When I build headlines I like to keep them erudite, keep them short and to-the-point, giving as much information as possible without going overboard. That being said, with this headline, I wanted to end it with “… and has no basis in reality.” The big news is that WWE superstar CM Punk has walked out on the organization this week after being written off of Monday night’s Raw, seemingly forgotten about while WWE officials scrambled to come up with a show that would keep their storylines together and try to appease the rabid fans who wanted to see Daniel Bryan involved in a major angle again.
In a way, it was what everyone wanted, but the unintended consequence was that CM Punk was left in the dust. Being left off of one show seems like a minor infraction by the WWE, but the apparent plan was for CM Punk to work a program with retired Triple H leading into Wrestlemania. CM Punk is a guy that many of us saw come up from the dredges of the wrestling world and who never really had a shot at being a top guy, yet scored a WWE contract and ended up somehow getting pushed into a major role within the organization. CM Punk’s goal was to be the #1 guy in the organization, the guy that the WWE built off of, but the reality was that as long as John Cena existed, CM Punk would not be that guy. If you were to do the math, CM Punk would probably be the #4 face in WWE right now (John Cena, Batista, Daniel Bryan and then Punk) and even though he did have a lengthy WWE Championship reign and has always been in major programs, that Wrestlemania main event always seemed out of reach.
The recent return of Dave Batista after a failed attempt to make a go of a MMA career seems to be what pushed him over the edge. Batista went away for a few years to try MMA, failed, then landed a gig in a Marvel film and WWE rolled out the red carpet for him, apparently planning the entirety of this year’s major angles around him. That was the final straw for CM Punk after seeing Batista win the Royal Rumble and get booed out of the building by the fans. The organization clearly had no clue what the fans wanted to see, nor were they willing to adjust and give the fans or the guys who have kept the organization together what they wanted.
So CM Punk, for now, is gone from the WWE, which is no surprise as his contract ends in July and he hasn’t sounded excited about drafting up a new one, either. We are already seeing speculation on MMA blogs now of the possibility of CM Punk turning to MMA, especially after his interview with Ariel Helwani last week where Punk posited that Dana White would give him a shot at the UFC just to see what would happen. CM Punk is 35 years old, which in the pro wrestling world is still kind of a “kid,” with at least twenty years left in him, but in the world of competitive sports his prime was probably ten or more years ago.
The idea of CM Punk turning to MMA now seems borderline ridiculous, even if he has been training in BJJ and muay thai for the past few years regularly. The reality would be at least a year of nonstop training, then trying to convince Dana White to give him a shot, which I’m just not sure we’d see right away. Sure, Brock Lesnar got a shot at the UFC, but Brock Lesnar also at least fought once outside of the UFC banner first and proved himself able to fight. Would CM Punk boost ratings for the UFC? I’m sure that it would draw some new eyes, but would he be able to make such a transition at this point in his life?
I’m doubting it.