Breaking News: CM Punk Will Return to Wrestling…

Posted on Mar 20 2014 - 8:27pm by Ben McPhee

Punk loves wrestling, but he loves being heard and loves storyline more.

Well not really. It’s just my opinion in fact … But you know you want to hear it anyway. If you love and/or admire CM Punk, then you will not regret this read.

“I’m a guy for all intents and purposes, NEVER should have made it to the WWE. I’ve had roadblock after roadblock after roadblock thrown in my way. But, not only did i get passed those roadblocks, I did it while flipping off the people who put up those roadblocks. I feel I have a responsibility to the younger wrestlers on the roster, the ones who aren’t signed yet, and the future of pro-wrestling as a whole to help make this place better and to change this place. I certainly can’t change it by sitting on my couch in Chicago.”-CM Punk BITW Documentary

I am a realistic CM Punk fan and have been for 11 years. By realistic, I mean that I’m not one of those “fans” that claims they have been following him since his matches with Chris Hero and/or Colt Cabana. No one really is or has. Just because you have seen his DVD’s and/or his ‘Best In the World’ documentary, doesn’t mean you have really been following him for that long. I know I haven’t. Some of you know that you didn’t even know who he was until the rebirth of ECW. I’m not here trying to battle on who knows him better. Fans are fans. This will all make sense soon. Keeping reading.

I used to be (and still am) a huge indie wrestler follower/fan. So, of course I was always hearing the name “CM Punk.” But to be honest, it never really meant anything to me. Back then (the year 2000, I was 17) I was hearing names like Austin Aries, Alex Shelley, Homicide, CM Punk, A.J. Styles, Christopher Daniels  and Samoa Joe. None of these names popped in my opinion. I’ve always been a huge admirer of high-flyers like Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero. So when I heard about these guys doing moves like that with their own flair, plus new moves, I was very interested.

Tape/DVD trading was the big thing back then. You found your friends that had these matches, and you traded tapes/DVD’s. Pretty self explanatory. I was unable to get a hold of any CM Punk matches/footage back then. After awhile, I heard he was coming to Ring of Honor wrestling. I was (and still am) a huge ROH fan. At the time I was also a huge Raven (Scott Levy) fan. By 2003 I heard Raven was going to ROH. So, I had to see what an older guy was going to do with these younger/high-flyers. Plus, Raven always has feuds wherever he goes. I was really curious to see who he would feud with first. At that point in his career he was tutoring guys and taking certain talent under his wing if you will. Was Punk going to be one of those guys?

In 2003, ROH held an event called ‘Expect the Unexpected.’ This was the first time I was able to see guys like Amazing Red, Homicide, Styles, Daniels, Samoa Joe and CM Punk in action. Raven made his debut at this event, and immediately started feuding with CM Punk. I figured if Raven was willing to work with this youngster, that he saw something in Punk. Like I said, at this time I have heard of him, but didn’t even know what he looked like.

At first glance, he looked like a young/small guy who was never going to make it. He was very hated and seemed to just hate life in general. I didn’t realize at the time on how good he was at selling to the fans. He is one of few wrestlers that make awesome heels and faces. His mic worked was special. ROH didn’t really do much in-ring mic work back then. It was all in the promos before and after the cards. Punk was the man that really showcased his skills on the mic and in the ring in ROH. That to me, showed me right away that he was special.

His match with Raven on that card was awesome. Punk won that much under Raven Rules (no rules), and really took it to the veteran. I saw many moves for the first time from Punk that night. Immediately following this match, I was all about researching Punk. I was thinking if he was that good the first time I saw him, what have I missed? I again hounded my friends for tapes/DVD’s of CM Punk. I was given some matches with him and Samoa Joe. They are still some of the best matches I have ever seen in all wrestling. This put both men on my radar. From there I knew this guy was going to do great things for this sport and that this guy knew it as well.

In 2005 Punk was rumored to be leaving ROH and signing with the WWE. I was happy because I thought he would never make it, and now it was time to see what he could do on the big stage. On 6/18/05 CM Punk took on Austin Aries (champ) in his last match in ROH at ‘Death Before Dishonor III.’ It was for the ROH world title. From the get go the fans had Punk’s back.

There were the “Please Don’t go chants,” and “We love Punk,” and so on. Aries wasn’t a heel, but the crowd treated him like one. That’s how good Punk is, even back then. He could turn you heel or turn you face. This match is still one of the best matches as far as emotion goes. This is where Punk really impressed me with his whole wrestling persona. Punk won the match and became the new ROH champion. What happened next, was the birth of Punk in my opinion as he cut he first real pipe bomb.

“This championship isn’t just a championship, it’s power. Just like this microphone in anyone else’s hands is just a microphone, but in my hands it becomes a pipe bomb.”

This is when Punk really shined. He used all the fans cheering against them. He really proved to me that he was a top performer. Whenever you can get the fans to hate you right after they loved you, that’s brilliant. You can’t teach that. Punk’s entire time as a babyface had been a ruse.  He was building up fan support to help him get a shot at Aries. Once he had the belt and the power, it was time to start becoming “The Best in the World.”  His mic work after the match was stellar, and at the time, the best in all wrestling in my opinion. When he talks, you listen.

“There was once an old man walking home from work, and he’s walking in the snow and he stumbled upon a snake frozen in the ice. He took that snake and he brought it home, and he took care of it. He thawed it out and nursed it back to health. As soon as that snake was well enough, it bit that old man. As that old man laid there dying, he asked the snake, “Why? I took care of you! I loved you. I saved your life.” And that snake looked that man right in the eye and said, “You stupid old man. I’m a snake.”

“All of you bought into it. I am the devil.”

This started what is now known as The Summer of Punk. If you have never seen the DVD set, get it and watch it. Punk feuded with James Gibson (Jamie Noble), Christopher Daniels and more during this time. He even signed his WWE contract on the ROH World title. Punk was doing stuff that has never been done before. To say he was revolutionary is an understatement.

When Punk finally made it to OVW (Ohio Valley Wrestling) I was happy and sad at the same time. I was happy because I saw him growing, but by then I assumed he would have already been in the WWE. I was sad because now I thought he was never going to make it to the big leagues and had been shelved. His matches with Brent Albright in OVW were awesome to say the least. It really showcased both men’s skills in the ring and on the mic. I thought Punk was a better talent than he was being used. Upper management just seemed not to know what to do with him.

His real good friend Paul Heyman helped him get to the top. When Heyman got the green light to revamp ECW under the WWE banner, he took Punk with him and helped make him a house hold name. Diehard Punk fans were cheering his name at his ECW debut against Justin Credible. Fans proved that he could be a ‘main eventer’ if given the chance. He always had it, but without the fans support, you will never make it in this world.

In 2011, Punk was again using the “I’m leaving” angle. On an episode of Raw, he dropped what is now known today as his Pipe Bomb. Punk told the world how he really felt, and it was %100 real, despite some thinking it was staged. In the world of wrestling it is hard to tell the fake from reality at times. Punk claimed he was disrespected by the fans and the company he worked for. He said he was going to beat John Cena at the 2011 edition of the Money In the Bank PPV in his hometown of Chicago and leave with the WWE title. He did just that. He beat Cena in front of his hometown crowd, blew a kiss at Vince McMahon before leaving through the crowd, driving home and putting his title in the fridge. What some don’t know, is that Punk actually resigned his deal during the middle of the show. Punk takes the business end of wrestling really seriously and was really going to leave the company if change and respect didn’t occur.

Since then, Punk has won the ECW Championship, The WWE’s World Heavyweight Championship three times, and the WWE Championship twice. He has also won the World Tag Team Championship (with Kofi Kingston) and the WWE Intercontinental Championship, making him the 19th WWE Triple Crown Champion and the fastest man in WWE history to achieve this record at 203 days. Between WWE and Ring of Honor (where he is a two-time World Tag Team Champion), Punk has won a total of 11 championships. He was also the winner of the 2008 and 2009 Money in the Bank ladder matches (the only wrestler to win the match twice in a row),and was the 2011 Superstar of the Year Slammy Award winner. Punk also, held the WWE title for 434 days from November 20, 2011 to January 27, 2013. Punk is officially recognized as the sixth-longest reigning champion of all time and The Best in the World.

Punk has done almost everything for the sport of wrestling. What does he really have left? Some would say he has nothing left. I would disagree. The reason I wrote all the stuff above is to prove why he will come back one day. Punk knows deep down inside that he really is The Best in World. “Walking out” on your fans and a company that doesn’t respect you, doesn’t give you that legacy. Punk wants to leave his legacy and when he moves on, he wants to be remembered as the man that revolutionized the sport and really changed it for the better. He doesn’t want to be remembered as a great father or a gas attendant. Punk literally wants to be remembered as The Best in the World, a role model for future talent, and a wrestler that can’t be compared to anybody, even Roddy Piper.

Punk knows leaving the way he did will ruin his legacy if he stays gone. With everything he has done for the sport, he will always be remembered as the guy that “took his ball and went home.”  We all know Punk left cause he was burnt out and didn’t agree with the direction the creative team was headed. Punk is one of the only wrestlers I know that if he had the money, he would buy the WWE and live out of a trash can. He bleeds wrestling. As much as he says he is done, he doesn’t know how to do anything else cause he is the best at what he does. Plus, he knows there is still a bunch of stuff storyline wise that he has yet to accomplish.

Leaving the way he did, he has now set himself up for his last big hurrah if you will. CM Punk knows how much the fans love him and want him back. That and that alone will bring him back. The big question is, when? So many believe that since he didn’t return in his hometown of Chicago that he isn’t coming back. Some still believe that you will see him return at WrestleMania 30 or the following night on Monday Night Raw. Both of those are very likely. Punk has been sitting home in Chicago and you know he watches Raw and thinks to himself that he needs to come back and save the program. Raw without Punk is like wrestling with your eyes shut, it makes no sense.

Punk literally loves keeping us the fans guessing. Storyline is one of his favorite aspects. You can bet if he does return, that it will be on a huge, unpredictable scale. I do believe that Punk will return, but not anytime soon. I do think there is a chance at a Mania return if creative works with him. We all know after every Mania, that the next night on Raw they always re-landscape the story. This could be a perfect time for a return. I just don’t see it happening.

I actually think CM Punk is taking as much time off as he can afford. He appeared on The Walking Dead’s version of The Talking Dead this past Sunday. He was introduced under his real name Philip Brooks, and there was no mention of wrestling. Brooks even said that he was a changed man and has moved on. The master on the mic doesn’t fool me. This is a perfect set up for another ROH/2011 moment. You really can’t trust what comes out of his mouth. Is he the guy who has cried wolf too much that he is hard to take seriously? Absolutely. But that plays into his favor. Especially is the world of professional wrestling where storyline is just as important as in ring work now a days.

I see Punk letting his contract “expire” in July. I think he will resign, but release rumors that he is done. If he doesn’t return before July, everyone besides myself we think he is done. I think he will do this, then return at or before SummerSlam. This is a perfect set up for Punk to return. He will return, but if he won’t even return in his hometown on Raw, then what is he waiting for? He knows this is the last time he will get to do something of this magnitude. Can he retire and then return 5 years later right before WrestleMania like The Rock and Batista have done? He can, but won’t. We all know how he feels on this subject. It was one of the reason’s he left.

Punk loves wrestling. But he loves being heard and loves storyline more. He knew exactly what he was doing when he walked out, and knows that he is the best thing in wrestling right now. He knows what he is worth and that his popularity is at an all-time high. In no way will he flush gold down the crapper. Some can say he is doing other stuff in life that he hasn’t had time for, but I know the truth. He is storyboarding the best way to return while shocking the world. He wants us to believe he is gone, so when he does return, we will all be speechless. Punk loves leaving us speechless, that way we listen to everything that comes out of his mouth. Shock-to-talk if you will.

As much as Punk wants to leave wrestling, he knows that he can’t. It is his life and in no way is it time for it to die. He is a master when it comes to plotting. Hence why we went over his lustrous career in this article. From the ROH scandal, to the 2011 pipe bomb, Punk has tricked us all. He is mastered at look over here, while I do something over there. So, why we all look over here, you can bet he has something planned for us over there.

And when it is unleashed, you can bet that all the true Punk fans and supporters will rejoice.

~ Facts about C.M. Punk you might not know ~

  • He didn’t start the Starightedge thing, his girlfriend at the time did.
  • The Anaconda Vise was just an arm-triangle choke at first. It didn’t get revamped until his ECW days.
  • The G.T.S. (Go to sleep) was not originally his. He took it from Kenta but kept the name the same out of respect. Punk has been rumored of “stealing” wrestlers move-sets. But he claims it’s out of admiration, not theft. I don’t wear a CM Punk shirt cause I want to be him, I do it cause I admire him and respect him.
  • His first big finisher(s) were a running shining wizard kick to the head, and The Pepsi Plunge (Pedigree from the top rope)


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UFC/Wrestling Analyst for H4TV. Ben McPhee was born and raised in Prescott Valley Arizona as the oldest of two kids. He is a proud husband and father. He has been writing for over 10 years beginning with poetry and progressing all the way to screenwriting with two screenplays copyrighted. He loves writing about professional wrestling and MMA.

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