The chants won’t stop. The questions won’t stop. The non-story stories don’t stop. The fan photos of Phil Brooks don’t stop. Fans just can’t seem to let go of the fact that CM Punk decided he was fed up of his life with WWE and professional wrestling in general and decided to go home. It’s been over six months since CM Punk walked out of WWE and began his transition of trying to live a low-key, relaxing life in Chicago. However, fans just cannot seem to accept it. His name is chanted at arenas everywhere, seemingly out of protest to the WWE. The only problem is, it’s not in WWE’s hands. It was Punk who left; the company did not fire him and likely made many efforts to convince him to come back.
His mind seems to be made up and fans will have to accept it. Whatever his reasons were for walking out, he made his decision and just as we’d all like to be left alone if we left a job we were tired of, it’s time for fans to let this one go. The WWE marches on and Phil Brooks by all accounts has moved on. You need reasons? We’ll give you a few.
Here are the top 10 reasons CM Punk (Phil Brooks) is not coming back to the WWE.
10) He’s Settling Into Married Life
Sure, you can be a full-time professional wrestler and be married, especially when you’re married to someone in the industry, but this reason can’t be overlooked. Think about the sequence of events.
CM Punk leaves around the end of January. Shortly after that, we learn he’s engaged to current WWE Divas Champion A.J. Lee (April Jeanette Mendez). The two got married last month in Chicago, as Lee had taken some time off from WWE. So in a span of six months, Punk leaves WWE and gets married. Is it a coincidence that as soon as he retires from wrestling he’s married?
Perhaps he made the decision long ago that being a good husband and having a successful marriage would be a lot easier without the rigorous schedule of a wrestler hanging over his head. After all, it’s no secret many pro wrestlers have had marriage problems, primarily due to the time they spend away from their families.
A.J. Lee still is very much in her prime and will wrestle several more years, meaning the couple will still spend a lot of time apart, but having the mutual understanding of the time wrestling consumes will help. Maybe from Punk’s point of view, he felt he wouldn’t be a great husband while dealing with the stress that comes with being a top WWE star. If true, it’s a very responsible way of viewing himself.
9) Part-Time Stars Taking Top Spots
Punk made it no secret that he didn’t like past stars coming in and taking up spots in main events that would normally go to him, or another full-time wrestler on the roster. Heck, he even said so when The Rock came back, even though no fan could argue that it wouldn’t be in WWE’s best interest to not bring Dwayne Johnson back to headline. The PPV buyrates, ticket sales and merchandise sales speak for themselves.
CM Punk’s 434-day title reign came to an end at the hands of The Rock, who would take the main event spot against John Cena, for the second year in a row at WrestleMania 29. That would be CM Punk’s last WrestleMania, and while he got the honour of facing the Undertaker, he’s always said his goal was to go on last at the big show.
The fact is, Punk simply felt it was a slap in the face to the full-time wrestlers, who are on the road for 300 days a year, only to have the top spots snatched from underneath them. Feel free to disagree, but that’s just how he felt.
In an interview with Mark Madden on 105.9 the X, Punk had this to say,
“The honest reality of it is you bust your ass for 365 days of the year and there’s other people that come in and don’t work as hard and maybe get paid the same amount of money.”
8) The Allure of Fame Won’t Get to Him
Professional wrestlers experience a rush that none of us can relate to. None of us regular folk have ever had an arena of 20,000 people chanting our name. None of us have held an autograph signing and had hundreds to thousands of fans waiting to meet us. No one has bought a DVD chronicling your life, or anything you’ve written. WWE superstars get all of the above.
However, these don’t seem to be the reasons that CM Punk became a pro wrestler. If he never has to do another autograph signing, or even live in the public eye anymore, he’ll gladly take it.
7) Frustrations With WWE Creative
Much like he was in character, CM Punk is a very outspoken person. For years, he was constantly in verbal battles with the decision makers in WWE and would speak up when he didn’t like something creative was doing with him.
That’s what made many of his promos and feuds so good. He was able to weed out what didn’t work and put his own spin into things. It made his stories more believable.
After a while though, it seemed Punk lost the drive to fight over his character and his work suffered. It must’ve gotten to a point where he was tired of doing the creative tug of war and he just got fed up.
If he were to come back, he’d likely go through the same struggles and he probably doesn’t want that at this stage.
6) He Feels His Best is Behind Him
CM Punk isn’t exactly a young man anymore. Sure, 35 years old is nowhere close to the end of the road, but when you’re 35 and your entire adult life has been dedicated to professional wrestling, odds are you’ve given the profession your best years.
Power Slam magazine in the UK spoke with a source close to CM Punk and got the following:
“Worn down by the match schedule, CM Punk was not satisfied with his in-ring performances and felt his fans weren’t seeing his best.”
While Punk may feel he’s finished with wrestling, he surely still has a lot of pride in what he did do in his career. Had he stayed around a few more years in the state he was in, we likely would’ve forgotten all the great work he did in his prime. Punk always said he wasn’t going to be 40 years old and still hanging around the ring. So he must’ve felt it would be better to leave too early rather than too late.
5) How Much Further Could He Have Gone?
CM Punk was the WWE champion for 434 days, the longest reign in 25 years. Would he ever have gotten another run like that? No. As long as John Cena was around, was WWE ever going to let Punk lead the company as its no.1 guy? No.
As much as Punk’s fans loved him for his in-ring work and his brilliance with a microphone, a corporation like the WWE just wouldn’t embrace him in the same way they would a John Cena. It’s likely Punk had gone as far as he could go. Power Slam reported it from its
(Punk) had been disheartened for some time with the knowledge that he would never be pushed as WWE’s top man, no matter how good his promos and matches were because he doesn’t fit the prototypical WWE wrestler profile. It is possible that Punk would have been willing to endure the fatigue and the pain and the stress had he believed a breakthrough was feasible. However it was the realization that his career had peaked in 2012 which sapped Punk of his drive and drove him to the exit.
It’s understandable that Punk felt that way. Even when he was champion, Cena’s matches would regularly main event PPVs and would be given more meaningful television time, suggesting the company never got behind Punk 100%.
4) He’s Beat Up
Professional wrestlers deal with pain nearly every day, and Punk’s 15 years of wrestling had caught up with his knees, and other areas of the body that wrestling usually targets.
He had wrestled in backyard promotions, ROH, TNA and WWE, where the schedule takes its toll on the body. Punk’s last couple of years saw injuries catching up with him. In 2013, Punk took a couple of months off after WrestleMania to rest some nagging injuries, but probably came back before those injuries had healed up. They likely wouldn’t ever fully go away as long as he was wrestling.
Not having to wake up in pain every day must be a great feeling for someone who was for years.
3) He’s Burned Out
Perhaps more of a struggle than physical fatigue, mental fatigue is simply something that you can’t get rid of on the road full time. Just about every wrestler has needed some time away from the ring to recharge their batteries at some point, especially those in the top spots.
If you’re mentally fried as a wrestler, you’ll lose your head and you’ll likely be endangering yourself and your opponents when wrestling.
Physical pain may be a part of the lifestyle and putting up with it may be possible, but mental fatigue cannot be ignored. Punk clearly was burned out and needed to get away from it all. Maybe Punk will change his mind when he feels he has rested and feels better, but that’s not something that time can measure.
2) He Doesn’t Need It
No matter how many problems one may have suffered through wrestling, many keep coming back to it because they need it. When you make it big in wrestling, you’re paid handsomely and you start getting used to a certain lifestyle.
You buy better clothes, bigger homes, nicer cars, eat at fancier restaurants, go to upscale parties, etc… When the money stops coming in, that lifestyle is no longer sustainable and many have to go back to what made them their big money, because let’s face it; there aren’t that many normal 9 to 5 jobs out there that will match the salary and perks of a top WWE superstar.
However, everything written above does not apply to CM Punk. He dresses simply, lives in a Chicago apartment near the United Center, doesn’t drink, smoke or do anything upscale. His main splurge is going to Chicago Cubs or Blackhawks games.
He’s saved his money and is content with a tranquil lifestyle. He’s able to live comfortably with financial security with his way of living, so there’s really no need for him to return to a stressful life on the road. He has the freedom to do what he wants and when you have that freedom, it must be hard to trade that for anything.
1) The Passion is Gone
Any aspiring wrestler will be told, the only way they could make it in the business is if they have the passion for it. Without passion, you won’t be able to deal with the stress and pain that comes with the job.
“Every day with him was an exercise in him finding the balance to simply continue on and find the passion he needed that he to do it. And I think what happened was he walked in the day after the Royal Rumble and he couldn’t find that passion.”
All the reasons listed above would be moot if Punk still had that fire in him for the wrestling business. You’re in pain? Passion will get you through. You’re tired? You’re financially set? You’re frustrated? Passion will overcome all of that. However, if you don’t have it in you, there’s no way you’ll be able to put up with all of those problems.
It’s not to say that itch, that fire can’t come back. It’s happened to Chris Jericho, Stone Cold, Hulk Hogan, and countless others. They came back when they got the spark. Even if Punk doesn’t return to the ring full-time, maybe he’ll get that itch to do a program with someone, or simply have a final farewell match.
In wrestling it is oh so true that you can never say never, but you can say, not for a long time. This may be one of those cases. You never know when or if that passion will come back.
It is possible that CM Punk will regain that passion for the business one day, but right now, it’s gone. The bottom line is, he won’t come back without it.