When the new masked faction Retribution made its debut on WWE programming last week fans quickly began to theorize who could possibly be in the group, as well as who its leader might be. Names from NXT started popping up like Tommaso Ciampa and Dominik Dijakovic, followed by the usual theories that this would finally be the way CM Punk gets brought back to WWE television (the argument this time centering around the group's name). This week's Raw saw the group smash a Performance Center window, flip a car and cause the power in the PC to flicker once again, but no further hints about its members were given.
Punk, who likes to toy with the wrestling community from time to time, took to Instagram on Tuesday morning and jokingly told Rey Mysterio that he should shave Seth Rollins' head — harkening back to an angle they had in 2010. The WWE on Fox Twitter account took notice, so Punk decided to name-drop Retribution.
I’m just sayin’ I know a thing or two about retribution.— player/coach (@CMPunk) August 11, 2020
While Punk hasn't completely shut the door on returning to wrestling, he has stated numerous times that it would take a lot of him to lace up his boots again.
"I work for FOX," Punk said in his first WWE Backstage interview back in November. "Haven’t talked to anybody in WWE. Not actively pursuing or interested in, but I’m 41 years old and I’ve lived an experienced life, so I know not to say no, but that’s going to be a bridge that’s going to have to be built and might take as long as building the great wall of China, because there are some hurdles."
Recently, Konnan broke news on his podcast that AEW attempted to sign Punk to a deal but couldn't match his incredibly lucrative demands. Cody Rhodes then explained what happened in an interview with TalkSport.
"As far as the CM Punk negotiations go, everyone heard the famous 'he got a text from us'. Yeah, of course there were negotiations and he did ask for a great amount of money and Punk is worth a great deal of money But you also have to — and this isn't speaking to Punk specifically, this is speaking to recruitment and what we've learned in wrestling in general — a lot of people think 'these wrestlers are running this wrestling company'. These wrestlers are doing everything they can to run the creative, the brand and the marketing and things, but there are some very smart and fiscally conservative people who surround us and flank us because this isn't my money. At all."