Rumored Opponent For CM Punk’s Scrapped WWE Return

cm punk aew smile

A new report provides details about a discussed CM Punk WWE return that never came to pass.

Ahead of the September 2nd episode of Collision, it was announced that AEW had decided to terminate CM Punk’s contract with cause after he was involved in a backstage altercation with Jack Perry at All In the previous week. Tony Khan took responsibility for the decision, saying it was made after unanimous advice from a disciplinary council as well as legal representation.

The altercation between Perry and Punk was far from the first incident Punk has had backstage in All Elite Wrestling, as he was suspended for some time after his infamous brawl with The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega after last year’s edition of All Out. Everyone involved was suspended, and while The Elite returned to the company the next November at Full Gear, CM Punk wasn’t seen until the June debut of Collision.

According to a new report from Fightful Select, CM Punk considered a WWE return while he was on the outs with AEW in late 2022 and early 2023. Sources close to Punk indicated that he not only entertained the idea of leaving All Elite Wrestling, he was in favor of the idea so that he would be able to make a return to WWE. Specifically, Punk wanted to return to the 2023 Royal Rumble, but there is no word on if WWE considered taking him back or whether he would have been granted a release from AEW at the time.

Who Was In Line To Face CM Punk In WWE?

Continuing, Fightful Select revealed a rumor that gained enough steam that it made its way back to WWE talent. According to the rumor (which has not been confirmed by Punk or those in his camp), Punk wanted to make his return at the Royal Rumble to set up a WrestleMania match with the man who eliminated him.

The rumored name being discussed to eliminate Punk from the Royal Rumble was none other than Kevin Owens. Had this plan gone through, Punk and Owens likely would have main evented night one of WrestleMania 39.