Few wrestling fans thought CM Punk would return to WWE after his controversial departure from the company in 2014, which made his return on WWE Backstage that much more electric. The Best in the World made an explosive return to WWE that shocked the wrestling world and left fans speculating as to Punk's new role with the company.
The Straight Edge Superstar's return was kept a secret from everybody except Renee Young, who gleefully welcomed him back. It remains unclear whether Punk will compete in the ring again, though it certainly seems like an inevitability. The potential of CM Punk is limitless. Here are ten opportunities in WWE now that the Best in the World has returned.
10 A New Addition To The Commentary Table
CM Punk's tenure on commentary was short and sweet. The former WWE Champion is known for his controversial comments, and his brutally honest observations whilst calling matches on commentary were fresh, modern and a juxtaposing dynamic to the typical WWE formula.
With Jim Ross calling commentary for AEW, WWE needs a vibrant personality of their own to compete. Punk's inclusion would bridge the gap between fans and the product.
9 Return To In-Ring Action
The most obvious opportunity for CM Punk now is a triumphant return to in-ring competition. The Straight Edge Superstar is one of the most decorated wrestlers in the world and there is a plethora of new talent on the roster for him to work with.
Punk made a deal with FOX before returning on WWE Backstage as opposed to WWE, which may affect the likelihood of him wrestling again. It does seem only a matter of time though, as fans are eager to see the Best in the World do what he does best.
8 A Stint As General Manager
Punk is one of the best talkers in the business. The Straight Edge Superstar would excel in the role of General Manager for either Raw, SmackDown or NXT, as his wife AJ Lee did in 2012.
CM Punk's brash and anti-authority attitude would set him apart from other general managers and signal a new era in WWE that is no longer built on authority figures being enablers. He has the expertise and the persona to make this role his own.
7 The Return Of AJ Lee
If CM Punk can return to WWE after such a controversial departure, then AJ Lee can too. The former Divas Champion is a pioneer of women's wrestling and helped establish WWE's female Superstars as credible athletes and assets to WWE.
The women's division has evolved since the Black Widow retired and is now a solid division instead of an afterthought. With more time awarded to women's matches, there is a tangible opportunity to showcase her skills should AJ decide to return.
6 A High-Profile Feud With Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins may be a former world champion and stellar athlete, but he's not quite the top babyface that WWE wants him to be. His feud with The Fiend damaged the Architect's credibility and WWE has an opportunity to go all-in and turn the Beastslayer heel.
In this scenario, Punk is the perfect antithesis for heel Rollins. The two Superstars have history from Rollins' Shield days and have the potential to put on awe-inspiring matches.
5 The Main Event Of WrestleMania
During his podcast with Colt Cabana, Punk revealed that one of his biggest gripes with WWE was being denied the main event of WrestleMania. If WWE does decide to bite the bullet on a Rollins vs. Punk feud, this could be another accolade for the Straight Edge Superstar.
There is symbolism in Punk returning to the company after swearing he never would, achieving the one thing that evaded him during his WWE career. Rollins vs. Punk is a feud worthy of the main event and has the potential to be an example of peak wrestling ability.
4 The Voice Of The Voiceless
CM Punk's attitude has made him a vehicle for the fans as he has voiced their opinions during his infamous promos and pipebombs. With Punk now appearing periodically on WWE Backstage, he can resume his role as the voice of the voiceless and tell WWE directly what the WWE Universe is thinking.
Punk has never been shy of criticizing WWE and the company knows this. As long as he represents the fans there is a discussion between them and the company, bringing audiences back to the product.
3 CM Punk & AJ Lee Vs. Triple H & Stephanie
CM Punk has history with Triple H and AJ Lee has had issues with Stephanie McMahon. If the Geek Goddess does decide to return to WWE as well, there is a high-profile feud waiting to happen.
It seemed for a while as if this match was a possibility for Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch, though the Architect's shaky status as a babyface hinders this. Punk and AJ would be more than up for the role, both of them anarchistic rebels defying The Authority.
2 Managing His Own Talent
If CM Punk does not wish to return to in-ring competition then it remains a possibility for him to manage another Superstar instead. Wrestlers such as Shinsuke Nakamura and Andrade have flourished with the presence of a manager and Punk's mic skills are enough to put over any Superstar.
To stay true to his roots, Punk should manage an NXT Superstar with ties to the independent circuit. It would be a treat to see him square off against Paul Heyman once more in a managerial role.
1 Surprise Royal Rumble Entrance
The Royal Rumble provides the perfect platform for wrestlers to debut or return to in-ring competition. There is no doubt that the crowd would explode for Punk's inclusion, especially if he occupied the crucial number 30 position.
This could set up the Straight Edge Superstar's journey to WrestleMania's main event. Regardless of triumph, his presence would immediately elevate the match.