So all's well that end's well with CM Punk? Will he be remembered in wrestling folklore as the ballsy performer who walked out on WWE the day after this year's Royal Rumble, went on strike for the remainder of his contract, saw no legal repercussions for his actions and will now forever be free to do as he pleases?
Perhaps not. Even though WWE quietly added CM Punk to the alumni section of their website shortly before his contract expired last week, which most commentators thought marked the end of his protracted struggle with WWE, they still reserve the right to take legal action over his breach of contract, a possibility they are apparently still considering. That's according to Dave Meltzer on today's subscriber only Wrestling Observer Radio show:
"Right now there are definitely issues with WWE and CM Punk. WWE is not happy with the way this all went down. Nothings happened yet, but this is not, you know, you haven't heard anything and that would make you think his contract expired a couple of days ago and you think, well, this is a nice smooth ending. From WWE's standpoint, they haven't made a move yet, but there's certainly the threat that it's happening and this may not be smooth."
The reason why action hasn't already been taken is probably because Vince McMahon still held out hope of enticing the disgruntled star back into the WWE fold, which even he must have given up on for the time being, now that Punk is publicly proclaiming he's never, ever, ever coming back.
While Vince, at least initially, was being conciliatory rather than retaliatory, Triple H was believed to be very upset because he had been pencilled in to face Punk at WrestleMania 30, which Punk apparently wasn't all too thrilled about and that may have contributed to his departure. Reading between the lines it seems that Hunter would have favoured taking a more hardline approach against Punk, but kept his mouth shut as he didn't want to be accused of turning the situation into a personal issue.
However, it seemed that the heat had died down a lot since January, as both sides kept quiet on the matter. Now that Punk is back in the public eye, WWE's anger is privately resurging. Indeed, his recent interview on the red carpet at the AP Music Awards rubbed them up the wrong way. In particular, they were mad at Punk claiming that he couldn't remember much of what's happened in his life over the last six months:
"There's chunks of my life that I don't remember due to staph infections and concussions. You can't blame it all on drugs with this guy because, you know, I'm straight edge."
According to Dave Meltzer, given the way he said it (who on earth gets amnesia from staph infections?), people within WWE management took that as he was mocking the excuse that he left due to being physically banged up and burnt out, and was rubbing it in their face that he quit for other reasons:
"I know the people there [had] the idea he was mocking the idea that he's injured and that's why he left, as opposed to just being frustrated and essentially breaching his contract [as to] why he left and now he's trying to claim injury."
Which isn't a very smart thing for Punk to do, when WWE can still whip their lawyer Jerry McDevitt out and make life very difficult for Phil Brooks. I doubt it'll come to that in the end, as Punk clearly isn't going to sign with any rival wrestling groups, but he'd be wise to be a bit more contrite to WWE and less outspoken in public until any legal threats have passed.