Today’s Rumor Roundup has the headline, but for folks who didn’t spend their Easter weekend online, here’s a deeper dive into what was apparently the latest instance of Phil “CM Punk” Brooks keeping one toe in the waters of professional wrestling.
On Fri., April 20 at the MKE Wrestling show in West Allis, Wisconsin’s Knights of Columbus Hall, a masked wrestler ran in and hit the GTS on Daryck St. Holmes, costing him his match with Ace Steel.
Here’s footage of the run in and finish, courtesy of the promotion:
The crowd didn’t seem to uniformly catch on that it might even possibly have been Punk under the mask. That’s probably part of why the next morning, MKE founder Silas Young (of Ring of Honor fame) sent out these tweets designed to get the message across without explicitly confirming it was the Straight Edge Superstar:
Last night we held @MKE_Wrestling at the Knights of Columbus building in west allis the place was packed with 350 people. This place has had 25+ years of wrestling and is the place a lot of guys started. Guys like @ColtCabana as well as a Punk who showed up in a mask last night— silas young (@lastrealmanROH) April 20, 2019
Here is some PUNK running in a match last night @MKE_Wrestling you never know who’s in gonna show up at our shows. Former world champions have been stopping in at the last couple shows!!! Don’t miss out on May 17 at our new home Buenavista Banquets 76&oklahoma next to AMF lanes https://t.co/rr8xVH8UJ0— silas young (@lastrealmanROH) April 20, 2019
There are a lot of reasons why, despite years of saying a return to the business which made him famous doesn’t interest him, it makes sense Punk would appear at this event. It was the final show at the Milwaukee-area KoC after more than a quarter century of pro wrestling at the venue. The man himself and a lot of folks with Punk ties - like his trainer Steel, his manager from ROH Dave Prazak, and his former friend Colt Cabana - came up at the Hall.
Brooks still trains mixed martial arts at Roufusport in Milwaukee, and was seen earlier in the day on Friday at a high school wrestling tournament in West Allis wearing the same hooded sweatshirt as St. Holmes’ masked assailant:
This also lines up EXTREMELY WELL with a quote Punk gave ESPN back in 2016 about how he’d someday “return” to wrestling:
“But you never know, I could pop up here and there. Let me explain that to you even better: it’s not going to even be televised, it’s going to be me in a ninja f***ing outfit wrestling one of my buddies and nobody’s ever going to know. It’s going to be very ‘Monty Python,’ so to speak.”
Check, and check.
Multiple outlets are reporting it was indeed the five time WWE World champion under that mask on Friday night, including Wrestling Observer and Fightful. The former reports Punk wanted to do something in the building where he used to perform often coming up, but Dave Meltzer says it shouldn’t be taken as a sign he wants to get back into the business on a regular basis. The latter site says it’s not the first time he’s done an incognito run-in like this, with a source telling Sean Ross Sapp Punk did something similar which would have been in Wrestling Road Diaries 3 had the Chris Amann lawsuit not ended his friendship with Cabana.
So now you know. I certainly wouldn’t recommend shouting “CM PUNK RETURN IMMINENT” as anything other than a joke still, but the Best In The World does seem to be treating his old job a little less icily these days...