Hulk Hogan and CM Punk made controversial waves among the WWE Universe and wrestling circles for their departures from the sports entertainment giant over the past four years. Punk walked out in advance of WrestleMania 30 for irreconcilable differences with management, while Hogan was dismissed after tapes surfaced of The Hulkster’s racial tirade, designed to tarnish his legacy.
CM Punk has transitioned from the squared circle into the Octagon where he was defeated in his first and only professional fight with the UFC. Fans continue to chant his name in WWE arenas around the country, but the Straight Edge Superstar has remained steadfast in his desire never to return to pro wrestling. Since his firing, Hulk Hogan battled (and defeated) Gawker Media in court for leaking a sex tape. There have been several rumors that Hulk will make a surprise return to the company next month at WrestleMania.
Both Hogan and Punk have been removed from the wrestling business for some time, with the Hulk Hogan character being completely removed from the WWE website in the aftermath of the audio tape. But wrestling fans haven’t forgotten either one, nor has one of the sport’s most popular factions.
The Bullet Club has been one of the most over acts in wrestling not associated with the WWE. Most pundits would agree that the NJPW (and Ring of Honor) stable has been rivaled only by Matt Hardy’s “Broken” gimmick for most entertaining outside of Vince McMahon’s payroll. There was a sentiment among fans recently that the group has lost some of its popularity ever since Finn Balor and AJ Styles left for the WWE. But Dave Meltzer pointed out on a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio that if merchandise sales are any indication, they’re as hot as ever.
These days, Kenny Omega, Adam Cole, The Young Bucks, and Cody Rhodes run a Bullet Club faction that boasts a 12-man roster. There wouldn’t appear too much room for additions, but the group was asked who they’d make exceptions for during a recent Q&A session from Japan. The five aforementioned members seemed to agree that CM Punk and Hulk Hogan would be on the short list. Omega, who wrestled Okada in an early favorite for match of the year in January, had this to say on the matter, as transcribed by SportsKeeda.
“If that’s still an option, Hogan. The only other person that could touch Hogan, in terms of hype factor and someone able to contribute, it’s gotta be Punk.”
Adam Cole revealed that CM Punk was the reason he became interested in independent wrestling. Cody Rhodes, who himself departed the WWE over creative frustrations, and one that has worked with Punk (and been in the WWE when Hogan has returned), heaped praise and had a ringing endorsement for CM Punk.
“Punk’s the best, man. When I got to Louisville, he didn’t have to be because he was the big dog there at OVW, but he was the only one bringing folks in, showing you around, helping you out. Honest, but not a d*** about it. Punker’s special.”
During the interview, several of the Bullet Club members revealed that there were once discussions to bring either Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, or Jeff Hardy in for at least a one-off appearance. That “spot” eventually went to Adam Cole, who joined in May of 2016. The most recent addition to the faction is Frankie Kazarian who came in last month.
CM Punk’s UFC career is on life support and Matt Jackson told viewers that he texts regularly with the Second City Savior, so between Punk and Hogan, it would seem that Punk has the better odds. Keep in mind, though, that Hogan spent three different stints with New Japan so there is plenty of history there.
[Featured Image by WWE]