According to a recent report, there a feeling inside WWE that CM Punk might actually want to return to the company and not for AEW.
During the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, there was discussion that if CM Punk does return to pro wrestling, it will be for WWE and not for AEW, where he's often been linked. There were previous rumors Punk might show up at AEW's All Out. That didn't happen. In fact, after word broke that AEW had made a contract offer, Punk was somewhat negative toward the company during the interview with Marc Raimondi of ESPN back in July.
According to this source, all talks between Punk and AEW have broken off.
There's also an impression within WWE that Punk is not only open to a return, but might actually want to. They aren't counting on it happening and they certainly aren't chasing him for a deal but that, as WWE continues on with its new changes, Punk has an interest in returning.
It wasn't long ago that Punk's representative went to FOX to try and push Punk as a co-host of the new "WWE Backstage" studio show on FS1. That wasn't something WWE was interested in pursuing. That "lack of interest" is a good approach for WWE to take considering Punk is aware that he'll make the most money in WWE and at some point might have to reach out to the company versus the company reaching out to him.
When Punk appeared at Starrcast III last month, he was asked if he would take the call and have a conversation if Vince McMahon or Triple H. "I wouldn't not talk to them," Punk said. He discussed that in any other sport or business, the team that suspended a player always has to, eventually, go talk to that player about returning. He sees it as being no different.
Punk and WWE Need to Take The First Step
Because Punk, 40, is not about to come knocking on the door of WWE and WWE is not about to come begging for Punk to return, there might need to be a meeting in the middle. Someone will need to say to both sides, 'Hey, you guys should talk.'. It sounds like they're both open to doing so.
It would be best to do so while he's got something left to offer in the ring.