t help but think that some people in the WWE locker room have to be a little upset. Here is a situation where a guy walked out of RAW 30-minutes before the show because he allegedly was upset with his WrestleMania match, which incidentally happens to be a company Vice President. He is rewarded with not just returning to the company but getting a spot in the match he wanted all along. It just goes to show you that Punk has way more stroke than I ever would have imagined.
The scenario reminds me about what happened with Chris Jericho returned last year to work WrestleMania. Jericho has told the story many times so I’ll paraphrase a bit here. Jericho was booked to wrestle Ryback on WrestleMania 29. Vince changed his mind and booked Jericho with newcomer Fandango instead. Jericho said that he was very angry when that happened as he went from working with someone hot from the upper card to a newcomer on the bottom. How did Jericho handle it? He said that he stepped back and took it as a personal challenge to get Fandango over and have a great match. Punk on the other hand didn’t like his booking and instead of taking that attitude, he took his ball and went home.
The question now is who goes over in the title match? The idea that Punk would come back for a match he is going to lose is a little odd, yet maybe that was a concession he made to getting booked in the match. I have to think that part of the deal the WWE made with Batista is that he would get the belt on Mania. Of course they always have the right to change their minds but would they want to upset a guy who just signed a two-year deal in favor of a guy whose contract is about to expire?
That is the other part of this equation. I am very curious if Punk coming back is more than him just fulfilling his commitments. I am curious as to whether Punk got a new contract out of this. My hunch is that we won’t know until August or September. My guess is that the company replays the Summer of Punk all over again and books another angle off of his expiring contract, whether it truly is expiring or not. I think if he goes over on Mania that there is a very strong chance that he signed a new deal.
Assuming Punk is back, it really does shock me that Vince McMahon caved to Punk. Vince had similar, albeit much greater problems with Shawn Michaels in the 1990s. It has been readily acknowledged that it was a mistake on Vince’s part to give the power away as freely as he did. Doing it again in 2014 really does surprise me. Especially when it can be seen as a slap in the face to one of his V.P.s and son-in-law.