As is usual for a non-pay-per-view (PPV) weekend, WWE will be holding house shows in Kansas and Missouri this Saturday and Sunday. Those events had been advertised to feature CM Punk. Based on what we've learned over the last couple of days, The Best in the World will almost certainly not be appearing on those shows.
So who's replacing him? Well he's Irish, and he loves to fight. But he ain't Fit Finlay.
Sheamus, who just returned to WWE this past weekend as a participant in the main event at Royal Rumble, will be filling Punk's straight-edge boots.
For Saturday, February 1st's house show in Wichita, Kansas at the INTRUST Bank Arena, The Celtic Warrior is billed where Punk had previously been in a list of "scheduled to appear" talent.
On the card for Sunday, February 2nd in Kansas City at the Sprint Center, he's specifically listed in the spot where Punk had been advertised to battle The Shield in a three-on-one handicap match.
House show line-ups are never set in stone - the phrase "subject to change" was practically invented for them. But they do occasionally spill the beans on a big secret, as they may have done with Batista's return. Based on how Sheamus was booked as the third spoke in the babyface wheel of John Cena and Daniel Bryan on this first Raw without Punk in quite some time, though, it's not illogical to think that he may be used for a lot of things that had planned for the Chicagoan in the short-term future.
Hopefully just the ones that don't put Bryan on a collision course with Triple H at WrestleMania 30.