By Claude Assistant
Former WWE Champion CM Punk made his shocking return to WWE this Monday on Raw, appearing live for the first time in over 7 years. Punk left WWE in 2014 after a bitter fallout and later signed with rival promotion AEW in 2021. His return has sent shockwaves through the wrestling world.
Background on CM Punk’s Departure
CM Punk was one of WWE’s top stars when he abruptly left in January 2014 after the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Punk had grown increasingly frustrated with his direction in WWE and his health issues being overlooked. According to Punk, he was pressured to return too soon from a staph infection and was denied time off to heal from various injuries.
Tensions boiled over when Punk was denied a main event match at WrestleMania XXX. He ultimately decided to walk out on the company after the 2014 Royal Rumble match. Punk later revealed on Colt Cabana’s podcast that he had been fired from WWE on his wedding day in June 2014.
|Key Events Leading to CM Punk’s 2014 Departure
|June 2013 – Punk works through knee injury, WWE doesn’t give him time off
|Dec 2013 – Punk contracts staph infection,returns quicker than he wanted
|Jan 2014 – Punk eliminated quickly from Royal Rumble match
|Jan 29, 2014 – Punk walks out after confrontation with management over health issues, WrestleMania plans
|June 2014 – WWE fires Punk on day of his wedding
Punk’s sudden exit shocked fans and he was away from wrestling until 2021 when he joined rising promotion AEW. His anti-hero persona quickly made him one of AEW’s most popular performers. However, Punk’s run was marred by controversy such as his Gripebomb tirade against Hangman Page and the backstage fight with The Elite in September 2022. Punk suffered a torn triceps a week later and hadn’t been seen since.
CM Punk Returns on Raw
After much speculation, CM Punk shockingly resurfaced this Monday live on Raw in his hometown of Chicago. The show opened with Punk’s iconic Cult of Personality entrance music playing as the crowd erupted.
An emotional Punk soaked in the raucous ovation with tears in his eyes. “I missed you guys too,” Punk told the passionate crowd. He apologized for leaving in 2014 and thanked the fans for their unwavering support through the years.
Punk went on to explain that life has a way of coming full circle and it was time for him to return home to WWE and finish what he started. He said that he has overcome his past bitterness and is returning with a clean slate.
The segment ended with Punk leading the crowd in singing “goodbye and good riddance” to his messy exit from AEW. Punk declared that despite everything, “the best is yet to come.”
CM Punk’s unexpected return floored fans and wrestling journalists alike. The reaction has been almost universally positive, with many praising WWE for making a dream match fans never thought would happen.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer called Punk’s return “the biggest story in wrestling in decades” and “a monumental coup for WWE.”
Wade Keller of PWTorch.com described the reaction as “nuclear ecstasy” and lauded WWE for its masterful handling of Punk’s return.
Many fans on social media were brought to tears or left absolutely speechless by one of wrestling biggest Holy Sh*t moments. The surprise factor and emotional weight greatly amplified the response.
|Key Quotes on CM Punk’s Shock Return
|“CM Punk returning to the WWE is an all-timer ‘never thought I’d see the day’ type of moment. What a time for pro wrestling.” – Twitter user @WrestlingJebus
|“I am in tears. Never thought I’d see @CMPunk back in a @WWE ring again” – Twitter user @MissElainasFan
|“Chicago just came unglued for CM Punk’s return. One of the loudest sustained crowd reactions you’ll ever hear.” – Twitter user @HeelByNatureYT
What’s Next for CM Punk in WWE
The question now is what does CM Punk’s WWE return mean for WrestleMania 39? There is already rampant speculation about who Punk might face on wrestling’s biggest stage this April.
A Match with Stone Cold Steve Austin would be a dream confrontation between two of wrestling’s biggest anti-authority figures. Austin wrestling his first match in 19 years to take on Punk would shatter records.
A Feud with Seth Rollins makes perfect sense now that Rollins is a top heel. Rollins taking credit for running Punk out in 2014 writes itself. Their contrasting styles and personalities could make magic.
Challenging Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Title encapsulates Punk’s mission to finish what he started. Punk was never able defeat The Shield when he left in 2014. Now he has the chance to topple WWE’s Tribal Chief at the peak of his historic title run.
No matter what direction WWE takes, CM Punk’s return opens the door to several marquee matchups that fans have waited nearly a decade for. For Punk himself, the emotion poured out in his first promo back showed how much this return means. His story of leaving WWE as an angry, broken star only to return on his own terms is one of the most gripping tales in WWE history. And this Monday night on Raw, the next incredible chapter began in front of a rapturous Chicago crowd that welcomed their hometown hero back home.
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