The potential for a CM Punk WWE return has long driven headlines rife with speculation on whether Phil Brooks and AJ Lee will choose to stay for the long term in the wrestling industry. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Mick Foley believe CM Punk could return, but the WWE management would have to make certain the deal would not require Punk to forsake his ideals in exchange for money.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the rumors surrounding Phil Brooks have been getting quite strange as of late. There was a surge in Google searches for anything related to CM Punk and SummerSlam 2014, but Twitter also started a rumor that had CM Punk arrested for some alleged crime. Months ago there was a rumor that AJ Lee was pregnant, and once she lost to Paige at SummerSlam, the rumor morphed into CM Punk’s wife wanting to be a stay-at-home mom and that she would quit the WWE to have kids.
There was even talk that the WWE management was considering a lawsuit against Punk for failing to meet the full terms of his contract. Really, the only thing we can say for certain is true is that AJ Lee dumped an ice bucket on CM Punk’s head on video.
Recently, Mick Foley joined Stone Cold Steve Austin for the latter’s podcast, The Steve Austin Show. If anyone knows anything about returning to the WWE after getting a bad shake, it would have to be Austin. However, Stone Cold thinks there’s a time limit for when Punk could make that happen.
“Interesting spot that he’s in. Because are you totally fed up with the way things are being done that you remove yourself fom the whole picture?” said Austin. “Because if it’s what you love — and I know he loves the business. I’m not speaking for him. I haven’t talked to him in a year. How do you take yourself out of the equation. I did. When I got a gut full and took my ball and went home, and I’ve talked about that a million times. But, you know, Jim Ross sent me a card in the mail and I jumped at the chance to come back and, you know, get it while I could. You gotta make hay while the sun shines. He ain’t making hay right now. You can only make hay so long.”
Foley seems think it’s possible that CM Punk could be the exception to the rule that eventually “everyone comes back” to the WWE. Foley admit he has not talked to Phil since the night of Royal Rumble 2014, but he believes CM Punk may not “get the itch” to return since he’s already made enough money to retire (CM Punk’s net worth is said to be over $7.5 million). In the end, whether or not CM Punk returns is based upon how much Punk loves the WWE brand of wrestling and whether he would be happy working the independent wrestling scene and showing up at conventions.
In addition, Foley believes CM Punk’s WWE return is predicated on whether or not a WWE contract would require Phil to sacrifice his ideals. To make his point, Foley shared a story from his own wrestling career:
“I don’t believe I’ve ever shared this. When I was making the decision to do the thing with Ambrose before the doctors stepped in and told me I’d had my last match, that grass roots thing was really resonating with the top guys in the company. Punk, Cena, they liked it; it was different. Punk wanted to be a part of it. I remember parking outside an arena and texting him. And I said ‘how…’, I didn’t know how exactly how old he was, he was 12 years younger than me. I said, ’12 years from now, do you envision yourself coming back after a three year layoff to do a segment that is intentionally bad, referring to me coming back to do the ‘This is Your Life, John Cena’ spot. And he said ‘no’. And I said, ‘that will give you some indication how far I’ve fallen from my ideals.’ And I will always regret that I let myself fall that far and that I didn’t stand up and fight that one. I get the call and it is a pretty unusual idea, and under other circumstances, had I been back a while, I would have been glad to have done a segment that was purposely bad. If I remember correctly, I would go out there and I would say ‘watch this, Steve’, and then I would tank an interview just so you could tell me Jack Lanza’s reaction backstage.”
According to Mick Foley, CM Punk will not be satisfied with merely arousing an amusing reaction:
“But my first time back to be in a segment that was intentionally bad, it was a real blow to everything that I thought I had stood for. I remember Punk saying he wouldn’t be that guy. I don’t know if he’s going to come back if it’s less than ideal and if he does come back, he becomes that guy he hated. If he becomes that guy collecting the part time check than he gets the last laugh but he does it at the expense of his ideals.”
Do you think CM Punk should return to the WWE? Or do you think Phil should retire with AJ Lee and focus on family?