CM Punk tried to return to WWE well before Survivor Series 2023.
On November 25th, CM Punk shocked the world by returning to WWE at Survivor Series in Chicago. Punk hadn’t been seen in a WWE ring since walking out on the company back in 2014. After much back and forth with the company, Punk was eventually fired.
His departure was one of the most acrimonious in company history and ended with lawsuits being filed. The star was so incensed by his treatment he said he wouldn’t return to WWE and very nearly didn’t return to wrestling at all.
Punk did eventually return to the squared circle, but did so with AEW, although his time there was also mired in controversy, and ended with him being fired in September 2023. It has since been reported that it was CM Punk who approached WWE about doing a deal.
Interestingly, writing in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer revealed that this was far from the first time Punk had reached out to the company. In fact, Punk approached WWE prior to joining AEW and did so again sometime in 2022.
“From the WWE side, they knew Punk would come since there were the two prior attempts Punk’s side made to come in, once before he signed with AEW and a second time last year when WWE couldn’t have gotten him anyway because his AEW contract was still in effect.”
These two instances are on top of CM Punk’s reps being shot down by Vince McMahon “years back,” and McMahon nixed another deal when FOX attempted to broker a deal with the star working on the FS1 show WWE Backstage.
WWE Optimistic CM Punk Will Face Steve Austin
Since returning to WWE, it’s been reported there have been talks between CM Punk and WWE about a dream match with Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Many in WWE are said to be “optimistic” and even “hopeful” that the match will take place. Ideas for a match have reportedly been floated between Punk and WWE, although there is no word on how far along these talks have gone.