WWE is the most obvious fallback option for CM following his AEW exit, but WWE reportedly rejected his offer to return. That doesn’t leave Punk with many options at all in the USA for being paid top dollar in pro wrestling.
Some of the next wrestling promotions that come to mind include Impact Wrestling and NWA. It sounds like Punk was backstage in Impact Wrestling last weekend, where his close friend Ace Steel was apparently working as a producer, so maybe that option isn’t as far-fetched as it appears to be on the surface.
As far as NWA is concerned, owner Billy Corgan would love to have Punk aboard, but he’s realistic about not being able to pay CM what he’s worth. When asked by the Mat Men podcast about his interest in working with Punk, here is what Corgan had to say:
“He’s a super talented guy, and like a lot of stars, there’s only one CM Punk. There’s only one guy who brings that level of heat in that way. He’s that guy. He knows it, the fans know it, and certainly as a wrestling promoter, I know it.
...Many, many people behind the scenes have asked me, should we make a play for Punk? Have you reached out to Punk? And the answer is, in terms of reaching out, no. Because I respect him a lot. He deserves top money. He’s a top star...trust me, the NWA would go hand-over-first to have Phil walk through the door and be part of the NWA, even for a pay-per-view.
...That man loves professional wrestling. He may not love the professional wrestling business, but he loves professional wrestling. So my only appeal to Punk would be, if you want to have some fun, I can’t pay you what you’re worth, but if you want to have some fun, come have some fun in the NWA. We’ll kick some ass, we’ll have some laughs, and I’ll buy you a vegan sandwich. You know what I mean?”
Corgan’s honesty is admirable, but I’m guessing that a pitch of below market pay and a vegan sandwich won’t be quite enough to secure Punk’s services. Then again, Punk has previously said money isn’t everything, so I guess you never know.
Let us know what you think in the comments below, Cagesiders.