On Monday, there was a notable omission from RAW. Despite being in a fairly prominent storyline with Kane and the Authority, CM Punk was not on the show at all.
Wednesday morning, we might have found out why.
If reports are to be believed -- and these reports are still coming out -- CM Punk told Vince McMahon on Monday afternoon that he was going home, and that he wasn't coming back. RAW, which had been going through some changes, had to quickly be rewritten, and was still being put together an hour before the show was set to start. That led to the opening with Triple H and Daniel Bryan, and a change to the 6-man tag match at the end of the show.
As with every bit of news when it comes to wrestling, there is always the skepticism that this is a part of the storyline. I'm actually leaning toward the idea that it is a work. It would absolutely play into the Authority storyline, and the WWE has fed false information in the past.
As the day progressed, it started to feel more like a work. Ryback tweeted about taking the GTS and running knee and making it his. Even with his loose cannon on twitter gimmick, it's hard to imagine him tweeting that if it were real. However, there have been enough reports, from well-respected journalists in the industry that say that it's absolutely real.
Without all the facts, it's hard to really take a great look at the situation and feel sure about anything. However, it does seem to be a fact that CM Punk had been dissatisfied with his recent run in WWE. It is being reported, and it does fit with interviews that he's done in the past, that he was particularly upset with Batista winning the Royal Rumble. Now, whether that's because he felt he should have won, or someone like Daniel Bryan should have won, or if it was simply that he didn't believe a guy who had returned six days prior should have won, we don't know. But that does seem to be the impetus for his departure.
I will say this. I am nearly always against holdouts or walkouts. I don't like it when athletes do it, and I've never liked it when wrestlers do it. Yes, there is a long tradition of wrestlers walking out due to creative differences, but I have never thought it was a noble thing to do, even if it has been supported by fans at times. I think that CM Punk doing it at this time, in the middle of a pretty big storyline, makes it even more egregious. But, at the same time, I can certainly understand being frustrated that three years in a row, a part-timer will main event Wrestlemania (assuming Batista does main event this year). It certainly sends the wrong message to the guys who are out there every day, working every house show, that wrestlers can just come in and instantly get the top spot.
Regardless of the reasons, this certainly throws a wrench into the Wrestlemania plans. Punk almost undoubtedly was set to face Triple H at Wrestlemania. Presumably, Daniel Bryan would shift into that role, and away from whatever he was set to do, which would then move around the pieces that were going to be involved with Bryan. And with the crowds already riled up, I can only imagine what it turns into if CM Punk is gone, especially with RAW going to Chicago in early March. You could hear as many chants for CM Punk as you do for Daniel Bryan over the next couple months.
A quick note: I know there are some fans already talking about CM Punk going to TNA or Ring of Honor (or even to Japan). Punk's contract runs through July, so for the next six months, he wouldn't be able to wrestle for anyone else. And if his problem is politics in WWE, I'm not sure that TNA would be much better in that department. So if this is real, it'll be interesting to see what he does after that contract is up.
Whether work or reality, the next few weeks are certainly going to be interesting. If this turns out to be a work, then first off, it's a pretty great idea, and secondly, it will change how people absorb their wrestling news. If it's real, then the fans certainly lose, because CM Punk will be off of our television for the foreseeable future. Though, it's important to remember, you can never say never when it comes to returns in the WWE.
So what do you think readers? Is this real? Is this a work? And where do both sides go with this?Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun