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CM Punk & WWE Reportedly Far Apart On Contract Talks

Will CM Punk stay or leave the WWE?Vince McMahon will reportedly continue breaking down the fourth wall in the CM Punk vs. John Cena feud. McMahon made some comments at the WWE RAW taping to air Monday regarding contract negotiations with Punk that are apparently more truth than fiction.

This whole CM Punk leaving the WWE story is turning into one of the most fascinating outside of the ring stories of the year. While CM Punk’s contract is set to expire, he isn’t a lock to be leaving the company. According to reports Punk is giving the WWE the option to keep him, but he isn’t going to come cheap.

Dave Meltzer reported on negotiations in the current issue of the Wrestling Observer newsletter. According to Meltzer’s reports, Punk’s demands are unprecedented for someone at his place on the WWE ladder. Meltzer reports that Punk’s “demands to stay are legitimately very high, much higher than someone at the position he’s considered at would be getting.”

Another real interesting tidbit about the negotiations regards Colt Cabana. It would appear that the mention of Cabana’s name in Punk’s RAW Roulette promo wasn’t anything random at all. According to Meltzer, part of Punk’s contract demands would be a spot for Cabana on the main roster. Presumably, part of his angle although that is me thinking out loud and not anything Meltzer wrote.

This all circles back to the promo Vince McMahon cut in Las Vegas that will air on the July 4 RAW broadcast. The RAW spoilers report that McMahon had a confrontation with Cena that will close RAW on Monday. McMahon tells Cena that Punk’s contract demands are too high which breaks another part of that proverbial fourth wall that we rarely see in the WWE.

It is a really interesting negotiation by Punk if this is all true. If you read this story and took Punk’s name out of the report you would think that I was writing about Kevin Nash or Kurt Angle. Punk has a big following online but is he in a position to start demanding jobs for his buddies as part of his new contract? Regarding Colt Cabana, he would be a marked man in the locker room and have a ton of heat if he came in under those conditions. Although Cabana is a talented and nice guy and could probably wither that storm if this was the case.

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All of this begs the question as to why in the world the WWE would put so much steam on a guy that is likely leaving the company the next day. It really doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. If this story is true and everyone is far apart on a contract, the only thing I can think of is that they have very little faith in Punk to go elsewhere and make an impact. Are they underestimating Punk or weeks away from handing their competition their hottest heel?

I also think that if this story is true, it is fair to cut the WWE a little bit of slack here. If this is really a situation where you have a guy making outrageous demands, it is kind of hard to blame the company for letting him walk. At the end of the day this is a business and they have stockholders they need to answer to. Giving a guy the moon that isn’t seen as a top superstar wouldn’t be doing WWE stockholders any favors and would be seen as a business blunder by those looking strictly at the financial numbers of the deal.

It is an interesting shell game for sure. Whether Punk re-signs or goes, he isn’t going to make the same amount of money elsewhere that he would make in the WWE. In terms of TNA Wrestling, there is no way he’d get a fair shake under the current regime so I would almost take TNA out of the equation unless Dixie Carter gets her claws back on the checkbook and throws an ungodly amount of money at him. He’ll get the run of the shop in ROH but the money won’t be anywhere close to what he could make if he stayed with the WWE.

My read on this and I certainly don’t know him is that Punk isn’t happy, is making crazy demands, and thinking, “Hey if they are dumb enough to meet these demands, than screw it.” Otherwise it would appear that CM Punk will be a free agent with very limited options come July 18.


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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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