CM Punk. Just the name alone is enough to bring wrestling fans to their feet or sigh in disdain. Maybe it is because he is so entertaining to watch as a performer. Or maybe it is his in-ring abilities, which are so good, Punk received a rare recommendation by Mick Foley himself. Or maybe it is Punk’s ability to turn a microphone into a pipe bomb. No matter what you love about CM Punk, it may be evident by now he won’t be returning to the WWE (though this writer hopes he is wrong).
Actually, the best time for CM Punk to make an impact on a return was during Wrestlemania XXX. The best matches for him to crash: either Daniel Bryan versus Triple H or the triple threat match for the title. Punk showed up for neither. Also, Paul Heyman may have accidentally outed that CM Punk may never return to the WWE. In that case, what does CM Punk have left wrestling-wise? What can he do? Here are the options CM Punk does have and if he should actually pursue the option or not. Also, the below are very summarized.
1. Total Nonstop Wrestling – Unfortunately, this brand is in the middle or restructuring itself to be competitive with WWE again. Hulk Hogan truly did a number with the company and it doesn’t help that both Sting and Kurt Angle aren’t there now. However, the addition of MVP is making it entertaining again. Bully Ray also needs to have some decent competition, mostly on the mic I mean. A lot of the wrestlers on TNA can’t seem to cut a promo.
This is also the only wrestling organization CM Punk hasn’t really established himself in. True he had a small stint in the company, but not long enough to really “establish” anything, which is kind of hard to do in only one month. Since TNA spends its majority in Orlando, Florida, it will allow him to work matches and angles like the best brands do, but without the rigorous traveling schedule that comes with it. There might be some times where he might need to travel, but not as demanding as WWE. However, CM Punk’s hometown (city actually) is Chicago. Does he want to stay close to home or is he willing to move to Orlando?
2. Ring of Honor – Probably the best place for CM Punk to go. The company would allow him to be entertaining, both in-ring and on the mic. CM Punk has a huge list of moves on his repertoire that he couldn’t even utilize in WWE. Maybe it is because certain moves were simply “better” versions of signature moves of already-established wrestlers. For example, CM Punk’s Pepsi Plunge is a Pedigree off the top turnbuckle.
The worked matches for this brand are mostly always well-done, and they usually stick mostly in the northeast, which is perfect for CM Punk. With the confirmation that he is now engaged to AJ Lee, settling down is now a necessity that needs to be taken seriously.
3. New Japan Pro Wrestling – Out of all the options here, this one is probably the worst one for CM Punk. Don’t get me wrong, NJPW is an awesome brand, but they are known for more dangerous matches, which doesn’t necessarily mean a hardcore match, and higher-risk moves like piledrivers off the top rope to a table outside the ring. Also, it is located in Japan. Once again, CM Punk is engaged to AJ Lee. And once again, does he really want to move away from his home in Chicago. Now let’s say Punk wants to go to Japan. Is AJ Lee willing to go too?
Outside of wrestling, CM Punk possibly has the option to go into MMA or even UFC. However, he is 35 years old. He may be considered too old to join the fight going against the likes of the Silvas (there are so many of them!). Still, his age isn’t anywhere near retirement, unlike Undertaker who is 49 right now.
Also, some people have asked about Global Force Wrestling. Unfortunately, since it is just recently announced and not much is known about the new company, except it will be interactively online and it is heralded by Jeff Jarrett and his wife, Karen, it is hard to make a call pertaining to Punk. Will its base of operations be mostly stagnant, like TNA in Orlando, or will it travel? It is way too new to really say how CM Punk will do in there. I will say that if Punk were to join, it would give the new company a boost. The other wrestler that would help boost the company is Kurt Angle.
So wrestling fans, where do you think CM Punk should go to wrestle? Take note the above brands are just the highly-common brands and the reasons are, once again, very summarized.