Almost two full weeks ago, I wrote that it was time to say goodbye to CM Punk for good. It was clear at that time that he really was done with WWE just over one month removed from walking out on the company just hours before Monday Night Raw was to hit the air on the USA network.
It was time to accept it. And I thought I had. But I was wrong.
I know this because I was one of the many who tuned in to tonight's (Mar. 16, 2014) episode of Talking Dead on AMC simply because Punk would be making an appearance. It felt surreal, too, seeing him in this context, totally free of any chains to WWE, as evidenced by his being introduced by his real name and the byline on his graphic referencing his Twitter account instead of his (former?) employer.
Our friend David Shoemaker of Grantland perhaps summed it up best:
Watching CM Punk on Talking Dead feels like checking an ex-girlfriend's Facebook page, which is depressing.— David Shoemaker (@AKATheMaskedMan) March 17, 2014
Throughout the course of the show, Punk talked about what he was there to talk about: The Walking Dead. He made no references to WWE and didn't talk at all about his current situation.
There was a moment late in the show, however, when he responded to co-panelist Yvette Brown's surprise that he was so forgiving by saying he's a "totally new person" now and he's "all about forgiveness".
You know what? He looked like a totally new person.
Actually, he looked better than he has in years. He didn't look anywhere near as run down and ragged as he always seemed to during his WWE run. He looked like he's actually slept in the past week, like he showered and shaved, and actually bothered to comb his hair.
He looked well.
And you know what? It was good to see him that way.
So while we already said goodbye, this little look at the new CM Punk -- or should I say Phil Brooks -- was nice if only because we got to see how much better off he seems to be.
Good for him.