What If Punk Doesn’t Return?

As a wrestling fan I have several expectations and intuitions that usually come true, simply by looking at history. I am talking general things, like when a match is teased, regardless of what is said by the wrestlers interacting or even dot com, the match usually occurs. Well at WWE’s next pay per view Payback the match Chris Jericho  and CM Punk has been advertised, but the catch is that we haven’t seen CM Punk since the week after WrestleMania. Now what I personally see as likely is Punk coming down, maybe after a restart or two of his music, and having a show stealing match with Chris Jericho. Maybe, and I’m just thinking of interesting ways to go, Punk leaves again, doesn’t return; has another classic with Jericho and doesn’t show on Raw the next night. That would be fantastic, Punk looks credible, gets more time to heal and WWE gets a hotter star and another great match. But what about something even better; CM Punk doesn’t show at all.


The card is subject to change. That statement right there means that WWE can do basically whatever they want, usually we don’t get any changes, but they still have that right. So CM Punk then does not have to show and no money has to be refunded. I personally like to see things we’ve never seen before, this would feel fresh to me, WWE advertising him in matches, him not coming, perhaps different wrestlers challenging until he finally returns. Obviously this will anger some fans and they will complain that it’s false advertising, but I feel I’m in wrestling for the long run. I don’t need that instant gratification, something more drawn out in this modern, microwavable society sounds quite tasty. The biggest problem I see is that we have to go all summer with no CM Punk, and truly that will show a decline in the quality of the show.

But Punk originally said he wanted to be off until SummerSlam anyways, give him the time off he wants, he provided some of the best matches in the last 4 months. His matches with The Rock, John Cena or The Undertaker could all be considered match of the year candidates, but of course he did come up on the losing end of each of those matches. That’s where the option for my original plan of him returning to beat Jericho, then not return. To regain some of the credibility he perhaps lost after his historic title reign, even if each of those matches were 4 and a half stars at least each. But again a problem arises from this plan as well, where to go from there, once Punk is returning occasionally to beat people, how does he go back to performing weekly? Maybe at that point he becomes a part-time talent, which is something he might be considering. Punk has said that as a business man it upsets him that other people are working less for more money, it makes him think why he shouldn’t have the same sort of deal.

Do we want Punk as a part-timer? The real question is would he be able to get to the main event of WrestleMania 30 by becoming a part timer? I think the answer to that is no, to me Punk has to keep consistently knocking his matches out of the park every week to pull himself that last little bit into the main event. But what about the second plan, where Punk no shows his own home show of Chicago, could that land him in the main event in 2014? I think yes, I think that seems to make more sense, giving CM Punk the entire summer to heal his body and building anticipation by advertising him in matches and that saying he didn’t come to the building that day, giving us a replacement match. On a side note I’d like to say if they do go that route I hope the replacement match with Jericho is with a credible opponent, something worthy of a shock.

Finally by letting Punk take the entire summer off, letting him return at SummerSlam, not only does that giving CM Punk a break, and the audience a break, but it gives the creative team a break. I’m aware not an actual break as they write at an unbelievable rate, but they wouldn’t have to deal with the CM Punk character until SummerSlam. Then while he’s off the writing team can come up with a storyline and an opponent that will not only be enthralling for us the audience to watch, but that will take CM Punk straight to the main event of WresltMania 30. That really is all that is left for CM Punk to accomplish and I wish him the best, obviously the whole article is speculation of what could happen, but what I’m really trying to show is that there are much different outcomes than just Punk returns at Payback that would be just as enjoyable. And knowing the players involved, Heyman, Punk, Jericho and McMahon, things are never as simple as they appear to be.

  • Jesse Sherwood

    Nick, very well thought out and written piece, as always. And I really hope that this is where they will take Punk, but there is one question that arises here. What will Heyman do if Punk "No Shows"? I think the answer is obvious. He will do what he always did in ECW and do a worked shoot on Punk, then bring out Axel to be his replacement. Axel wins, and starts bashing Punk, saying that he is now the true Best in the World. This goes all the way up to SummerSlam, and as Axel is gloating in the ring in LA, you hear that famous riff. Punk and Axel go for 15+ minutes, and Punk beats him. This scenario serves the purpose of not only keeping him out until SummerSlam, but gets him away from Heyman.

  • DeityofInsanity

    For me I believe it would be better for all parties that Punk doesn’t show at Payback, or any other challenge until around Summerslam. And at Payback Heyman could bring out Lesnar (seeming Axel has a title match). Lesnar/Jericho would be a good-great replacement match. Then for subsequent challenges Axel (possibly as IC champion) would be brought out to boost him and the title. Then Punk interrupts a segment where Heyman is about to bring out Axel and Punk can go back to being the face as he would disassociate himself from Heyman.