Rasslin Roundtable: CM Punk Leaves WWE – Instant Reactions

News broke this morning that CM Punk had apparently gone home and left WWE, causing a Raw rewrite and change in plans for Wrestlemania XXX.

Pulse Wrestling staffers checked in with instant thoughts on the situation

Matthew Harrak

While yes this is a big news story but I’m surprised that anyone IS surprised by it. Punk has stated more times than I can count that he’s not a “lifer” and gets bored very easily. I didn’t think he was going to resign in 6 months when his current contract ran out and the only thing we’re apparently going to miss in those six months is another match with Triple H. Should he have just walked out on his job? No, he has a contract to fulfill. But hell, Steve Austin did the same thing and was welcomed back with open arms.

Widro

While CM Punk has reportedly been burned out and/or unhappy with WWE management for years, it still seems surreal that he has gone home. Even if burned out, it’s only about 10 weeks between now and Wrestlemania XXX, so you’d think he could hang on for a few more weeks for what would be millions of dollars.

That points to a possible work – Punk and even WWE love to try to fool the internet fans. Maybe he leaves for a while this time – 6, 12, months – then comes back fresh and red hot. The 2011 Money in the Bank storyline was rushed and blown off by Summerslam that year – imagine if this time the storyline is done right.

I also think its extremely unlikely that Punk would be headed for TNA or any other wrestling organization.

Between the Daniel Bryan situation at the Rumble and now CM Punk leaving, RumbleMania season is kicking off with some HUGE news… now it remains to be seen if WWE can put the pieces together for a memorable Wrestlemania 30.

BD

Let’s all remember that nobody knows anything at this point. Nobody saw or heard anything, and WWE hasn’t said anything. What we have is a rumor, which is actually more like knowing less than nothing.

I’m not saying this didn’t happen. But if it did, it could very easily be storyline. Remember that Punk is in a storyline with the people “running” WWE right now, and that they screwed him out of the Rumble. Punk going home could be their worked-shoot way of continuing it. It also could be an injury, which was also reported.

I’m just saying to take all of this with a grain of salt. If I may remind you, we didn’t actually know that Punk resigned with WWE mid-way through the Money In The Bank 2011 show literally until the DVD came out.

Govern yourselves accordingly.

TJ Rutherford

The most recent reports I’m reading are that Punk was pushed over the edge by Batista being thrust into the Main Event at Mania. This has happened before with the Rock but 1.) Punk had just renewed his contract with WWE at that time so he was locked and 2.) It’s the Rock; he’ll always get what he wants.

There are obviously more factors that contribute to Punk’s departure like mental and physical exhaustion from the road, frustration with his place on the card, pain from injuries, etc.

This could also be a work to be saved for a later storyline involving him and The Authority.

All anyone besides CM Punk and WWE personnel can do right now is speculate. Until Punk opens up or shows back up in a storyline, nothing can really be confirmed.

CW Sanders

I don’t necessarily think it’s time to panic just yet if you’re a Punk fan. Yes, the story did get picked up by TMZ and that tends to give stories a little bit more weight BUT WWE has been know to be buddies with the folks at TMZ so there is a chance of this being a work. Obviously, we don’t know every detail at the time of me writing this but this is very concerning as a Punk fan that wasn’t quite ready to see him go just yet. Of course it is very possible that Punk did angry and did leave, I know I would’ve if I was in his shoes and then added to being in Cleveland on Monday when he didn’t need to be on top of that. We could see a situation where cooler heads prevail in the coming days. All is not lost and a lot can happen.

Martin Shaw

This is the first exciting thing Punk’s done in years. It puts AJ Lee in a very awkward situation though…

Justin Czerwonka

Well, to say this kind of brings me down a bit on my birthday is a bit of an understatement. I’m torn on this issue. First off, I don’t like the way Punk did what he did. I felt the same whay when Austin “took his ball and went home.” But, sometimes, things get so bad that you have to look out for yourself. Punk is someone that made it well known that he wants to get out of the wrestling business in one piece. And it seemed like all he had left to do was main event Wrestlemania. That wasn’t happening this year, and with his contract up in July, it may never happen. There is no doubt that Punk hasn’t gotten top billing recently. And while to some a match with HHH may be a strong spot at Wrestlemania, it probably isn’t for Punk. If Punk’s departure truly is final, the WWE is looking at a very dangerous tipping point. With Punk gone, and Bryan not getting the push the fans want, they may lose Network subscribers. Until the full facts are out, we won’t really know how it all went down. But this is no doubt a said day for any WWE fan.

Travis Leamons

Until there’s an official announcement from WWE on the matter I want to call shenanigans. Much like others have stated, I don’t like the manner in which Punk supposedly left the company. It’s as if he borrowed from Steve Austin’s playbook circa 2002 when the Texas Rattlesnake “took his ball and went home.” Though with Austin in 2002 it felt legitimate. Considering the position Austin was in and the goodwill he put in as the defacto leader of the Attitude Era, to book him to lose to Brock Lesnar on a non-PPV event is ludicrous. It doesn’t make good business sense. (Something WCW failed to grasp when the organization gave Goldberg’s championship victory away for free on Monday Night Nitro, instead of at a major WCW PPV.)

With Punk, his departure is smart business sense on his part; he sees the writing on the wall. While one of the top talents in WWE, he’s not getting the treatment that has been bestowed upon Triple H’s “Guys” (Randy Orton, especially). His exit is one of apathy at an organization that never quite understood the talent he possessed. A workhorse in the ring 300+ days out the year and awesome on the mic, Punk is that rare talent who makes us want to believe that misfits can thrive in an industry that leans more towards looks than in-ring ability.

I’ve contended that with the arrival of the WWE Network the need for the sports entertainment giant to develop an off-season where wrestlers can recuperate for a few months and come back rejuvenated. Punk is hurting, both physically and emotionally. Give him his time to “find his smile” and let cooler heads prevail.

If this is all a work, might I suggest a return five months from now at the Payback PPV in June? The PPV emanates from Rosemont, IL, which is only 18 miles northwest of Chicago.

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