Last night, WWE Backstage - the company's new Sportscenter-style show on FS1 - sent SHOCKWAVES through the professional wrestling industry when Renee Young introduced the newest addition to their program: CM Punk.
Punk hasn't appeared on WWE television since the Royal Rumble in 2014, when he very famously and very publicly walked out on the company, and didn't have the best things to say about his time there afterwards...
Over the years, Punk has been pretty adamant that he had no plans to ever return (especially in an in-ring capacity), but seemingly got more and more open to the idea in the past few months to a year - at least in my opinion.
Rumors of him "trying out" for WWE Backstage have been out there for weeks, and garnered enough attention that Carrabis and I even had the opportunity to ask Punk about them, and had a very in-depth conversation about his mentality towards the whole thing on My Mom's Basement, where he was open and honest about it all. One of the major details brought up was the fact that he wouldn't be working for WWE on this program, he'd be working for FOX. I think that's big.
It seemed THEN that they had no plans to bring him in, as Punk said he hadn't even received a call back, but after ratings on the first show tanked, I think someone at FOX probably got ahold of the Bat-Phone and gave the Punkster a call.
Quite frankly - I'm STOKED about this. I've enjoyed Backstage quite a bit so far, and I just love listening to CM Punk talk about professional wrestling. I think he "got it" more than almost anybody in the history of the business. I'm also excited to hear what he criticizes about the program right now (because there's a lot of shit to criticize), and how far he'll be allowed to push it before they pull the plug.
I'm guessing in the end, this'll either bring us another messy split full of drama, or CM Punk's return to the professional wrestling ring. I know he'd probably hate the pushing of that narrative, but I simply see no middle ground there. I'll be watching either way.
Happy to have ya back, Punk.
P.S. Punk making his splash by updating that "Rowdy" Roddy Piper quote is why he's just the fucking best.