It is questionable as to why Phil Brooks, best known as CM Punk, is considered to be the “Best in the World” when it comes to wrestling, yet has been so easily marked as the most hated man to ever debut in the UFC. Many consider professional wrestling to be a world of staged fights and “fake” moves, especially UFC fighters and their fans, who believe the sport to be “real” and superior in comparison. Then on the other hand, you have professional wrestlers, who also train, put their bodies on the line, and work tougher schedules, that feel angered by the derogatory comments thrown their way from the UFC faithful. Either way it goes, this age old war should be set aside because none of this explains the main question when it comes to Punk's debut, which is: why all the hate?
He has decided to put his efforts into a new dream. A dream where the fight is considered to be as real as the pain and where the conditions will not only benefit him more financially, but possibly build him a new fan base to bring back with him as well. Maybe it's time to bring both worlds together.
From his point of view, it is understandable why he came to make the decision to enter a world that some consider consists of only “real fighters,” only to be labeled a traitor by some of his old fans and viewed as undeserving by others. CM Punk explains his thoughts best in his interview with Sports Illustrated: Extra Mustard from last year: “I always felt like I was fighting. I’d much rather just lock the cage door and really fight it out.” So let's stop hating the man for just a moment and give him a little credit for trying to live out a dream. Even after he has his big UFC moment, that doesn't mean that there are not 12 Reasons Why CM Punk Will Return To WWE After His UFC Debut...
12 Punk's Lifelong Dream
CM Punk spent the majority of his life building and shaping himself into his lifelong dream of being a WWE Superstar just as many MMA fighters do in the UFC. So despite his recent claims that his life has changed course, that still does not mean that he can just erase it. Punk, his brother, and their friend started and ran Lunatic Wrestling Federation, but after finding out his brother was smuggling money out from under them, he was so mad about it that they haven't talked since. That shows just how serious he was about wrestling, even when those around him were not.
Punk has said his favorite wrestler growing up was Roddy Piper because “he talked trash and got away with it… sort of like me” and spoke highly of the wisdom bestowed upon him by Eddie Guerrero, who said: “It's not about moves. It's not what you do, it's when you do it.” He respected the best and became the best. When Punk decides to speak candidly about his trials and his heroes in wrestling, you can tell that it's a part of who he is and that it would be very hard for him to leave it behind forever.
11 CM Punk Forever
One thing that is very important to Phil Brooks is the name CM Punk, but will we ever really know why? Not only has he carried this nickname as a persona throughout his entire wrestling career, but he also has insisted on using it for his UFC profile. Punk claims that keeping his name in UFC has to do with his “gigantic fan base from almost a different life and it would be foolish to ignore,” but there really seems to be more to it than just that.
As a wrestler, Punk has done various interviews and, in each one, he has a new answer to the already age old question of 'what does CM stand for?'. In 2007, he told the Mississauga News that it stood for Cookie Master, an old nickname from his mom. Then, in another interview, he revealed it was Chuck Mosley. Before that, in an interview with IGN back in 2006, Punk gives what seems to be the most candid answer being that it came from his first tag team match with CM Venom, where they were called The Chick Magnets. It just stuck which makes it a great in-ring persona, but it has no meaning for him in MMA. So why keep it?
10 Love-Hate Bro-Ships
CM Punk may be referring to WWE as if it were a past life, but one thing that he cannot turn his back on is his friends. Throughout his career, Punk has had rivals and with the exception of those who have crossed him (Vince) or tried to sabotage his career (Triple H) , many have become true friends outside the ring and, in a way, were his family. In fact, Punk has declared that he does not “believe that you have to be blood to be family” and has often admitted that he is not that close with most of his actual blood family.
In the past, Punk has had to file a restraining order on his mom who threatened to commit suicide if he didn't give her money and has mentioned that “the only thing my brother ever did to me was steal a (crap) load of money from me." Punk has had staged rivalries that eventually ended in friendships like with Samoa Joe, friends that he's known since the indies such as Daniel Bryan, and, of course, mentors like Colt Cabana. Once things cool off with WWE, he will be back for more rivalries with his best friends in the WWE. Many have said they'd never return, before returning, so we need to entertain the idea.
9 Twice The Fandom If He Somehow Wins
As of now, CM Punk is considered to be the underdog against Mickey Gall, but if he was to win all the Twitter haters would have to suck it up. CM Punk would become the not-so average guy, the “fake wrestler” whose name got him a shot when others felt they deserved it more.
He got his shot and despite Punk telling the trolls himself : “If you're mad that somebody is remaking Big Trouble in Little China, it's your favorite movie -- guess what? Don't watch the remake. Don't want to watch me fight? Don't watch me fight,” the trolls will still watch. If he wins, they might still hate him, but there will be new respect for CM Punk.
Then he could return to the WWE and say he is truly the “Best in the World.” From there, CM Punk would now have two fan bases instead of one. Merchandise would go back up with the WWE and sales would be crazy for CM Punk.
8 Ryback Is Gone
One of CM Punk's biggest bones to pick with Vince from his podcast with Colt Cabana was being forced to work with Ryback, not once, but several times, despite Punk's injuries. Punk claimed that Ryback was a “stiff, steroid guy” and that he once kicked Punk in the stomach so hard that he broke his ribs. Then, after a surgery, Vince pushed him back in two weeks for a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match against the same Ryback, which Punk claims “took 20 years off his life.”
Of course, Ryback fired back a couple of times via Twitter and during his ring entrance to the Payback Pay-Per-View in Chicago, but earlier this year he refused to sign a new contract with WWE, due to his own disputes with the structure of the WWE and their pay scale. Ryback leaving has to sweeten the pot a little for Punk to return to WWE.
7 UFC & WWE Might Actually Bond
UFC fans might hate the idea, but the “fake” world of wrestling has already begun to bond with UFC thanks to Brock Lesnar. Not only did WWE manage to lockdown a huge appearance by Ronda Rousey for WrestleMania, but Lesnar also managed a feat that we never thought we would see, as he competed in UFC while under contract with the WWE.
Brock may have messed up his future attempts to blur the lines that separate the two worlds when he tested positive for PEDs, but CM Punk is Straight Edge, so they won't need to worry about that and he can pick up where Brock left off.
Furthermore, with WWE's slumped ratings, Punk's return from the Octagon could pull off what Lesnar should have, by forming a bond that could only improve things from where they stand. Even Forbes admits more should have been done with Brock, saying that “WWE hyping Lesnar’s return, if orchestrated correctly, could have paid big dividends later.”
6 They Always Come Back
It has become evident through the years that the WWE has a history of pissing off their Superstars, leading them to leave the company on bad terms. However, another thing that has also become evident is that they always come back.
Look at Bret Hart, as he was screwed over worse than anybody by Vince McMahon. He was a victim of the Montreal Screwjob which left him so mad that he knocked Vince out cold following the conspiracy that rocked the Universe.
CM Punk was hot when he left, but time heals all. Since Punk left, Vince has already apologized, so it's obvious, despite how his public apology was received by Punk, that he would be open to Punk's return. Besides, who is to say that this whole thing wasn't just a PR stunt conspired by both parties. Yes it does seem far-fetched, but we wouldn't put it past Vince (who has tried to fake his own death in the past) or Punk (who once signed his WWE contract on the ROH Championship Title) to try and pull off something this groundbreaking.
5 CM Punk vs Conor McGregor WM33
As much as Punk would like to say that he is over not getting a main event at WrestleMania, do we really believe him? Not a chance! If Punk's biggest discrepancy with Vince was that he never got to main event WM and he is still complaining about it, then he is obviously not over it.
Funny thing is, since CM Punk has signed with the UFC, several people have stepped up to offer to fight him. However, one person that has remained mostly quiet on Punk's upcoming debut is Conor McGregor. Other than his initial comments that Punk looked “afraid” and like he “signed up for something he didn't want to be,” he has chosen to trash talk the WWE locker room instead. A potential WWE between the two could make sense though, as Punk is close to McGregor’s weight class and called McGregor out for working the WWE Superstars, saying that “fighting over Twitter is embarrassing.” So. why not have Punk vs McGregor at WM33 as the main event?
4 Vince Will Kiss CM Punk's A**
Even if Vince hasn't see the errors of his ways yet, he definitely will if CM Punk wins his UFC debut. The red carpet will roll, the truckload of cash will appear, and the a** kissing will begin. Look at Brock Lesnar, as he left for years and his UFC career has done nothing, but improve his ratings and WWE's.
As we've mentioned, the relationship between the two promotions has begun. It may be small, but it's there and although UFC fans may claim to hate the idea of it, they can't help but watch. Brock Lesnar came back and gets whatever he wants. He gets the big bucks. He gets to show up when he wants. He gets to get away scot-free for anti-doping violations. So if Punk wins his debut, all of the issues that he listed against WWE would no longer exist when it comes to him. Punk would get what Punk wants. Vince would kiss Punk's a**. End of story.
3 If Punk's Debut Ends With A Loss
If CM Punk were to win his debut and come back to the WWE, it would be grand, but if Punk were to lose his UFC debut, his career as an MMA fighter could already be over and he might be forced to return to wrestling. Punk's UFC match is against someone relatively unknown, which means he may no longer be marketable for UFC if he were to fail in his debut.
He isn't an unkown fighter trying to get a UFC fight like Mickey Gall, he’s an entirely different beast. CM Punk is the freak show that Dana White wanted to use to generate ticket sales. That's the reason for all of the hype, including UFC's The Evolution of Punk series, but winning would change things, whereas losing would indeed make Punk the butt of everyone’s joke. In wrestling, you can lose and still look good, but that's less likely in MMA. He can go back to WWE, eventually retire, and still become a Hall of Famer.
CM Punk has had his fare share of unscripted mic time since making his UFC debut against Mickey Gall official. He has talked about his plans on going after a title shot, which he has claimed can be done after three or four wins. He has struck out several times at Twitter haters, but what about the infamous pipe-bombs.
Sure, Punk may claim to hate that this is what every promo is called, but it started with him, his entrance, and a mic. Back in 2011, during a promo, Punk called out every a** kisser known to WWE, which was a work. Afterwards, Punk re-signed making it look like he was just full of steam, but, in reality, this was where all his troubles had come to be in an unscripted promo before the ears of all WWE fans.
Punk addressed these claims in his interview on Colt Cabana’s podcast, saying that his intentions were real, not fake, and that he resigned “to give it the old college try.” Punk has an unmeasurable talent to draw people in with a mic and he has to miss talking into it, just as his fans miss hearing it.
1 Calling Punk Out
One of the biggest reasons that Punk will return to the WWE after his UFC debut is that he has been called out. Not by the countless wrestlers that have done so since his departure, such as Ryback and many others. It also wasn't Mickey Gall, who did call out Punk, just to catch Dana White's eye so he could get his own UFC debut, but it was a friend who did the calling out.
Samoa Joe recently came to NXT and is the man that CM Punk managed to hold for two 60 minute draws back in their days with ROH. Their second hour long draw goes down as one of the best matches in wrestling history. Now that Samoa Joe is on his way up in the WWE, this is what he had to say about Punk: “I know he very much wants to have one last one, one last go. I’m sure he’d love for it to be 100 minutes or 90 minutes but we’ll see how that goes.”
Punk also responded to Joe via Twitter just before his NXT debut saying:
These two friends could create magic in a WWE ring and we hope to see it happen.
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