For those of you who are sick and tired of the CM Punk standoff with WWE after he walked out on the company over one month ago, the good news is it appears it will all be over soon. Tomorrow night's (March 3, 2014) episode of Monday Night Raw in Chicago, Illinois, represents a D-Day of sorts.
Essentially, either he's back then or he's almost certainly not coming back at all.
For a couple weeks now, it has seemed a lock that he wouldn't be returning. In fact, just yesterday it appeared set in stone that he wouldn't, thanks to some key moves WWE has made recently, both with its booking on TV and elsewhere.
Now it turns out he may be coming back after all.
"I don't know what to say. I expect him there Monday. I thought he was going to be there last week until they did the Wizard World thing. ... There's a Wizard World Convention thing that Punk was scheduled to do on the last weekend of this month. And he was replaced; WWE replaced him with Randy Orton. And I thought, 'well, geez, if Punk is going to come back, it's going to be long before the 31st so they don't have any reason to change it.' And Punk likes doing those things so it's not like he's trying to back off. And it's not like people know that WWE books those things. So it's really weird that they would. They could just not advertise anyone until Monday, for a week, and then start advertising Punk if that's the case. But the Wizard World people were told that Punk's out and Orton's in. And then they started advertising Orton at that point. So I thought, 'well, geez, that doesn't really make a lot of sense. So maybe he's not coming back.' And I don't know 100-percent for sure. I thought when I listened to Vince I thought that he was coming back. And I know people who are following this very closely... one person told me he's back. It's someone who, evidently, and it's one of the biggest names in the business, it's someone who evidently knows. So, we'll see."
But if he comes back, how will he be booked at WrestleMania 30, which is now just five weeks away from invading the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sun., April 6, 2014?
There are two options:
- Insert him back into the planned Triple H match
- Insert him into the Randy Orton vs. Batista WWE world heavyweight title match
The former wouldn't seem like a great option considering how hard it's been pushed that Daniel Bryan would be getting that long awaited match and, really, it makes more sense for the story, not that that has ever mattered all that much to the powers that be.
The latter seems more plausible if only because Batista went ahead and turned heel and WWE may not want to rush turning Randy Orton babyface because, well, smark crowds at WrestleMania simply aren't going to buy it. A heel vs. heel WWE world heavyweight title match at "The Showcase of the Immortals" may prove a bad idea, so inserting Punk, who would come back to a thunderous ovation in Chicago, getting a ton of momentum on it, might be wise.
Then again, if he's not signing a new deal -- which is possible but would seem unlikely -- he wouldn't be likely to win that match. And are they really going to convince him to return just to do a job at WrestleMania?
All this is still super intriguing, Cagesiders, and we'll find out what the plan is tomorrow night.