CM Punk is a former WWE Champion who was part of the wrestling business for the better part of his life before he walked away from the company back in 2014. Punk was one of the most notable names in the WWE for almost a decade before he decided to call time on his career. The Straight-Edge Superstar first made waves when he was part of Ring of Honor before joining WWE and being introduced as part of their rebrand of ECW. Punk is the only back-to-back Money in the Bank winner in WWE history and holds the record as the longest reigning World Champion of the modern era at 434 days.
Punk's career came to an end when he walked away from the company following The Royal Rumble back in 2014 and was then fired by WWE for breach of contract a few months later on what was coincidentally his wedding day. Even though Punk has moved on to a UFC career and reacted negatively to reports that he could return to WWE one day, it's still not out of the question.
Punk was recently announced to be attending Cody Rhodes' All In event in a few weeks time in his home state of Chicago, but not in a physical capacity. This could be a hint that the former WWE Champion could be looking to return to the wrestling business after more than four years. Here are 15 reasons why the WWE Universe could see one of their favorite stars return to the company once again in the future.
15 He Still Has Friends In The Company
CM Punk was part of the WWE roster for more than nine years, which means that it was probably a tough decision for him to make when he decided to walk away. Punk made a lot of friends when he was part of WWE and one of his best friends was former Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston.
Punk and Kofi traveled together throughout their time in WWE and it was obviously hard for Punk and Kofi when he decided to leave. The former World Champion can see his friends as often as he likes, but it won't be the same as sharing a locker room with them.
Punk only really had an issue with WWE COO Triple H, which means that there were a lot of people in that locker room that he enjoyed being around. It isn't that much of a stretch to think that Punk will be missing all of his friends now and missing being in a locker room.
CM Punk was asked if he missed the wrestling business last year as part of an interview with ESPN, and even though the former World Champion stated that he didn't, it's hard to believe that someone could step away from something that has been a huge part of their life for that long, without missing it and his friends.
14 He Has Always Enjoyed The Spotlight
Before CM Punk made a name for himself in WWE, the former World Champion was already a well-known star on the Independent scene. He has always enjoyed the spotlight; a pipebomb doesn't make as much of an impact if there is no one there to see it and he is well aware that the longer he is away from the spotlight the less relevant he will be.
Punk was able to climb the ranks though WWE quite quickly because he was obviously someone that was destined to stand in the spotlight, but his UFC career isn't allowing him to do that.
All eyes are still on CM Punk but in a completely different way, which can't be satisfying for him. He hasn't been seen at the same level since he left WWE and if his UFC career continues to spiral then it's easy to see him returning to WWE because it was one thing that he was good at. WWE has continued to follow his career as well and Roman Reigns even commented on his career this week, with GiveMeSport reporting on the comments that Reigns shared. Even though Punk hasn't responded to this doesn't mean that he doesn't see it and it isn't building up to something impressive.
13 He Has A Passion For The Wrestling Business
CM Punk called himself The Best In the World throughout his career and throughout his record-breaking reign as WWE Champion, not because he was arrogant but because he truly believed that he was the best person in the ring as part of the wrestling business at that time.
Punk spent his entire life learning his craft and building towards a career in WWE so that he could prove just how good he was and he definitely did that.
Even though he has switched one high profile career for another because he had trained in Martial Arts before he signed with UFC, he knows that this isn't the career that he wants. Cm Punk was at his best with a mic in his and three ropes around him. He knows that he doesn't belong in the Octagon but he's too proud to admit it right now. CM Punk belongs in WWE, as he is one of the best wrestlers that the world has ever seen and the kind of passion that he had for the business isn't something that could be replaced by something else. Sportskeeda even made the prediction that he will return to the company in five years time, which will probably be how long the star waits before he admits that he misses the business.
12 He May Finally Be Open To Building Bridges
There were a lot of bridges burned the night that Punk walked away from WWE, with CageSide Seats reporting that one of the main issues for Punk was the fact that Batista was being able to main event WrestleMania while he was stuck in a match with Triple H. The WWE COO and Punk had a lot of history and had already had a fantastic feud a few years prior to 2014 and it appears that Punk wasn't open to being part of a match with Triple H again.
Being able to face Triple H at WrestleMania is considered a huge honor and Punk being so against it obviously was seen as disrespectful by The Game, which could be why the company handled everything so badly in the months that followed him walking out.
Triple H is a man who takes this kind of thing seriously and there is definitely no love lost between Punk and Triple H right now, but if he found a way to hand out an olive branch and get back on the same page as The King of Kings then perhaps it would be a different story. So many stars have been able to do it in the past, so it's not completely out of the question that Punk will be another name on that list.
11 The Chance To Main Event WrestleMania
Anyone who was a fan of CM Punk throughout his career would have known that he was a goal-driven individual. This means that Punk always set himself goals that he knew he could achieve and it helped him to focus on what he wanted most in his career. The one regret that Punk will always have following his untimely departure will be the fact that he never main evented WrestleMania.
Punk was one of the best wrestlers that the company had back in 2014 but he was still unable to convince WWE to give him a main event match at WrestleMania 30, which was one of the reasons why he decided to walk away.
It will always burn him up inside knowing that he missed out on one of the biggest honors that the company hands out to its superstars and this could be the reason he is able to find a way to return. Regrets have a way of helping change someone's mind and even his former manager Paul Heyman felt the need to comment on the fact that Punk should have been able to main event the biggest show of the year at some point in his career.
10 His MMA Career Is Deemed A Failure
CM Punk announced back in 2014 that he was heading to the Octagon in 2015. This was then delayed until September 2016 and when he did finally step into his first UFC fight he was easily beaten by Mickey Gall. Punk underestimated just how skilled some of the stars that already work for the company are and that could be why he hasn't stepped back into the Octagon in more than a year.
Punk's next fight has already been revealed by MMAmania planned for UFC 225 against Mike Jackson and if Punk isn't successful in this match and is humiliated once again then it is easy to see him deciding that this isn't the career path for him and returning to the ring. Punk thought that his MMA training would be enough for him to get past Mickey Gall and it wasn't, so if he underestimates his next challenger then he could be in trouble again. As already stated, Punk isn't someone who could move on to a normal day job, because he has been building up his wrestling career ever since he was a child and he isn't qualified for anything else, so where would he turn if his UFC career doesn't work out?
9 His Wife Could Convince Him
CM Punk may not look back on his wrestling career fondly right now, but he does have one thing to thank WWE for and that's his wife AJ Lee. The company made the decision to put the two together on-screen and this then later led to their relationship and the fact that they are now married.
AJ Lee remained part of the company after her husband had left and only decided to walk away following WrestleMania 31 back in 2015 when she announced her retirement from the business.
Lee has since become a star in her own right as a New York Times Best Selling author whose autobiography is set to be turned into a TV series in the near future. AJ obviously misses her wrestling career as well and seems to be the only person who can talk sense into her husband when he needs it. Sportskeeda reported that Lee missed the business but her husband didn't a few years ago, but Lee has recently been finding it hard to watch her husband train for his new career and could convince him to return to his old one where he wasn't being injured anywhere near as much as he is right now.
8 He Could Be The Man To Finally Dethrone Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar and CM Punk have history when it comes to their feud over Paul Heyman a few years ago, but it appears that they could easily have a feud in the future since CageSide Seats recently reported that Lesnar is about to break Punk's long-standing record with the WWE Championship.
Lesnar is closing in on Punks 434 day record reign and it appears that right now there aren't many stars who could step up and take on The Beast. Punk was dominated by Lesnar back at SummerSlam in 2013 merely months before he left the company and Punk would be right to want some kind of revenge for that.
Lesnar hasn't defended his Championship as much as Punk did and he's gone against everything that the former WWE Champion tried to create in WWE while he was there. The feud is there and it could easily play out in front of the TV cameras; the company just has to convince Punk to return and take on The Beast. It would be even better if they offered him a main event match at WrestleMania 35. He would definitely sign a new contract if it meant he could achieve two huge goals.
7 The Option Of A Part-Time Contract
Brock Lesnar and Batista have proved that the company is open to giving superstars part-time contracts right now and it means that if Punk was able to return then he wouldn't have to work live events, he wouldn't have to appear at every event like he was when he was a full-time star and he would still be able to spend time with his wife.
Punk isn't someone who is shy when it comes to hard work, but he will be 40 years old at the end of the year and could be thinking about starting a family and looking at other options in his life, so if he was going to return to WWE he wouldn't want to be on the road for 300 days a year like he was before.
Sportskeeda agrees that the part-time contract would be a deal breaker for Punk since it would allow him to heal from injuries after matches and not have to spend time on the road all the time when he wants to be at home. This would be a huge opportunity for Punk and if he turned something like that down then he would definitely look back and regret it in the future.
6 He Still Remains In Contact With Vince McMahon
The talk about CM Punk over the past four years has circulated around Triple H and how much the WWE COO dislikes Punk because of the way he refused to face him at WrestleMania 30, but these reports seem to forget the fact that Vince McMahon and Punk are still in regular contact. Sporting News reported that The WWE Chairman apologized publicly to Punk for the way his departure from the company was handled (this includes the fact that he was fired on his wedding day, one of the things that he holds a grudge about) and it appears that McMahon could be the one who now helps Punk return to the company.
Punk and McMahon are similar. They are both smart men who have a passion for the business and it was McMahon who allowed Punk to run wild with the Straight Edge Society when he pitched the idea to him. Punk is very creative and if he pitches something to Vince concerning a return then the duo could easily come together and plan something despite his son-in-law's issues. After all, Triple H isn't an on-screen star anymore so he wouldn't have to work with Punk if he did decide to return.
5 Paul Heyman Might Be Convincing Him To Return
Paul Heyman has always been close to CM Punk and he has been the one who has talked for Punk a number of times. While Heyman tries to keep out of the headlines when it comes to his friend right now, it's easy to see him being the one that convinces the former Champion to return to the ring in the near future.
Paul Heyman has proved his worth throughout his tenure alongside Brock Lesnar, but if the rumors are true and Lesnar is set to walk away from the company in the coming months then he will be looking for a new Heyman guy and he could decide it's the perfect time for the return of Punk. Heyman and Punk still talk all the time and they are still close friends, which is why Heyman revealed that Punk had checked out of the wrestling world a long time ago, but if Heyman and McMahon sit down and come up with a plan for Punk to return and he then agrees to it then it would definitely make the process much easier. The WWE Universe is aware of just how convincing Heyman can be when he has something that he wants to pitch and Punk may not be able to say no.
4 There Are New Opportunities And Opponents In The Company
CM Punk walked away from the company at the beginning of 2014. Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura and even AJ Styles have made their way to WWE in that time and could easily be the reason that Punk changes his mind and decides to return to WWE. Punk wrestled alongside many of these stars when he was in Ring of Honor and would have loved to have had matches with these on the biggest stage.
Wrestling the best stars in the world is one of the biggest pulls of the business and the fact that Punk is now missing out on wrestling these stars and becoming Universal Champion could be enough of a pull for him to want to return. His wife AJ Lee is missing out on a revolution that she arguably began a number of years ago, but she has suffered an injury that could prevent her from ever stepping back into a wrestling ring. However, there is nothing stopping her husband from returning to the company and doing what she can't. SEScoops reported earlier this year that even AJ Styles thought that Punk would return to the company in the future, stating that "money talks."
3 The Money Will Dry Up Soon
Money makes the world go around and even though it was well-documented that CM Punk was smart throughout his career and ensured that he saved money when he could, there will be a time in the future when the money will dry up and Punk will realize that there is only one thing in the world that he is able to do and enjoy.
Punk is currently going through a lawsuit with WWE's doctor Chris Amann after the comments that he made about him on Colt Cabana's podcast back in November 2014. This lawsuit could cost Punk more than $1 million, which means that the former WWE Champion will be wanting to find a way to either put an end to the lawsuit or earn back the money it cost. If WWE told their doctor to settle the lawsuit then it would definitely prevent Punk and Cabana from having to go through courts and then have to pay the costs. As AJ Styles commented above, "Money talks," and even if CM Punk has saved enough of it, WWE will be able to offer him the perfect amount at some point and that will be the figure that the former WWE Champion won't be able to say no to.
2 He's In Peak Physical Condition
CM Punk has been away from WWE for four years now. He hasn't been on the road with the rest of WWE for that long but he has been training hard ready to fight in the Octagon, which could be why he is currently in the shape of his life. This is the longest that Punk has ever been out of the ring and he has to be questioning whether or not he made a mistake by walking away when he definitely had much more to offer.
GiveMeSport reported that one of the reasons that Punk left was because of the staph infection that he suffered and WWE managed to overlook, and now there is nothing stopping him going back as a much fitter athlete. This report was based on the comments that he made on the Colt Cabana's "Art of Wrestling" podcast and the reason why he is currently being sued by the WWE doctor. Punk has had to train hard, lost weight and learn a completely new skill over the past few years and this weight loss could make him faster and much more agile in the ring, but he won't know if he doesn't give it a shot.
1 Was It All A Work To Begin With?
WWE has become a smart company over the past few years and has learned to use things that happened in reality to their advantage. It's been questioned online over the past few years that Punk's departure could have been a work by WWE to then allow him to return fresh in the future, but would WWE wait four years to put this plan into action?
There have been a number of superstars who have returned to WWE when they swore that they would never do it. Bret Hart suffered the Montreal Screwjob at the hands of Vince McMahon and still found a way to swallow his pride and forgive McMahon for those events at Survivor Series back in 1997. If Hart can find a way to get past something like that then it's easy to see Punk being able to do the same in the future. Appearing at All In is a step in the right direction. It may have taken four years for Punk to be at a wrestling promotion again, but it's a hint that he could be looking for another way in. It has hoped that the WWE Universe doesn't have to wait another four years for Punk to appear at a wrestling show.