CM Punk is a free agent after AEW terminated his contract on Sept. 2, but a return to WWE is not guaranteed.
Punk’s departure with AEW came after a backstage fight with Jack Perry, who is the real-life son of late actor Luke Perry, before the company’s historic “All In” pay-per-view at Wembley Stadium. Punk still opened the card against Samoa Joe, but the fight resulted in suspensions and eventually the termination of Punk’s contract.
It appeared to be the last straw for Punk’s tenure in AEW, especially because the fight with Jack Perry was nearly a year after his backstage fight with Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks at the “All Out” pay-per-view. The incident was nicknamed the “Brawl Out” and soured fans toward Punk, who reestablished himself as a top draw when he made his return to pro wrestling in 2021 after seven years away.
Punk walked out of a WWE show in 2014 after years of frustration over what he felt wasn’t suitable treatment befitting a top star in the company. The former WWE champion has real-life tensions with stars like Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens, and he has beef with chief content officer Paul Levesque, aka Triple H.
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According to PWInsider, per WrestlingInc, top talent in WWE are against the idea of Punk returning to the company and pushed back against those who are encouraged by the potential business benefits. But the topic of Punk potentially joining WWE is on hold until the merger with UFC’s parent company, Endeavor, is finalized on Sept. 12. PWInsider added Endeavor could be interested in signing Punk, whose past relationship with the company is said to be in good standing.
Impact Wrestling was interested in Punk, but New Japan Pro-Wrestling was not due to its relationship with AEW.
WWE has not renegotiated its media rights deals for “RAW” or “SmackDown,” which expire next year. The company continues to set records and business continues to trend upward, but if there is a belief Punk could help business even further, there might be a consideration for his return. But if enough people with influence veto the decision, Punk’s future in pro wrestling would be left up in the air.
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