Back in the summer of 2011, CM Punk was arguably the most popular professional wrestler in the entire world, and as a result, his merchandise sales skyrocketed. One thing we’ve heard over the years is that his merchandise sales skyrocketed so much, that he dethroned John Cena as WWE’s top merch seller. However, we don’t have definitive proof that he did, in fact, outsell John Cena. Sure, he said that he did during his appearance on Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling Podcast, but does that mean that he actually did, or was he just talking himself up like most pro wrestlers do?
On a recent edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer was asked the exact same question, and he responded by saying that there were a few weeks here and there where Punk was outselling Cena, but, for the most part, Cena was WWE’s top merchandise seller during that time.
“Cena was still ahead [of Punk]. But there might’ve been a few weeks where Punk was ahead of Cena, but Punk was second, and whoever was third was a distant third at the time. This was before the rise of Daniel Bryan.”
Over the years, we’ve heard rumors that WWE did their best to ensure that Cena outsold Punk by producing more Cena-related merchandise, while they produced less Punk-related merchandise, and while that’s possible, it hasn’t been confirmed.
Outselling Cena, even if it was just for a short period of time, is a tremendous accomplishment, as Cena has been WWE’s top merchandise seller for over a decade. No one before, or since Punk has even come close to outselling John Cena.
When CM Punk abruptly left WWE in January of 2014, he was replaced by Daniel Bryan as the company’s second biggest merchandise seller. Of course, that might’ve happened anyway, as at the time, it seemed like Punk was on the way down, while Bryan was, at the very least, the second most popular wrestler on every show behind John Cena.
If Punk does end up returning to WWE at some point, he’ll likely reclaim his spot as one of the company’s top three merchandise sellers, and, who knows? Maybe he’ll be able to dethrone John Cena, or, whoever is in the number one spot when he returns.
As of right now though, Punk is focused on his new career as a mixed martial artist. He currently has an 0-1 record as a pro MMA fighter, as he lost via submission to Mickey Gall back in September of last year. As of this writing, the UFC hasn’t cut him, which is probably a sign that they’re not planning on doing so.
We don’t know when Punk’s next fight will be, or who it’ll be against, but if he gets another fight in the UFC and loses, he’ll probably end up being cut from the organization.
As for who Punk could end up fighting next, well, there’s really only one name out there — Mike Jackson. If you don’t remember, Mike Jackson lost to Mickey Gall via submission just a few months before Gall defeated Punk. Both men have an 0-1 record in the UFC, and Jackson has called Punk out. So, if the UFC books Punk again, expect him to be booked against Jackson.
Punk has said time and time again that he’s not planning on going back to WWE, which was echoed by his wife — AJ Brooks — while she was promoting her new book. So, if you think Punk being cut by the UFC will mean that his MMA career is over, think again! Because he’ll probably be picked up by Bellator.
[Featured Image by WWE]