Pundits Divided: Should CM Punk Return To WWE Following Seth Rollins' Injury?

Pundits Divided: Should CM Punk Return To WWE Following Seth Rollins’ Injury?

News of Seth Rollins getting injured on this week’s episode of Monday Night RAW rocked the WWE Universe on Wednesday. But if he can’t make it back in time for WrestleMania 33, should CM Punk return to WWE despite parting with the company on the most acrimonious of terms in 2014? That’s something wrestling “dirt sheets” have been divided on in the aftermath of Rollins’ knee injury, and a topic fans may likely debate on in the days to come.

On Wednesday, WWE’s official website reported that Seth Rollins re-injured his right knee two days earlier at Monday Night RAW, following an attack at the hands of the debuting Samoa Joe. This was the same right knee “The Architect” had injured in November 2015, taking him out of action for several months and forcing him to relinquish his WWE World Championship belt. And while many had wondered whether this was a kayfabe injury or for real, Rollins posted a statement (h/t Pro Wrestling Sheet) later on Wednesday confirming that the re-injury wasn’t part of a storyline.

“This re-injury to my surgically repaired knee is real and a lot is up in the air right now, but one thing remains constant: my resolve. This doesn’t end for me until I’ve reclaimed the throne And for me, fighting and defeating Triple H is the only way.”

That statement, together with the above photo of the injured knee was all the proof anyone needed to confirm Seth Rollins’ injury is real. What’s also real is the chance that Seth may miss his second straight WrestleMania due to the same injured right knee, though Wrestling Inc. did report that Rollins will be out for up to eight weeks, thus making it plausible that he returns in time for WrestleMania 33. Still, he also stands to miss what would have been a match against Samoa Joe at Fastlane next month, and as a result, Joe and his apparent storyline mentor Triple H have no one to feud with.

So why not make a storyline out of the real-life animosity between CM Punk and Triple H? That was the suggestion made by PWInsider’s Mike Johnson, who believes that CM Punk returning to WWE and cutting a scathing “worked shoot” promo on the company that allegedly mistreated him would make for good storytelling in lieu of a Rollins vs. Triple H/Samoa Joe feud.

“All Punk would need to do is show up and do what he’s always done, cut a pipe-bomb promo that breaks the fourth wall. At the core of their hearts, wrestling fans want to believe and what’s more believable than the guy who walked out and crapped all over the company and its officers returning to buck the establishment?

The best matches are the ones where people believe there’s a level of legitimate hatred between the two. Here, neither side needs to even pretend.”

Johnson also noted that it could make a good opportunity for Punk’s wife, former WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee, to get involved in the suggested storyline. Unlike Punk, who walked out of WWE after Royal Rumble 2014 and trashed the company on Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast in November of that year, Lee left WWE on more amicable terms, retiring from active competition in April 2015.

All in all, PWInsider’s Johnson sees CM Punk returning to WWE to feud with Triple H and Samoa Joe a win-win situation – a “big payday” for Punk at WrestleMania 33, a chance to replace the injured Seth Rollins, and a chance for Punk and Joe to relive their heated rivalry from their Ring of Honor days.

CM Punk lost to Mickey Gall in just 2:14 in his mixed martial arts debut at UFC 203. [Image by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images]

Still, not everyone is hot on such an idea. In response to Johnson’s op-ed for PWInsider, Cageside Seats‘ Geno Mrosko fired back with his own take on the issue – even with Seth Rollins injured and doubtful to appear at WrestleMania 33, it wouldn’t make sense to ask CM Punk to return to WWE.

Mrosko brought up Punk’s alleged mistreatment at the hands of WWE and its officials, including perceived bad booking and mishandling of his injuries, as well as WWE’s attempts to “troll” Punk, the most recent of which came when Monday Night RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon poked fun at how quickly Punk lost to the much younger, and then little-known Mickey Gall at UFC 203. All these, he believes, may cause Punk to be offended should WWE reach out and ask him to return to feud with Triple H and Samoa Joe.

“Punk does not need WWE’s money, no matter how willing they may be to give him a pen and a blank check. And considering everything you heard from Punk in his tell-all interview (with Colt Cabana in 2014), not to mention everything he’s said since then, do you really believe he would respond well to the company finally reaching out after all these years only because they want something from him?”

A third publication, Pro Wrestling Sheet, came up with a list of potential rivals for Triple H should Rollins not be cleared for WrestleMania 33, and Punk’s name was nowhere on the list. In fact, even Fandango, who takes up the bottom of the SmackDown Live totem pole with Breezango/Fashion PoPo tag team partner Tyler Breeze, was listed as a joke candidate of sorts. But like many others, Pro Wrestling Sheet believes that it may be more realistic to expect the erstwhile-injured Finn Balor to step up, or for Samoa Joe to turn on his storyline mentor.

Do you believe WWE should try convincing CM Punk to return to WWE, or do you think there are better ways to deal with Seth Rollins’ injury situation and possible absence from WrestleMania 33? Feel free to sound off below on the comments section.

[Featured Image by Valerie Macon/Getty Images]

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