With AEW reportedly looking to buy out the remaining years on CM Punk's contract, speculation has risen in the past week over the possibility of the former world champion returning to WWE. At first glance, it seems like the relationship has been utterly destroyed thanks to Punk's tumultuous departure from the company and the numerous disparaging remarks he made about WWE during his year with AEW. But a new report from WrestleVotes via GiveMeSport indicates Triple H won't completely rule out the idea.
"I was told, I mean, pretty straightforward, that Triple H wants nothing to do with CM Punk, and even less to do with Phil Brooks. Well, that's what I was told and that was July," the insider said in a new interview (h/t WrestleTalk). "I did ask over the last couple of days, and it has softened a little bit from what I understand. I still think there's animosity, I still think there's a lot of pieces that need to be picked up between the two of them specifically. But Hunter, learned from Vince (McMahon) and Vince made amends with everybody. So to say that doors closed is ridiculous on anybody's part, especially in this 'war' that's happening right now... I would say never say never. Absolutely."
Will CM Punk Return to WWE?
While WrestleVotes' report is slightly more optimistic, a separate report from PWTorch's Wade Keller from this past weekend made it sound like WWE isn't interested. Keller explained, "As I talked about this fall, Paul Levesque is more likely to bring Punk back than Vince McMahon would have been, not less. That doesn't mean Paul Levesque was a fan of CM Punk. But Paul Levesque is in a different position than Vince McMahon. Vince McMahon never believed in CM Punk. And therefore, in the way he pushed Punk never really fully got behind him. Paul Levesque, while he thinks Punk personality wise might be more trouble than he's worth, has shown a history of recognizing wrestlers who are over with today's fans that he himself might not have predicted would be over...
"Somebody who's currently in WWE, and is within the sphere of influence of Paul Levesque's decision-making would be a hard 'No' as of me asking this person today," he continued. "A hard 'No' on endorsing the return of CM Punk, even if it would help business. I won't go into exactly what was said. But when I asked, I got a long paragraph of one sentence after another of negative comments about how they feel about Punk now, compared to 8, 9, 10 years ago, based on what's happened in AEW, in the last 13 months. And by the way, related to this, I talked to three people of significant stature in AEW in the last couple of days...I asked how would a vote go in the AEW locker room if they were asked if they wanted Punk to return? One person said he wouldn't fare very well. Another person said he thinks he might not get a single vote. And someone else says he doesn't think he'd get many votes...I think he'd get some personally just based on conversations I've had the last six weeks with others. The three people I just talked to in the last few days are higher, prominent people of influence in that locker room. So that tells you something about his standing and why I think if Punk were to return it wouldn't necessarily go well for him in either place. And I think that's going to that falls into the calculation of Tony Khan right now. And it might fall into the calculation of Paul Levesque. I still believe Levesque would be more likely to bring him in than Vince McMahon for the reasons I said, but I think there would be some pushback by people in Levesque's sphere of influence."