WWE Rumors: Former Superstar Explains Why He Thinks CM Punk Turned Down AEW For Fox Show

CM Punk looks on outside the ring during the 2013 Survivor Series.
WWE

Although CM Punk is technically working for Fox Sports 1 as an occasional panelist for the network’s weekly show WWE Backstage, one of his former colleagues believes that the former world champion opted for his current gig in favor of a chance to join All Elite Wrestling because he has unfinished business with WWE.

According to a report from Wrestling Inc., former WWE superstar Ryback said on the most recent episode of his podcast, Conversation with the Big Guy, that Punk appeared to be playing a “weird chess game” prior to signing with FS1, considering how he had repeatedly been quoted as saying he has no plans to ever return to professional wrestling.

As Ryback sees it, Punk chose to join WWE Backstage and opted against signing with AEW because he wants to achieve one milestone he failed to reach during his time in WWE despite being one of the company’s top stars — a main-event match at WrestleMania.

“[This] is going to create a situation where he is going to probably be able to go back and get the WrestleMania main event match that he always wanted. That is what I feel like is going on, and that is why I feel like he didn’t go to AEW.”

Ryback then clarified that he doesn’t expect Punk to ever return to a full-time wrestling schedule, close to six years after he competed in his last match for WWE. But even with that in mind, the former Intercontinental Champion explained that Punk has “figured out a way” to appear on FS1 to criticize his former company’s creative moves — much to chairman Vince McMahon and executive vice president Paul “Triple H” Levesque’s presumed discomfort — while still working toward his old goal of headlining WWE’s biggest show of the year.

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“His plan blew up in his face to go to UFC after two losses, but still found a way to be in that circle now,” Ryback continued. “I’m telling you I would not be shocked for him to be figured into the main event of a WrestleMania after all of this.”

While it may not be inconceivable for Punk to eventually return to a WWE ring at some point in the future, recent reports suggest that the company has no immediate plans of booking him for WrestleMania 36 in April. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, McMahon was allegedly angry with Seth Rollins following his heel turn promo last week on Monday Night Raw, where the former Universal Champion acknowledged his recent Twitter feud with Punk and suggested that the former WWE Champion is “too afraid” to meet him. This was supposedly because WWE didn’t want Rollins talking about a match that has virtually no chance of happening.