CM Punk is still one of the most polarizing people in the wrestling industry despite leaving it over four years ago. The legendary run of Punk in WWE made him an all-time great. Punk proved he was a top star with the ‘Summer of Punk’ setting him up for a few years as a superstar. Aside from John Cena, Punk would be the top name from the past decade of WWE stars. The attitude of Punk that endeared him to fans also made him hated by quit a few wrestlers. Punk has no filter and isn’t afraid to rub others the wrong way to get his point across.
The recent embarrassing UFC loss seemed to have likely ended Punk’s MMA career. WWE will usually attempt to bring back any big name that they had a falling out with. Punk is the kind of name that would add interest to the product as many of the older stars and part-timers are finally fading out. However, not everyone will want to see Punk back in the company if he ever felt the need to comeback. There are people on both sides when looking at Punk’s future. We will look at both with eight wrestlers who don’t want CM Punk back in WWE along with eight that would love to see him there again.
16 Don’t: The Miz
One of the forgotten backstage rivals of CM Punk was The Miz. Both men were competing for the top heel spot in the company back in 2010-2011. Punk ended up having the better year thanks to his iconic summer rise, but The Miz main evented WrestleMania XXVII against John Cena.
A DVD look at Punk’s career featured him ripping The Miz for not being in the same league as him when it came to who should have had that spot.
Miz is now back in a great spot towards the top of the card for the first time since 2011. Punk coming back would just see a former critic of Miz return and likely show him minimal respect.
15 Do: Big E
Big E is an unlikely ally of CM Punk as they barely worked together, and they don’t appear to have much in common. However, the New Day member had huge praise for Punk when asked about the former WWE Champion.
A recent interview featured Big E sharing a story about Punk asking to work a Raw match with him and praising him backstage. Big E felt it helped his career in a huge way during his time as Dolph Ziggler’s bodyguard. Punk’s wife AJ Lee is also a very close friend of Big E that ties them together. Big E would welcome back Punk with open arms.
14 Don’t: Corey Graves
The recent controversy of Corey Graves tweeting after CM Punk’s UFC loss featured the news of their former friendship falling apart. Graves claims he and Punk were close friends for many years. The tweets saw Graves state that Punk held Graves’ child before him due to him being out of town when it happened.
Graves’ story indicates that Punk turned his back on him and anyone else in WWE.
Punk no longer wanted to associate with any WWE wrestlers following the lawsuit from the company doctor. Graves delivered a lot of personal shots at Punk along with the timing of it being after a humiliating UFC loss. The two clearly have fallen out and Graves wouldn’t want to work with Punk again.
13 Do: AJ Styles
AJ Styles signing with WWE turned out to be a great thing, but many fans are still left wishing it happened sooner. The time between Styles leaving Impact Wrestling and signing with WWE saw him have a great run in New Japan bringing his status up as the best in the world.
Interviews with Styles during that time saw him reference Daniel Bryan and CM Punk as two guys he wished he could have wrestled in WWE.
Bryan getting cleared allowed the two to mix it up on an episode of SmackDown. Punk coming back to WWE would allow him to have the other dream match he wanted.
12 Don’t: Kurt Angle
Most fans forget that Kurt Angle and CM Punk had a bizarre interaction on Twitter that pitted them against one another. Angle was in Impact Wrestling at the time involved in negative stories for making poor decisions. One instance was him tweeting insults towards WWE wrestlers during WrestleMania.
Angle claimed he was hacked, but Punk made a tweet calling out Angle and other wrestlers for lying about being hacked when they were drunk.
The response of Angle saw him essentially threaten Punk regarding what would happen when they saw each other. Angle has put these moments in the past, but it still would be awkward for the two to work together.
11 Do: John Cena
The unlikely bond between CM Punk and John Cena saw them have a lot of great moments together. Both men represented completely different things in wrestling and in life, but they shared the passion of wanting to be the best overall performer in WWE.
Punk and Cena had classic matches together that will be remembered for decades when thinking of their best work each. Cena has stated he would love to have Punk back in WWE as it would improve the company and give Punk a better end to his career. If Punk did return to WWE, Cena would be an ideal opponent given their chemistry and box office success.
10 Don’t: Triple H
The biggest enemy of CM Punk in WWE happens to be one of the most powerful people. From his early days in WWE, Punk always clashed with Triple H in various ways. Reports from the 2000s came out that Triple H would mock Punk’s matches backstage to the rest of the locker room.
Punk referenced his disdain for Triple H and telling him off on his final day in WWE before walking out.
Triple H and Punk clearly don’t get along with their issues being very hostile.
Punk likely won’t be welcomed back with open arms given Triple H’s role in running the company in the future.
9 Do: Vince McMahon
The strangest thing about CM Punk’s time in WWE is that he had a good relationship with Vince McMahon. Most bitter falling outs with WWE will see a wrestler leave due to McMahon and him failing to get along, but Punk had more issues with Triple H than Vince at the end of the day.
Don’t get it twisted. Punk did have a lot of issues with McMahon at the end, but the two had a good relationship. Vince revealed on Steve Austin’s podcast that he would love to have Punk return to WWE. Quite frankly, the only way it can ever happen is if McMahon is the one to pull off the miracle.
8 Don’t: Maria Kanellis
CM Punk has certainly had a high-profile love life. He is currently married to AJ Lee and has dated many other ladies in the past like Daffney, Beth Phoenix and Lita. One of his ex-girlfriends has returned to the company when Maria Kanellis and her husband Mike Kanellis signed with WWE last year.
Maria is working to come back to WWE after giving birth to the her first child with Mike. While Maria has said positive things about Punk as a wrestler in recent years, she did imply that they had a bad ending to their relationship. It clearly would be awkward working together and Maria likely wouldn’t want Punk back in WWE.
7 Do: Daniel Bryan
One wrestler that will always be linked to Daniel Bryan is CM Punk. Both wrestlers changed the industry for the better. They were each unconventional for WWE but proved the old formula of bodybuilders wasn’t needed to become top stars.
Bryan has revealed that he and Punk no longer speak and never were close friends. However, they shared a mutual respect that bonded them. Bryan views Punk as the Bret Hart to his Shawn Michaels and would like to work together again. Any wrestling fan around the world would love to see them square off after having a few classics through the years.
6 Don’t: Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy was one of the most vocal wrestlers against CM Punk after Hardy left WWE. Both men worked together in a memorable feud for the World Championship. Punk often chastised Hardy in interviews for his use of alcohol and drugs during Punk’s heel straight edge run.
The promos between the two mirrored reality.
Hardy believes that Punk looked down at him and showed little respect behind the scenes. Despite the two having great matches together, they didn’t get along. Hardy trashed Punk in a few interviews when he was in Impact Wrestling. The two likely wouldn’t want to work together again.
5 Do: Paul Heyman
The support of Paul Heyman helped CM Punk through the early years of his career. Many predicted Punk to flop in WWE due to not being the traditional wrestler that most people in WWE preferred. Heyman was the one to stick his neck out for Punk and help him get passed developmental.
Punk referenced being a “Paul Heyman guy” and worked with him when Heyman returned to the company.
Considering Brock Lesnar is reportedly on the way out, Heyman would likely need a new wrestler to represent. Punk would be the one to make the most sense and Heyman could continue to make big bucks attached to another mega-star.
4 Don’t: Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns has made it clear that he doesn’t care very much for CM Punk. Their issues started in Punk’s controversial podcast appearance on the Art of Wrestling. Punk referenced WWE wanting to make Roman look strong in every Shield match. This led to more fans turning on Reigns for being the company’s chosen one.
Reigns would rip Punk in an interview asking about Punk’s claim that he came up with the idea for The Shield. The comment from Reigns was that the only thing Punk invented was the “stupid Pepsi tattoo” on his arm. Reigns would likely have to work with Punk if the two returned and they have their personal issues.
3 Do: Kofi Kingston
The closest friend of CM Punk in WWE today may be Kofi Kingston. Both men developed a bond when working together in the late 2000s. Punk and Kingston were each getting over as new talents that fans connected with. They even were paired together for a short time as a face tag team.
Kingston and Punk became close friends that traveled together from town to town.
Unlike other WWE wrestlers, Kingston still seems to have a bond with Punk today. Kofi has huge praise for Punk any time he is asked about their time together in interviews. No one would be as ecstatic as Kingston to see Punk return.
2 Don’t: The Young Bucks
The biggest names outside of WWE in wrestling business today would be the Young Bucks. Brothers Matt and Nick Jackson have created a top act on their own with no help from WWE. They are the top acts in Ring of Honor and stars in New Japan representing the Bullet Club.
Matt and Nick have referenced wanting to recruit CM Punk to come back to the ring for NJPW and ROH.
It is obvious that the Young Bucks would also want to have Punk at their All In event. They likely want him to never go back to WWE, so he can join them in the growth of promotions outside of WWE if he returns to wrestling.
1 Do: Kassius Ohno
CM Punk has reportedly ended most of his friendships with wrestlers in WWE. Many performers have been cut out of Punk’s life. Hornswoggle, Colt Cabana and Corey Graves are three wrestlers that have referenced Punk choosing to end their friendship after many years of good times.
One wrestler to not get this treatment is Kassius Ohno. Despite signing with WWE, Ohno and Punk are still apparently friends. The first UFC fight of Punk saw Ohno attend in support of his longtime friend. Both guys worked together in the early 2000s developing a bond that still exists. Ohno would love to work with him in WWE one day.