The Mysterious Case of CM Punk.
If you even kindof follow the WWE, you're more than aware of what happened on January 27th, 2014.
If you aren't, let me fill you in.
Phil Brooks, better known by his wrestling alias, "CM Punk", had become fed up with his position in the company and he chose to walk out.
And I don't mean that like, "Oh, he quit on the company and his contract", I mean... he literally walked out of Monday Night Raw. He walked in to his boss, Vince McMahon's office, moments before the show was supposed to start, and told him he was going home. And he did.
And there's been nothing but silence ever since.
He appeared on AMC's "The Walking Dead" aftershow, "The Talking Dead", but he didn't mention his career.
In fact, upon host Chris Hardwick mentioning Brooks' twitter handle (CM Punk), he rolled his eyes.
Other than that, he was present for the Chicago Blackhawks playoff run, and has been spotted at multiple Chicago Cubs games.
On the 13th of this month, he was married to fellow WWE superstar, AJ Lee.
Outside of that, he has yet to address his current relationship or lack-thereof with the WWE.
Phil Brooks on "The Talking Dead"
Why he won't come back.
Look, I'm a huge CM Punk fan.
And when I say huge, I mean, I own every t-shirt, I have a signed poster, I have his hoodie, my ringtone is "This Fire Burns" by Killswitch engage (His original "walk-out" music).
And nothing in the whole world would make me happier than hearing that static before Cult of Personality every Monday night.
But here's the reality.
He shouldn't come back.
He's burnt out.
CM Punk has been wrestling since 1999.
That's almost 15 years of getting body-slammed, thrown through tables, hit with chairs, and punished by a variety of devastating finishers.
That's almost 15 years of traveling all around the country. Sleeping on couches, in backseats, and crappy hotel rooms.
15 years of untreated aches and pains, and his 36th birthday in October looms.
While 36 is young in the real world, it's ancient in professional sports.
The average age of a rookie in the big three (the MLB, NFL, and NBA) is 22 years old.
Throughout the rest of their careers, their body will undergo a ton of punishment, be it by contact, weightlifting, or the evils of traveling for most of the year.
To put in in perspective, think about how old you think Ray Lewis is.
He's only 3 years older than CM Punk.
And as bad as football is... Professional wrestling might be a little worse.
Whether the results of every fight are predetermined or not, the fighting and injuries are very real. They break bones and pull muscles, and traveling 300 days a year isn't easy.
The bottom line is... Over the last 15 years, CM Punk hasn't really gotten a break.
He's beat up, he's burnt out, and he doesn't really have anything left to wrestle for.
He's not going to get another 434 day title reign.
He's not going to have another "pipe bomb".
The only thing left on CM Punk's to-do list in main-eventing Wrestlemania.
And is that worth it?
You have to be part of a major story-line to main event the big dance.
You've gotta be involved in a title feud or battling a legend of Hulk or Rock's prestige.
You can't just show up and leave, and I'm not sure he's willing to sign another big contract.
Things haven't changed
He was pissed off about the way that the WWE was doing things.
He was pissed that he wouldn't be making as much money from Pay Per Views.
There have been reports that Superstars still haven't received their Wrestlemania bonuses.
He was pissed that part-timers kept getting all the perks without doing all the work.
Batista won the Royal Rumble, main-evented Wrestlemania, and then left.
Brock Lesnar came back for a month, broke the Undertaker's Wrestlemania streak, one that Punk failed to break the year before, and then left.
There might not be a place for him.
Whoever wins the MITB match this Sunday will kinda sit around until they feud with Daniel Bryan, who's set to feud with Brock Lesnar! Does Punk really wanna come back and chill in the crowded mid-card with the Shield and Bad News Barrett and Sheamus and the Wyatts?
He might be expecting!
Yup! Plenty of rumors are circulating about how the newlyweds may be expecting a baby Punk!
If this is the case, then not only is CM Punk done (For at least the next 19 years), but so is AJ!
You can't be expected to travel 300 days a year when you're needed by a child at home.
Plenty of WWE wives deal with the long distance relationships and the lonely nights, but most of them aren't WWE superstars themselves.
I have a hard time seeing Punk as a stay-at-home Dad, it sounds like a bad 80's movie.
2012: Sweating, a limp John Cena resting on Punk's shoulder, "GO TO SLEEP!", he yells as he flips the face of the company over his shoulder and introduces him to an unforgiving knee.
2015: Sweating, an exhausted CM Punk hangs over a crib, "GO TO SLEEP", he begs as he looks at his olive-skinned child at four in the morning.)
He might not be welcome back.
There have been a ton of rumors that Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are furious about the way that CM Punk quit on the company.
Which is understandable.
He did walk out right before Raw, forcing HHH and the creative team to completely re-write the show, as well as their plans for the roster heading into Wrestlemania.
After that, they reportedly threw the kitchen sink at him, offering him everything from the main event to a championship opportunity, but Punk wasn't listening.
After that, they gave him the "Benoit treatment".
They refused to mention him when recapping the Undertaker's streak, they removed him from the signature that plays at the start of the show, and unless your name is Paul Heyman, you don't mention the "best in the world".
Now, for why he may come back.
Here's the truth.
CM Punk loves wrestling.
CM Punk has been wrestling since he was a teenager.
When he had nothing else in the entire world, he had wrestling.
Maybe he takes a few months off.
Maybe he is nursed back to health.
And hey, maybe the rumors aren't true, and AJ isn't pregnant.
Which means she'll go back to work.
I'm afraid I've got some bad news, baseball season only lasts so long... and the Cubbies aren't making a run at the world series any time soon.
Sitting in his plush Chicago apartment, with his wife and all of his friends dancing around on TV every Monday night... It'll get a little lonely.
Then.. Suddenly... It's Royal Rumble time.
He digs through his contacts, he's kept himself in good shape, he's still the best in the world.
His contacts reach M, and he dials 1-800-MainEvent.
Number thirty comes around...
A Chicago crowd gets nervous (It's in Chicago, just for fun).
As the clock strikes zero...