The past four or five days have been spent dissecting and analyzing every bit of CM Punk's grievances with WWE. That list is long, and it includes everything from creative differences to allegations of medical malfeasance.
In The Art of Wrestling podcast interview, Punk is on record as saying, "there's no working relationship and there never will be ever again". Which sounds like a done deal.
Not to Vince McMahon, according to his discussion with Steve Austin last night on WWE Network. The Chairman of WWE has a lot of experience dealing with disgruntled performers, and he's got confidence in his ability to set aside personal issues for professional benefit.
Despite the circumstances of Punk's exit, which McMahon characterized as having let the company and the audience down when discussing a similar situation where Austin left WWE in 2002, he's optimistic that time and money will heal the wounds enough that the Straight-Edged Superstar will follow Stone Cold, Scott Hall, Bruno Sammartino and others back to WWE some day:
I hope that one day we'll be able to get back together again. You and I got back together again; we had our differences. (Hulk) Hogan, oh my god; we got back together again after differences. Ultimate Warrior; you know, there's a list, a long list of them. In essence, what I try to do is to give the audience what they want. I try to give them what's best for business. I know that's like... we use that phrase on television back-and-forth but that's always been my philosophy. I take my ego, which is sizable, and I'll put it over here and say 'okay, my ego is over here, Vince, and here's how you really feel but what is the best thing for business?' So I'm hoping that one day we can get back together.
As Geno pointed out, it seems strategic that McMahon publicly apologized for the issue that seemed to really close the door for Punk - the pink slip he received the day he and AJ Lee were married.
But Vince and Austin stayed away from addressing Punk's issues with booking, and especially Vince's son-in-law Paul "Triple H" Levesque. And there was no mention whatsoever of the issues brought up about working with concussions, or trainer's misdiagnosing serious ailments like staph.
In the end, apology or no, Vince still laid the issues on the other man's doorstep. Well, Punk's and the lawyers:
That's really, I think, more often the problem. It's a lack of communication. I think I can legitimately say that Punk has some degree of lack of communication skills. He's pretty much a loner. And had there been a Jim Ross or someone like that to get us together I think it could have worked out. But it didn't happen that way and any time you get attorney's involved in something it's going to hell in a hand basket.
It should be noted here that the person now in the role that Jim Ross was in when he brokered a peace between McMahon and Austin is Levesque. That the man whose job it is to smooth things over was at the center of Punk's issues probably didn't help with the communication issues.
What do you make of this folks? Do you agree with Vince McMahon that there's hope of a reconciliation between CM Punk and WWE down the line?