Many people believed CM Punk would appear on Raw in front of his hometown fans. Sadly, that didn’t happen.
WWE was teasing fans from the get-go as they did not ignore Punk like they have done in the past few weeks. The first tease was from Josh Matthews, who acknowledged the fans were chanting his name. He even said Punk has not been seen since the Royal Rumble match.
The show started off with a bang as Punk’s music hit. The fans went crazy … until Paul Heyman came out. Heyman pretty much gave the speech of his life in front of a very vocal crowd. He said that Punk is not here tonight and that he left. He then turned his attention away from Punk and talked about Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker instead. Lesnar himself name-dropped Punk, saying that he failed to beat Undertaker last year at WrestleMania.
After Lesnar and Heyman left, WWE did not mention Punk again. The crowd did its best to chant his name the entire night, but he never showed up. People thought he’d interfere in the main event against Daniel Bryan and Batista, but that didn’t happen. The show ended with Triple H standing tall over a defeated Bryan.
With no Punk in sight, this pretty much confirms that he has legitimately left the company for good and is not coming back. Punk has mentioned he lives only an eight minute drive away from the AllState Arena, so the WWE wasn’t far from his apartment. Even then, Punk decided to stay away and it looks like he’s gone in the long term.
Will Punk ever return to the WWE? I don’t know, but never say never. Stone Cold Steve Austin returned after he walked out back in 2002. Lesnar returned after he had contractual problems with the company in the past. Even Hulk Hogan returned after spending time with TNA Wrestling.
I feel that Punk could be back eventually, but not for the rest of the year. It looks like he’s done and wants nothing to do with the WWE at this point in time.