What is going on with CM Punk? That question appears to have a different answer every day. Reports and rumors surfaced Monday that Punk had been granted release yet the WWE says, not so fast Internet dirt sheets.
[adinserter block=”1″]Rumors began flying Monday that Punk was given an early release from his WWE contract. Punk is under contract until July. Those rumors were found to be false after the WWE contacted Dave Meltzer to confirm that Punk is still indeed under contract. My question is, why wouldn’t he be?
The idea that Punk would have been given an early release made no sense to me from the start. Why would the WWE just let him walk away? The only incentive I could see is that he would forfeit his royalty checks to get the release. Yet for a company as big as WWE, Punk’s royalty checks were a drop in the bucket. The whole idea that this would even be plausible was just silly.
Vince McMahon reportedly wants to keep Punk. The only way I could see Vince agreeing to a release is if Punk had something on him, similar to how Kevin Nash described he got out of his TNA contract. Giving Punk an unconditional release would just open a can of worms for the company. That is not a precedent that Vinnie Mac wants to set.
Should Punk get his release he would be one of a very few men to say that they were granted an early release by Vince McMahon. The only others I can think of are Brock Lesnar, Davey Boy Smith, and Ricky Steamboat. Brock was only given his release to play in the NFL and the two parties wound up in court when he wanted to wrestle for New Japan. Davey was fallout from Survivor Series 1997 (although Owen Hart was not granted a release), and Steamboat’s release resulted in him producing arguably the greatest series of wrestling matches in history against Ric Flair. There aren’t many others that can say they were given the same gift.
Why would Punk even want an early release? Is he dying to go to TNA Wrestling? Is he chomping at the bit to get back into ROH recreational centers? Does he just want closure? Regardless of the reasons it wouldn’t make much sense to give up whatever negotiating leverage he has unless he truly just wants to hang it up. His deal is up in July so why not just hang on until then from home?
[adinserter block=”2″]Dave Meltzer points out on his latest podcast that the WWE are staying quiet on Punk due to stock holder implications. I think Dave has forgotten more about wrestling than I’ll ever know but I disagree with him a bit here. If a WWE stockholder cared about Punk they are already well aware of his status with the company. The only ones who don’t know are the ones who don’t care. I can see Dave’s point in that if they say one thing and then it turns into an angle (should things be worked out), there could be negative implications. I am not sure how that can be when the WWE is a scripted product. I can’t recall ever hearing anything like that since the WWE went public.
So the good news for you CM Punk fans today is that there is still a chance he shows up in Chicago on RAW and on WrestleMania. The bad news for you CM Punk fans is that you won’t be hearing any shoot interviews or seeing him show up at your favorite independent show or autograph signing either.
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