“I’m going home.” -CM Punk
CM Punk is notorious for doing things his own way. Both famous and infamous for rising through the ranks of the WWE while staying true to himself.
The WWE is notorious for disappearing acts: “Firings” without anyone being fired. Extended layoffs due to injuries, and “injuries.” And stars “quitting” with a well laid out plan for their return.
CM Punk vs. The WWE. The dichotomy is what makes the recent events so captivating, yet so terrifying.
- CM Punk told Vince McMahon he was going home.
- Batista won the 2014 Royal Rumble to main event in WrestleMania 30, CM Punk lost after carrying large portions of the event.
- CM Punk did not appear on the Monday Night RAW the following night.
- CM Punk did not appear at the Tuesday taping of Smackdown, despite being scheduled to do so.
- CM Punk has been removed from the schedule of all upcoming events.
- On Monday Night RAW, Daniel Bryan confronted Triple H.
- CM Punk’s contract expires in July, and Punk had previously stated that at that point “everything is up in the air.”
- CM Punk tweeted Monday Night: “Thanks for all the support. Keep being you guys, it’s pretty cool.”
The first reaction to the news, “(insert generic WWE Superstar) quits WWE,” is generally to think that it plays to the intended WWE story line. CM Punk needed some time off, the WWE granted him that time off. Because of his rebellious history, they chose to have him “quit,” as opposed to being “fired” or setting up a chronic “injury” that needed extended rest.
But CM Punk is not the generic WWE Superstar. He has never really fully bent to the whims of the WWE. He has always wanted to be among the top guys in the company, and gets frustrated when his talents are taken advantage of i.e. carrying the Royal Rumble only to lose it to a guy who returned barely a week ago.
And CM Punk has saved his money. He has been financially responsible during his very successful career, to the point that he does not need the WWE. He is perfectly capable of supporting himself on what he’s already got.
Considering his frustrations, his stability, and his personality, CM Punk quitting the WWE is not exactly unbelievable.
The WWE losing CM Punk, however, would be unbelievable. Punk is one of the unique Superstars who can do it all in the ring, and do it all for the company. Need to bring credibility to a belt? CM Punk can win it. Need to carry a non-title story line? CM Punk can do it. Need a face? CM Punk. Need a heel? CM Punk. Need to help bring up a new up-and-comer? Have him feud with and beat CM Punk! CM Punk can take the losses, and still remain the Best in the World.
The greatness of CM Punk is the root of the drama. Because of his greatness, and the many roles he is able to play for the company, his frustrations can be well understood, and it’s certainly believable he may have reached a boiling point. And his greatness is in his personality: A true-to-himself star who is just crazy and independent enough to actually quit. Not “quit,” but quit.
The greatness of the WWE is roots of the stories. The deeper the roots, the better the stories. If this recent saga is in fact part of a story, props to the company. Having obtained a reputation of being stale and predictable, this story could grow into the complete opposite. Yet because of their recent history, successful execution of such a move is hard to believe.
That is all what makes this whole drama so thrilling. Did the WWE really set this up, and successfully utilize his character to build up to an epic return? Or is CM Punk really done, and we will all be waiting and watching and hoping for an epic return that will never come? Will WrestleMania really come and go without the Straight Edge Superstar? Or will the crowd go berserk to the unadvertised sound of CM Punk’s now instantly recognizable entrance music?
Did CM Punk’s greatest Pipe Bomb, “I’m going home,” get dropped silently only to Vince McMahon himself?
Only time will tell. Leave it to CM Punk to keep the WWE universe unpredictable. I, for one, am hoping we can still get our Ice Cream Bars.
Do you think CM Punk is really done? Let us know on Twitter at @thelastUShero