This has been wrestling Ahab’s quest for seven years now. He’s the white whale, if the white whale had Dwelling Color enjoying wherever he went. Which most likely would have made him manner simpler to seek out, and been a a lot simpler e book to learn. However I prattle on, and we’re not right here to speak about Moby Dick or the hours all of us wasted simply so we might honestly declare we learn it. No, it’s time for CM Punk rumors!
Ever since WWE launched Punk over seven years in the past, whispers of a return have populated the darkish areas and again alleys of wrestling fandom. You hear this yearly or so, that he’s supposedly in talks with somebody, regardless that Punk himself couldn’t be extra adamant that he’d left the enterprise behind. They’re at all times much more out of hope than expectation, however they’re at all times there.
However at the moment, Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com, maybe essentially the most plugged-in man within the enterprise, began shaking the wrestling world down to its studs when he broke a narrative on Punk’s ongoing talks with AEW. Sapp was at pains to level out nothing has been signed, no date confirmed, or something prefer it. Simply that “severe” talks had taken place, and that some higher-ups in WWE imagine Punk may very well be headed to their competitors.
Even simply whispers about precise talks are one thing like breaking new floor, as Punk has by no means shied to cover how a lot he’s achieved with wrestling. It’s been well-known that each WWE and AEW and everybody else underneath the solar would name, however that Punk would by no means reply.
No matter hidden insurgent chief you consider, that’s what Punk means to wrestling followers. He’s the title they cry when issues in WWE don’t go to their liking, he’s the one who they’re certain will are available in to avoid wasting the enterprise. That’s what occurs whenever you’re probably the greatest talkers within the recreation, in addition to probably the greatest in-ring staff, and carry your self with a fan’s perspective. Punk at all times talked and wrestled as if he had been just a few man who in some way bought contained in the ropes and was going to stay out his dream the way in which he needed earlier than safety realized what was happening. That’s why he’s nonetheless probably the most fashionable names in wrestling, regardless of not being wrestling in seven years.
If — and it’s a blimp-sized “if” — Punk had been to return again and are available again on AEW, it could be laborious to see it as something apart from a seismic shift in wrestling. Whereas the added eyeballs will surely push Dynamite into Monday Night time Uncooked numbers ratings-wise, maybe the larger issue could be the assertion it makes on the place wrestlers go after they simply wish to have storylines and matches they suppose are cool. WWE will at all times have the ability to throw essentially the most cash at wrestlers, and there’s nothing unsuitable with taking that money in a enterprise that may be merciless, wherein careers can finish immediately with one dangerous spot.
However for individuals who have both made their cash or don’t care about it as a lot, Punk ending up within the insurgent firm would be the largest signal about the place they must be. Not that Jon Moxley or Chris Jericho or Miro or a number of others leaping to the brand new firm had been non-events. However this is able to be one thing else fully.
WWE’s creative has been in the toilet for some time, as we talked about yesterday. SmackDown is miles higher, however remains to be mainly Roman Reigns-centric. In the event you’re not concerned in that, you’re nonetheless on the perimeter for essentially the most half. AEW, not less than for the lads, has a number of completely different avenues open to common TV time and publicity, and has a brand new present on Fridays premiering in a month. And nearly everybody will get an opportunity in AEW.
It’s additionally allowed its largest stars to do what they need, in a great way. Moxley bought to return to his indie, rugged, downright harmful/unhinged persona. Kenny Omega and The Bucks bought to flower out the asshole nature of The Elite on these shores as an alternative of Japan. Chris Jericho is… effectively, Chris Jericho. They usually’ve gotten to feud with rotating opponents and numerous kinds of matches, as an alternative of operating the identical match with one opponent for weeks in a row. The inventive potentialities are simply a lot extra various and spring-loaded than in WWE.
There are nonetheless so some ways for it to not occur, and that is the primary one:
Whereas Punk lived out his dream, ever because it has at all times felt like wrestling wanted him greater than he wanted it. And whereas each AEW and WWE would supply him a two-flat full of money tomorrow to get him again, the concept of there being a quantity that will coax Punk again into the ring goes towards every little thing that made him so beloved within the first place.
Nonetheless, the considered the opening chords to “Cult of Character” blaring out at All Out, the group turning into some form of collective, raucous sludge, with Twitter exploding have been an excessive amount of of a siren tune for wrestling as a complete to ever utterly dismiss. If Punk’s return had been to occur, and he went to AEW, effectively then, WWE would possibly even take discover and admit it has to alter issues.
However that might by no means occur. May it?