Late last night/early this morning, news broke that CM Punk had left WWE. He reportedly told Vince that he was "going home" and took off on a plane to Chicago a few hours before Raw began this past Monday. This would explain the report that came out Monday afternoon that said Vince and the creative team were scrambling to change the script for the show.
When I first heard the news, my initial thought as a wrestling fan was "Is this real or is this a work?". Punk is known for having backstage troubles with WWE, on screen and off screen. With his upcoming rumored storyline with Triple H, I thought at first glance this was just part of a storyline. The more I read into the situation, the more I realized how real this may be.
First things first, Punk has been vocal about how banged up, burnt out, and injured he has become over the past year or so. He came back early from knee surgery in January of 2013 plus took time off post-WrestleMania last year. On top of that, it's been said that he's been working with various nagging injuries since his return in June of last year. This is reason enough for the guy to want time off.
Something else we also know is that Punk doesn't need the WWE anymore. What I mean by that statement is that Punk isn't desperate for money. He could happily retire with the money he has saved up, but as he has said there is one goal he hasn't accomplished yet. That goal is to main event WrestleMania. Once Punk accomplishes that, he has nothing else to accomplish.
I think that has something to do with why he left. Rumors are swirling that Punk was scheduled to main event WrestleMania until Batista came back. If this is the case, I can understand his frustration. Batista's return and immediate push was a slap in the face to guys like Punk, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan and numerous others who have worked all year in hopes of getting the opportunity that Batista was handed.
Punk isn't a guy who is in the business for the money. This situation makes that even more obvious. He loves wrestling and entertaining the fans, that's why he goes out there every night. But as I mentioned before, he's in a postion in his career where he doesn't NEED WWE's employment to survive. As all these injuries racked up and his frustration began to build with the way he was going to be booked, he probably thought to himself "I don't have to deal with this anymore" and took his ball and went home.
Atleast that's what I think may have happened. I honestly can't say I blame the guy. If I was in his position, I probably would have done the same thing. One man can only deal with so much and Punk is known for not putting up with much bullshit, so this would be no surprise to me if he truly left.
So, yes, as of now I do believe that Punk has left the company indefinitely. The reasons I discussed above plus the fact that he's been removed from all live events over the next few weeks is why I think this. I'm not saying this isn't part of a storyline, but it honestly doesn't look like it to me. Why else would WWE put Bryan at odds with Triple H to begin building towards a match between the two at Mania? There's no reasoning behind except for what has seemingly transpired with CM Punk leaving.
Will Punk come back? I have no idea, but as a huge fan of the guy, I will support him in whatever he does and respect his decisions. It's been said that people in WWE expected him to leave the company after his contract expired in July, so that leads me to believe that if he doesn't return before then, he may not come back.
The other side of this story is that it may be part of storyline. If it is, then kudos to WWE for selling it so well. It will definitely be an interesting one if that is the case. Punk fighting with authority is always good TV.
Only time will tell if this is truly the departure of the best in the world. All we can do is wait to see how things play out and hope they turn out for the best. The best for not just us as fans, but what is best for the best in the world himself, CM Punk.