WWE Wrestlemania 30 News and Card: CM Punk Not Likely To Return by Mania; Reasons Why He Should And Shouldn't Come Back
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It looks like "The Best in the World" won't be at the biggest wrestling pay-per-view of the year this April...or any other WWE or wrestling event for the foreseeable future.
The Wrestlemania 30 card for April 6 in New Orleans is set, with Daniel Bryan (possibly) having a shot at headlining the event against Randy Orton and Batista for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. And barring a surprise appearance at the event (not likely), the chances of the Chicago-born wrestling megastar appearing at the "Showcase of the Immortals" this year are close to zero.
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While the Straight Edge Savior made an appearance on AMC's "Talking Dead" Sunday, where he was introduced as "Phil Brooks aka CM Punk" and did not address his recent and abrupt departure from WWE in January, the five-time WWE world champion has been mostly silent about his future with the company, his decision to leave in the middle of the biggest wrestling season, or what his plans are going forward.
It's easy to see Punk sitting out this Wrestlemania, and perhaps the rest of his contract when it expires in July. However, while there are certainly reasons for why Punk should walk away from wrestling now and never look back, there are also some pretty good reasons why he should get ready to tape up his famous "X"-branded wrists and step back into a WWE ring one more time.
Why Punk Should Stay
1. Injuries Taking Their Toll
It's not easy being the "Best in the World." And considering the injuries that his banged-up body has taken over 16-plus years of wrestling since he was 18 years old, the now-35-year-old Punk can, and probably should, step away, or at least take an extended break. Punk's wrestling style, much like his interviews and promos, holds nothing back and he's left it all out in the ring in some of the most extreme matches wrestling has to offer. He certainly wouldn't want to end up like Edge, one of the most decorated wrestlers of all-time who had his career cut short thanks to neck injuries amassed through the years. And really, true fans of the outspoken wrestling star shouldn't want him to, either.
2. Nothing Left to Prove
Granted, it would be nice to see the "Master of the Pipebomb" headline Wrestlemania at least once, and it's an honor that he has certainly earned, and rumor has it it was the main reason behind why he left the company in the first place. But really, other than that, what major thing is left for Punk to accomplish in the world of wrestling? He's arguably the most successful "Indy" wrestler to have emerged on the big stage of wrestling in the last 15 years. He's won virtually every prestigious championship there is to have held. And he's amassed a reputation as one of the most respected and entertaining in-ring performers of his generation. At this point in the game, there's very little that Punk hasn't done. If he left now, really, who could fault him?
3. He's Got the Money to Walk
With a net worth of $7.5 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.com, Punk, who is known to have saved his pennies wisely, can easily walk away from the game and never have to work a day in his life ever again. Most guys in the business have been known to spend notoriously, but Punk has lived by the motto of "It's not how much you make, it's how much you save." And it's that philosophy, assuming he stays true to that credo, that has earned him permanent financial security should he truly decide that his wrestling days are behind him.
Why Punk Should Return
1. Give The Fans a Chance to Say Goodbye
The outpouring of emotion from WWE fans regarding Punk's departure has been widespread, with chants of "CM PUNK!" echoing loud and long throughout the last few weeks in live events and televised shows. Clearly, the fans are not satisfied with the way Punk's career has, for now, ended. They want to hear that broadcast static accompanying Living Color's "Cult of Personality" and the war cry of "It's Clobberin' Time!" from their favorite tattooed, straight-shooting grappler, and they want to have the chance to thank him for all the hard work he's put in to entertaining them either as the loveable jerk-y hero or the dastardly, vile villain that he's played throughout the years. Would Punk depriving the fans of the chance to say goodbye to him be fair to the people who put him on the map?
2. Possible WrestleMania Main Event?
Interestingly enough, Punk was heavily rumored for months after his return in June 2013 to be the favorite to headline Wrestlemania 30 in the main event before Batista swooped in out of nowhere to claim that spot. That turn of events may have been the catalyst that led to Punk walking out on the company. But the emotional fan response that has followed, if anything, seems to have validated Punk's status as a superstar that fans would love to see in the main event of the biggest pay per view in sports entertainment. A return by Punk at the right time, like in late December or early January, would be followed by a massive push that could culminate into the Straight Edge Superstar finally punching his ticket to the main event at wrestling's biggest spectacle. And given how goal-oriented Punk has been reputed to be, one last shot at headlining Wrestlemania may prove too tempting to pass up.
3. Passing the Torch
Punk said in his 2012 WWE documentary, "CM Punk: The Best in the World", that he felt he had a responsibility to the new generation of wrestlers coming in to help make the WWE better and to change it. While the change part might be easier said than done, a great way for Punk to give back as his career winds down is to help make stars out of some of the incoming and young talent on the roster. Imagine CM Punk vs Dean Ambrose. Or a full-on Punk vs. Roman Reigns rivalry. Or Punk giving Big E Langston a seal of approval with a few matches together. Or Punk clashing with the promising and mesmerizing Bray Wyatt. There are a lot of young guns and up-and-comers who could learn a thing or two by sitting Indian-style under the learning tree with one of the most decorated and respected in-ring veterans in the business today. Punk genuinely seems like he cares about giving the younger stars a chance to shine and prove themselves. And there may be no greater way to give back to the business for the Chicago-born wrestling icon than to make sure its future is in good hands.
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