A name that has come up often in the discussion is Stone Cold Steve Austin, partially because of Punk's adversarial admiration of the Legend, but mostly because The Texas Rattlesnake was at the center of a very similar rift over creative differences in 2002 when he famously "took his ball and went home" rather than lose to Brock Lesnar on a Monday night show.
Now, that tough SOB has opened a can of opinion on the matter. Last night (January 30, 2014), he appeared on Arsenio Hall's syndicated late night talk show and Hall brought up the hot topic in pro wrestling:
Hall: He quit the WWE two days ago. Is that real or is that storyline?
Austin: Word on the street was it was real. But see, I was back in a place when I walked away from the company. I didn't like what they had to tell me, so I 'took my ball and went home' as they spun it. And lost out on a lot of money.
So, see him, I just think he was backed up against a corner, he got a little frustrated and he took his ball and went home. Now I think one of two things will happen. I think Vince will fly down there, to Chicago or wherever he is, work some Jedi mind tricks and convince him to come back. Or maybe he will think through the process, and he's got a lot of years left in the tank, and never leave money on the table when you can go ahead and make that money. It doesn't matter what happens, the keep sending these little gimmicks in the mail and they're called bills. And you must pay your bills...
I consider Punk a very good friend and I know he really is probably going through a lot of stress and I wish him well. I think it is a real deal. But I'd like to think that he'll come back. But he is a pretty hard-headed young man, so we'll see what happens. Bad timing, because you've got WrestleMania 30 going down in the Superdome and that's gonna be a good pay day.
So, include Austin in the camp with his good buddy JR in thinking that cooler heads and hungry wallets will prevail.