Despite CM Punk’s well-documented falling out with WWE in the aftermath of his 2014 release from the company, recent reports suggest that the prevailing belief is that he will opt for WWE if he chooses to return to the world of professional wrestling. As for All Elite Wrestling — a promotion that has been mentioned in previous rumors as a potential destination for Punk — the latest rumors hint that the company has no plans of ever working with the wrestler-turned-MMA-fighter.
On Saturday’s edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer offered an update on Punk’s recent tryout for the upcoming FOX Sports 1 show, WWE Backstage, noting that the former WWE Champion reportedly did well and might soon receive an offer to join hosts Renee Young and Booker T on the program. As cited by Wrestling Inc., Meltzer added that Punk will “technically” be working for FOX and not for WWE if he chooses to co-host the show. That, however, may still be favorable for WWE, which supposedly won’t have a problem with this arrangement as it would prevent Punk from signing with AEW.
Talking about AEW and its rumored past interest in Punk, Meltzer was cited as saying that he was told the company “would never work” with the 40-year-old ex-wrestler because of the comments he made when speaking to ESPN in July.
In that interview, Punk claimed that AEW offered him a contract via text and stressed that his talks with the promotion didn’t yield anything of note. However, he also accused founder and president Tony Khan of falsely claiming he has a “great relationship” with him just because he keeps in touch with AEW stars such as The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) and Cody Rhodes.
In addition, Punk told ESPN that texting contract offers “isn’t really a way to good business,” further accusing AEW of overhyping their conversations when company officials do interviews.
With AEW allegedly refusing to deal with Punk due to the above remarks, Meltzer also suggested on Wrestling Observer Radio that there’s a possibility the longtime WWE fan-favorite might return to the latter promotion, assuming he gets a part-time contract similar to the ones previously signed by Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg.
Since Punk’s appearance last month at the Starrcast III wrestling convention, neither AEW nor its talents have brought his name up in any public comments of note. However, Rhodes said in July — not long after Punk’s ESPN interview — that while AEW’s doors are open for Punk if he wants to join the upstart promotion, he “wouldn’t be surprised” if he opted to return to WWE instead.