It nearly happened, and it would’ve had the WWE Universe on the edge of their seat. In 2011, CM Punk shocked the professional wrestling when he cut the best promo in WWE history. Earlier that night on WWE Raw, WWE officials told him to go out and air his grievances. Well, Punk grabbed that imaginary brass ring and became a figure in sports entertainment. In six minutes, CM Punk became a WWE legend. His hard work and dedication did get him to that point.
However, it was that moment in time that set him apart from everyone else on the roster. From then on, Punk had a memorable feud with John Cena, which can be considered an all-time great program. Soon, Punk captured the WWE championship from Alberto Del Rio and held it for over 400 days. It wasn’t long into his WWE title reign that people were beginning to realize Punk’s legacy in the sport.
What most WWE fans don’t realize is what Punk’s true potential could’ve been if one feud actually took place. More often than not, wrestling connoisseurs compare wrestlers. John Cena is today’s version of the Rock. That’s one example. CM Punk was constantly compared to Stone Cold Steve Austin. They were the anti-hero fans loved to hate. It was easy to associate with Punk, just like it was with Austin.
If a couple of variables had fallen into place, Punk and Austin had the chance to be a saga. The question is, was the feud going to take place? According to Stone Cold Steve Austin on Jim Ross’ podcast, The Ross Report, a program with CM Punk almost happened.
“Austin said he never seriously considered if knowing full well he was finished as an in-ring performer. He acknowledges he would have loved to wrestle CM Punk and they most certainly would have sold a great deal of tickets together. Austin finishes, ‘It would have been a hell of a program.'”
In Daily Wrestling News’ summation of the podcast, Austin did indeed agree that the program would’ve “put butts in the seats.” Since Punk’s departure from the company in January of 2014, WWE fans started to forget about the Voices of the Voiceless and what could’ve been. To this day, Austin is still a fan of Punk and thinks a battle of the promos would’ve made a lot of money.
“I like what he brings to the ring. Very controlled, very precise, great psychology. Half of the battle is being in an angle that grabs people and gets them in the building. CM Punk cuts a great promo. Him spinning off me, me spinning off him, that means money.”
Unfortunately, the feud many WWE fans dreamed of probably won’t happen. Austin is getting older, and his will to enter the squared circle once again is presumably dwindling. CM Punk’s disdain for the WWE hasn’t changed, at least that he’s made public. Instead, Punk is still training for a UFC debut that hasn’t happened yet.
Aside from an injury during training, nothing’s stopped the former WWE champion from fighting in the octagon. He already knew the art of jiu-jitsu. Punk trained with the Gracies for the latter part of his WWE career. All the Chicago native needed were a proper wrestling base and striking training. Pro wrestling wasn’t enough to properly train him to the level of UFC striking.
Perhaps the Best in the World will return to the ring one day, but it won’t be anytime soon. WWE fans still chant CM Punk’s name when times are rough on WWE programming. For a man to make an impact like that proves that money can always be made, and Vince McMahon is a fan of that.
[Image via YouTube]