MR. TITO: Holy Cow – CM Punk Just Returned to the WWE at Survivor Series – What Will Happen Next?

Here we go again… CM Punk has officially returned to the WWE tonight at Survivor Series. Last we officially saw CM Punk working for the WWE was during WWE Royal Rumble 2014. After that show, he told both Vince McMahon and Triple H that he was quitting the WWE. Since then, CM Punk has had words about his tenure with WWE that resulted in a lawsuit with WWE’s main medical staff member, tried to fight in UFC, and then during 2021, CM Punk returned to the ring BUT for a competitor in All Elite Wrestling (AEW). However, because things went horribly there, specifically during 2022 and 2023, he was terminated from his contract and here… we… are…

This is CRAZY.

And let’s give the WWE credit where it’s deserved. Since Punk was terminated by Tony Khan, they listened to you, the WWE fans. All we heard was how it would be a GREAT IDEA for CM Punk to show up at Survivor Series in Chicago, IL, which is Punk’s hometown. Tons of speculation, with all of the dirt sheets getting WORKED that “WWE had no interest”. Actually, WWE has a ton of interest because the find making money interesting.

Hogan testified against the WWE in 1994, he came back during 2002. Ultimate Warrior tried to sue WWE several times following his 1992 and 1996 runs, returned during 2013-2014 and made their Hall of Fame. Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon Jr. had many personal issues, with Sammartino accusing Vince of distributing steroids to his wrestlers. He came back and joined the Hall of Fame. Even Macho Man Randy Savage was starting to do stuff with WWE toy lines, as he had bad blood with the WWE for his exit and talking smack on Triple H by saying he’d do something to his girlfriend Stephanie McMahon (the genesis of weird online rumors claiming an affair).

What did CM Punk do? Well, he abruptly quit the WWE during early 2014… Things were made personal when WWE sent official termination papers to CM Punk on his wedding day to AJ Lee. The Colt Cabana shoot podcast during November 2014 saw Punk sharing intimate details of his 2011-2014 run which included slandering Triple H, ridiculing WWE’s medical staff, among many other things. Punk also had beef with the Miz, as he’s been ripping on him for years and claimed Miz was a shill for doing Saudi Arabia shows.

BUT… CM Punk actually appeared backstage at a WWE show this year, in which he personally spoke with Miz and reportedly tried to reach out to Triple H for a discussion. I also think by dealing with the non-stop drama in AEW, CM Punk began to realize that WWE wasn’t that bad…

For the WWE, they have NOTHING TO LOSE… You got, got, nothing to lose, yeah baby!

If things go so South, WWE can just cut bait.

Where would CM Punk go if he causes trouble or drama in the WWE? Join the rebranded “TNA” (formerly Impact Wrestling, and NWA-TNA or TNA before that)? Yeah, enjoy that BAD television contract. Billy Corgan’s NWA promotion that has NO television contract? At age 45, he needs to strike while the iron is still hot.

Punk’s wrestling career would be officially over if he acts up in the WWE. Go ahead and try to “shoot” during a media scrum held by the WWE. Go ahead and try shooting on fellow wrestlers during promos. Try and get physical backstage during WWE events. Furthermore, are you going to be as fearless with Triple H and/or Vince McMahon (if he’s still around) as you were with Tony Khan? And you’re working with a publicly traded corporation with corporate types all over. If you mouth off to ANY of them, they’ll report it up to chain or run to the Human Resources department immediately.

Reportedly, this signing of CM Punk was a last minute one and only Triple H and Nick Khan knew of his signing. It’s likely that both of them realized Survivor Series was in Chicago and speculation was just growing and growing… And again, WWE has nothing to lose. If Punk succeeds, WWE makes a metric ton of money. If CM Punk messes up, WWE just releases him and moves on. Punk’s bad reputation would continue to follow him and WWE would be praised for giving him a chance. WWE has been killing it for the past few years, thanks to the Bloodline storyline and they have tons of good young talent in the pipeline.

Punk needs the WWE to rehab his star power, following the disaster of his AEW run, more than the WWE needs him. It’s nothing but risk and reward for the WWE.

So, where are we going with this? It’s going to be tough for the WWE because they still have plans for Cody Rhodes in the works for Wrestlemania 40, there’s a slight chance that the Rock and Roman will wrestle, LA Knight push could still be in order, and Seth Rollins is the other World Champion. When it comes to Royal Rumble to Wrestlemania season, that’s the one time where WWE has long-term booking in place instead of going month-to-month. The winner of the Royal Rumble and most of the Wrestlemania matches may already be set… Thus, if you’re expecting CM Punk vs. Roman Reigns soon, it all depends on what the WWE has already planned and what they’re willing to tear apart.

Plus, CM Punk has to regain trust in the wrestling business. He left AEW on bad, bad terms AND he had major heat with Triple H following his 2014 WWE exit. Yes, “time heals all wounds”, but people don’t forget when things get personal. With Triple H in charge of talent AND creative, without much of a Vince McMahon buffer now there, CM Punk needs to eat some humble pie. His AEW experience was AWFUL and it has probably made Punk realize that things in WWE weren’t so bad. Well, they probably were bad, but at least in WWE, active wrestlers are NOT Executive Vice Presidents who spread lies and gossip about you. WWE is more about being available for what Vince McMahon and now Triple H want you to do, whether you like it or not.

There are also many wrestlers who dealt with Punk backstage through early 2014 and then afterward. His stuff with the Miz was brutal. Yeah, I know he’s a corporate stooge, but overall, Miz is a good guy who just wants to play the game to make as much money as possible while he still can. Look at Miz’s loss record for the past few years… The guy losses the majority of his matches, yet his attitude is always positive for the WWE company. THAT is the guy that CM Punk was badmouthing? Come on…

Punk has some serious rehabilitation work ahead of him, as well as eating humble pie. However, if he can prove to behave and be a team player, while also just accepting what Triple H wants as the showrunner, then he can easily prove AEW wrong. If he starts complaining backstage and creating problems, Triple H can just release him. Good luck in TNA and NWA where nobody is watching because they have no idea where either promotion airs their television right now.

And the major upside is that CM Punk truly does become rehabilitated in the WWE, then he can do some crossover work with UFC. Privileged or not, he fought in 2 UFC matches and that’s 2 more fights than most of us. This is why I’m baffled at why Matt Riddle flaked out following the Endeavor acquisition of the WWE. He could have capitalized huge on this merger, but instead, he got into constant trouble and was released.

Get used to MORE of Mr. Tito… This damn CM Punk guy causes more columns to be written by me more than anybody else. He is EASILY the most polarizing wrestler ever seen by wrestling fans online and I’m sure that I’ll be heavily assessing his 2nd WWE career.

Just don’t mess it up, Phil… WWE is on fire right now and you should want to be a part of what they are cooking. Just be a team player and then their trust in you could open up doors for you.

Strap on in, folks…

And I hope this brings AJ Lee back, too. I miss that one and she’d fit well with what the women’s division has become since she left the promotion.

Oh, and enjoy that retirement, Ryback! Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya!

Meanwhile, AEW announced a “major” signing of Will Ospreay. Really? Will that guy push AEW Dynamite to 1 million viewers or begin $1 million gates as CM Punk did for AEW? You cater to that Observer crowd and you’ll receive “Booker of the Year”, while the Brinks trucks are backing into the WWE’s lot.

WWE is bonkers… They were growing in spite of CM Punk, and now they have him. This is a wonderful life, folks. Let’s see what happens with that RAW television deal now!

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