The wrestling world was abuzz with the unexpected return of CM Punk to WWE at Survivor Series, an event that will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the most surprising moments in WWE history.
This return, however, is not without its complexities, especially considering Punk’s controversial past in both WWE and AEW.
CM Punk’s career has been marked by controversy, particularly during his time in AEW, which ended in a dramatic exit following a backstage incident at All In London. His return to WWE was preceded by discussions aimed at mending fences, a necessary step given his tumultuous history with the company.
WWE talent, aware of Punk’s reputation for confrontation, have expressed their concerns and are reportedly seeking assurances from higher-ups about how Punk will be managed within the company, according to a new report from Fightful Select. This cautious approach reflects the wrestling community’s awareness of Punk’s potential to both electrify and polarize.
AEW Reaction to CM Punk WWE Move
Interestingly, the reaction within AEW to Punk’s WWE return has been somewhat muted. AEW’s head, Tony Khan, refrained from commenting on the matter, citing legal reasons.
The focus within AEW seems to be more on other developments, such as the departure of Katsuyori Shibata, rather than Punk’s WWE return, with Fightful Select writing: “As far as AEW, Tony Khan seemed more concerned Saturday night about losing Kastuyori Shibata than CM Punk heading to WWE. The majority of reactions we’ve gained within AEW is people asking about how the reaction within WWE has been. The answer to that is much more tepid than originally expected, just as was the case when Punk came back to AEW for Collision. In both WWE and AEW, there had been people that had said they didn’t want to work with him and would consider leaving, but we heard of no release requests from people in AEW and now WWE connected to it.”
The general sentiment in AEW appears to be one of curiosity about how WWE will handle Punk’s return, rather than any significant concern or disappointment.
This response might be attributed to the mixed feelings Punk left behind in AEW, where some talents had previously expressed reluctance to work with him.
WWE’s Strategy and Future Plans
WWE, for its part, has been strategic in its handling of Punk’s return. The company has utilized visuals and content from Punk’s previous stint to reintroduce him to the audience.
Additionally, there were guidelines on how to manage crowd reactions, particularly chants related to Punk, during Smackdown and Survivor Series, indicating a controlled approach to his return.
There was also speculation about Punk’s involvement in other wrestling promotions, with IMPACT/TNA reportedly having made a real offer to him.
However, discussions with Triple H led to his return to WWE, a move that was finalised swiftly and culminated in a publicised selfie of Triple H with Punk post-Survivor Series.
- What led to CM Punk’s return to WWE?
- Punk’s return followed discussions with WWE about mending past issues and was facilitated by rapid negotiations with Triple H.
- How has AEW reacted to Punk’s WWE return?
- AEW’s reaction has been relatively subdued, with Tony Khan legally unable to comment and the focus within AEW shifting to other matters.
- Are WWE talents concerned about Punk’s return?
- Yes, some WWE talents have expressed concerns and are seeking assurances from higher-ups about how Punk will be managed in the company.
- Was there interest from other wrestling promotions in Punk?
- Yes, IMPACT/TNA had reportedly made a real offer to Punk before his discussions with WWE began.
- How is WWE handling Punk’s return?
- WWE is using content from Punk’s previous tenure and has set guidelines for managing crowd reactions, indicating a controlled approach to his reintroduction.