A report from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has provided the latest news on CM Punk’s WWE status. The report claims that the world should be watching the March 3 edition of “Monday Night Raw,” because it is during that broadcast that Punk may appear for the company again if his current departure from WWE is indeed a fabricated angle for television.
The March 3 episode of “Monday Night Raw” will emanate from Punk’s hometown of Chicago, Ill. The thought behind him appearing on the program would be so that the company could capitalize on the amount of attention WWE has gotten since Punk left the company just 30 minutes before “Monday Night Raw” went live on Jan. 27.
Word is that the WWE officials that do not expect Punk on the program are concerned about the March 3 edition of “RAW,” as they are afraid that the fans in attendance will “highjack” the program. However (and luckily for the company), Hulk Hogan, the Undertaker, and Brock Lesnar should be appearing on the program, which should soften the blow of Punk’s absence for the Chicago crowd. Hogan would have only been seen by the WWE Universe one week prior on Feb. 24, and with Chicago being a “Hogan crowd,” many believe that he would provide a nice cushion for the fans.
There was less concern about fans highjacking WWE programming this week, as both “Monday Night Raw” and “Smackdown” were filmed in Calif. However, during the Feb. 10 edition of “RAW,” the company did try to control the crowd as much as they could by having them chant for CM Punk during commercial breaks, and having Daniel Bryan appear on the program more than once. It seemed as if the crowd would forget about Punk as soon as Bryan hit the stage.
As we previously reported, Seth Rollins grabbed a microphone and addressed the “CM Punk” chants during a commercial break during the Feb. 10 edition of “Monday Night Raw.” The Wrestling Observer Newsletter claims that this might have been done by design in order to have the fans get the chants out of their systems while the broadcast was off the air. When the cameras went live following Rollins’ comments, the “CM Punk” chants were fading away. So, if this was done by design, it worked.
According to the report, Punk was edited out of any WWE produced video package that was shown during the commercial breaks that did not have matches taken place through them. The videos, which heavily featured Hogan and Sting, never featured Punk. Even the promotional video for the “Best of the Money In The Bank” DVD had Punk removed from its content.
Reportedly, there is a mixed feeling within the company about Punk and his decision to leave just before “Monday Night Raw” went live. Almost every superstar in the locker room disagrees with Punk abandoning his “post” just before TV tapings. The only way any would support such an action is if this whole situation is in fact a work. The whole world could find out whether or not that is the case on March 3.
A number of superstars in the back do have sympathy towards Punk’s opinions of WWE upper-management. Punk expressed a number of frustrations with WWE Creative, management, and part-timers returning into prominent spots just three days before he walked out on the company. While some people agree with and share his frustrations in this realm, they do argue that Punk very legitimately was given the opportunity to shine for a while and many considered him at one point to be the “number 2″ guy in the company behind John Cena.
While Punk is a very popular star, the belief between WWE officials is that he did not draw enough money as a champion. Rarely has Punk been considered a draw for PPV ticket sales. However, due to his popularity, his merchandise sales are “second-best” in the company, again behind Cena.
The report also reveals that if Punk is still in contact with people working for WWE, it’s not a great number. Apparently, many of those that have contacted him within the company since Jan. 27 have yet to get a response from the Second City Saint. He has also remained silent on Twitter.
While it is still uncertain as to when (or if) Punk will return to work, this report states that you should definitely keep your eye on Chicago and March 3. If this whole situation has indeed been a set-up for WWE TV, it may be one of the most elaborate and incredibly successful works ever pulled off in the history of professional wrestling.