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CM Punk Leaves WWE

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CM Punk Rumble contenderWrestling fans woke up Wednesday morning, checked their Twitter timelines, and let out a collective gasp when they saw the news. CM Punk has left WWE. The first reaction is obviously skepticism, since Punk worked an almost identical angle in 2011. After dropping his infamous pipe bomb promo on RAW, he walked out on the company minutes after winning the WWE Championship days later. While the headlines told us that CM Punk had quit, or was suspended, the world was pretty sure he’d be back. He returned with a new theme song, his old title belt, and the familiar chip on his shoulder. In 2011, Punk took a little walk, but came back home. Today’s news has a different tone; I’m not sure we should leave the light on, expecting CM Punk to come home this time.

Sunday’s Royal Rumble left fans so disappointed and upset about Daniel Bryan, Batista, Randy Orton and John Cena, that CM Punk wasn’t given a second thought. As the first entrant in the Rumble, Punk put on a solid show, nearly making it to end before Kane interfered to eliminate him. The crowd seemed disappointed by his elimination, but quickly shifted back to the Daniel Bryan movement, leaving CM Punk to quietly stumble to the back. Those were perhaps his last movements as a WWE superstar. After Punk’s Rumble exit, the focus of the wrestling world was on Daniel Bryan, and the outrage at WWE’s failure to hear what their fans want to see. It was clear they had to address the Bryan situation on Monday’s RAW, leaving fans to wonder if their favorite bearded superstar would get a fair part of the show. Little did they know, someone else they might take for granted would be absent.

That’s what happened; is it real? Multiple reports from reputable outlets are confirming this is definitely not a work. By all accounts, CM Punk grabbed his bags and went home. Richard Gray of WrestlingNewsWorld.com reports that Punk has been unhappy with his character for several months. Originally slated for a match with Triple H at Wrestlemania, Punk apparently got word that Daniel Bryan would be given that match instead, leaving him with a lackluster extended feud with Kane. Also noted in Gray’s report was Punk’s frustration with Batista’s return, claiming that Triple H played favorites by giving him a top match at Wrestlemania. That was apparently the final push CM Punk needed to walk out the door, and board a plane bound for Chicago.

This feels real. If I had to put money on it, I’d say CM Punk has legitimately quit the WWE. In hindsight, Punk himself may have left us a clue. A tweet to fans after Royal Rumble was simple and gracious, something that his Twitter account rarely displays.

Given Punk’s history and personality, mystery will always surround this. Unless he starts showing up at independent shows, joins TNA, or partners with Jeff Jarrett on a new promotion, the WWE Universe will always suspect he’ll be back. In the wrestling world, anything that happens to a superstar in real-life is a work until proven real. Unless hard evidence shows up, RAW crowds will be listening for Cult of Personality to blast in the arena. CM Punk chants are sure to echo until we know what’s going on. That’s how big Punk is; he’s literally the best in the world. Despite it feeling a bit more real this time, I’m holding out. I’m leaving the light on.

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