Is WWE Setting Up CM Punk vs. Shane McMahon?

Thanks to his World Cup victory Shane McMahon can happily declare himself 'best in the world.' A [...]

Thanks to his World Cup victory Shane McMahon can happily declare himself "best in the world." A heel turn is rumored to be in McMahon's future but is it possible that all this is part of a plan that involves CM Punk finally returning to WWE?

Punk's WWE comeback has been on millions of wrestling fan's wishlist since his exit from the company in 2014. However, given his lawsuit with WWE doctor Chris Amann and his collection of quotes against wrestling the chances of his prodigal return look dim. But as wrestling fans, we're slaves to the idiom "Never Say Never."

Before winning the World Cup, McMahon used a SmackDown promo to gratuitously use the phrase "Best in the World"—a well-known moniker of Punk's—and even went out of his way to troll the "CM Punk" chants that followed. It was a fun moment, but in retrospect, it feels a little intentional.

We'll admit it, all of this is just our own speculation, however, there are a few pieces at play that must be acknowledged.

Roman Reigns' leukemia will keep him out of WWE for an extended period of time—some say at least a year. No matter his prognosis, it seems impossible Reigns will compete at WrestleMania 35. The same goes for Triple H, who reportedly suffered a torn pectoral at Crown Jewel. His injury is believed to have called WWE's plans for a massive 'Mania showdown with Batista. Even more, given the advanced age of The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels, it simply isn't fair to assume they'll have their own match at WM35.

All of that was to say this: WWE will be hurting for star power come April 2019. Ronda Rousey main eventing the show seems to be the betting favorite, but that's not going to be enough for Vince McMahon.

Somehow, Wrestlemania gets bigger every year. and if WWE wants to keep that pace, they're going to have to get creative. Using The Rock now seems like a necessity for 2019, but it may not be for the Hollywood star. However, CM Punk is far less busy.

Things appear to be pretty icy between Punk and WWE, but from our perspective, there's simply no way to know the actual dynamics of their relationship. While Punk's return has been fantasy booked as nauseam, this time it actually feels necessary.

And with McMahon trumpeting his "Best in the World" status, he's plausibly trolling Punk. It may not seem like this at all time, but everything WWE does in front of a camera has a purpose. At this moment, all we can really say is that WWE is trying to get heat on Shane McMahon. By Survivor Series he'll likely be a bonafide villain. And if he's still calling himself the "Best in the World" in December, it may be clobbering time.