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Where Will CM Punk Go? – Inside the Wheelhouse

Will CM Punk stay or leave the WWE?For months it has been rumored and now it appears that CM Punk’s contract with the WWE is indeed coming to an end over the next couple of weeks.

The current storyline heading into WWE Money in the Bank is a very interesting storyline for many wrestling fans as CM Punk proclaimed this past Monday Night on RAW that on July 17th (the date for M.I.T.B.) it will be his last day with the WWE and on July 18th he will be a “free man.” The storyline also states that CM Punk plans on taking the WWE Championship with him wherever he may end up next whether it is another wrestling ring or maybe his own living room couch.

Instead of breaking down the actual beginning of the WWE Championship storyline that will take us into Money in the Bank, let’s look at the big picture if it is true that Punk is after all leaving the WWE come Monday July 18th. Rumors believe that to be true while some may think that Punk could be staying longer or maybe even signing a new contract. The only people that actually know what CM Punk’s next steps may be are Vince McMahon & CM Punk himself.

If CM Punk were too leave the WWE come July 18th he does have a decent amount of options should he decide against the rumored “hiatus/vacation/time off/something similar to what Jericho does” we have heard. Punk certainly deserves to take whatever time he needs off from a wrestling ring to rest his body, this is a guy who has been entertaining us for the last ten plus years or so whether it is on an Independent promotion DVD you own or if you turn on your television on Monday Night. So time off does most definitely deserve, but what if Punk decides against time off after all?

Punk has two options if he wants to wrestle in the squared circle. One is of course Total Nonstop Action (TNA) wrestling and the other is to make his return to where he got one of his first breaks in wrestling, Ring of Honor (ROH) wrestling. With that being said lets take a look at the first option being TNA wrestling.

While I doubt CM Punk would end up in TNA (again…remember his brief run?) wrestling, he does have some intriguing storylines that could entice him to go to the Florida promotion. Jeff Hardy could make his return (as a face) after his alleged “under the influence” incident at a PPV match with Sting and who could be his heel? Who already have a history with him in another promotion? Who (for what we are told/see) does Jeff Hardy have a distaste for because he (and I quote) said in a YouTube video that he “made” a certain wrestler?

A CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy feud in TNA could be very fun and entertaining to watch & an actual feud that could bring wrestling fans to watch Impact wrestling on Thursday nights. There definitely is interest there stemming from what we believe to be legit heat between the two. Hardy had an alleged substance abuse problem (again) while Punk is “the straight edge superstar.” A program between the two could equal some pretty good money.

Another option for CM Punk is to go back to his roots and give us more great Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk matches that we were accustomed to back in the early 2000’s when they were tearing up the Indy scene. It appears Punk & Joe are friends on the outside of the wrestling world and another feud/series of matches between the two could be another reason for TNA wrestling to try & sign Punk if he is too be a free agent. There are two feuds that could go on for six months of the year that, if done properly, could not only save TNA, but make them a legit contender in the wrestling world.

Then there is of course CM Punk’s old stomping ground, Ring of Honor. ROH has a new owner and a bigger train financially supporting them, Sinclair Broadcasting Group & this could be the “big signing” that could make an impact from ROH in the wrestling world. If Sinclair wants to prove to everyone that they are for real and plan on making ROH a legit contender then they need to sign CM Punk.

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CM Punk returning to Ring of Honor wrestling would shake the very foundation in wrestling as we have never seen a former World Champion in WWE return to their stomping grounds. It would be as if Mick Foley in the late-90s returning back to ECW, it is something that has been unprecedented in wrestling. Punk was backstage at a recent ROH show when they were in Atlanta for Wrestlemania weekend so he still must have a decent relationship with his former employers.

Similar to TNA, the ROH schedule would be less hectic and could play very well to CM Punk wanting some time off yet still wrestle. Dream matchups of him taking on the likes of Eddie Edwards, Davey Richards and El Generico already make fans excited for a potential return of the “straight edge superstar.” It would be pretty earth shattering in the wrestling world should Punk make his return to ROH.

After all this discussion CM Punk may actually just take some time off and disappear from the wrestling world. He certainly has worked his tail off the last ten plus years and taking time away to just relax & recharge the batteries is something he deserves. But you have to figure that the “wrestling bug” could still be there and you have to look at different options the talented CM Punk has.

Who knows, after all this discussion, he may have signed a new contract with the WWE and fooled us all.

Join Eric Gargiulo & myself for the Thursday June 23rd edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” and download the show at www.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net .

Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday – Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at www.blogtalkradio.com/thewheelhouse and at www.errorfm.com @ 2am ET/11pm PT

Jeff also co-hosts “The Still Real to us show” with Eric Gargiulo which can be available at www.wheelhouseradio.com and can be downloaded in the “Real Guy Radio” section of the site..”

If you would like to subscribe to “The Wheelhouse” on iTunes simply subscribe for free at iTunes by typing in “Wheelhouse Radio!”

You can follow “The Champ Jeff Peck” on Twitter at www.twitter.com/therealjeffpeck you can also follow Wheelhouse Radio on twitter at www.twitter.com/thewheelhouse and you can e-mail them @ [email protected].

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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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