Rumors of CM Punk’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Reports regarding the possibility of Punk not returning to the WWE have now been officially squashed. Punk will indeed return with his first big match announced for WWE Payback 2013.
Punk will be returning to action at WWE Payback in his hometown of Chicago, IL. That isn’t a big shock as most expected Chicago’s favorite superstar to appear on the big show. The surprise is Punk’s opponent for the June pay per view. Punk will dance his old rival Chris Jericho in an unlikely but welcome match by the WWE Universe.
The match was set up on this past Monday Night RAW. Jericho had Punk’s manager Paul Heyman on the Highlight Reel. Jericho and Heyman got into an argument about Jericho being the “best in the world” now that Punk is gone and issued a challenge to wrestle Punk at Payback. Heyman danced around the challenge before ultimately accepting on behalf of his client.
The first thing I thought when I watched this segment was “that was it”? This was the payoff to Punk’s big angle which saw him walk out and tease that he was leaving for good. Looking back on Punk’s big angles there seems to be a pattern here. His angles always start off real hot and end with a simple, yet disappointing payoff especially since Punk reportedly has input into his storylines (although the reverse can be said about The Undertaker feud). That is why I am not so sure there isn’t more than meets the eye here.
There have been rumblings recently about a Punk babyface turn and subsequent match at SummerSlam against Brock Lesnar. Maybe this is the start of that angle? Keep in mind that Punk never accepted the match, his manager did. Another odd tidbit and maybe this was just poor planning was that Heyman mentioned Punk was home in Chicago while Punk was on Twitter tweeting pictures of himself out at a baseball game. It could be absolutely nothing but these are two of the most meticulous guys in the pro wrestling business when it comes to booking, especially Heyman. I can’t imagine them missing out on this detail unless it was all part of the big picture.
I hope there is more than meets the eye here. The return of Punk seems fairly weak considering the way he left. Regardless, a fresh Punk vs. Jericho should be an easy show-stealer at Payback.
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