Does One Need The Other: Some Thoughts on CM Punk

Let it be known that CM Punk is still one of my all-time favorite talents, WWE or otherwise. I got into the character after the Pipebomb promo and stuck around because the guy could go (I was out of wrestling until the Pipebomb). Plus, even though I'm not a subscriber myself, I could respect his straight-edge philosophy. I started to watch his ROH stuff, his super indie stuff, his older WWE stuff, even his stint in Nashville. I respected the guy's tenacity and ability to keep pushing through legit injuries to entertain the fans and continue doing what he loves/loved(?) to do: wrestle. I also respected the fact he, like many of the greats, could blur the lines between work, shoot, straight up kayfabe, and legit (as an aside, a good portion of wrestling fans have no idea what any of these terms mean and use them as buzzwords to sound smart--or smarky).

As just about everyone knows at this point, shortly after the 2014 Royal Rumble, Punk "walked out" of the WWE, citing fatigue and a slew of "I need to get away from this craziness before it kills me" reasons. The E was silent on the matter. The crowds were loud as hell about it, but up until Payback, CM Punk all but ceased to exist in the WWE's world, script or not.

(The look on Bryan's face is priceless)

...lucky bastard.
And then it got crazier, with the person who manages Punk's WWE profile on Facebook using it to post about "Superstars who quit" and "Superstars who broke our hearts." Pretty much, pseudo-shots about the whole thing while still trying to keep it within some sort of storyline.

Meanwhile, Punk's painting chairs in Chicago, singing at the Cubs game, playing intermission games during Blackhawks games and painting getting ready to marry his fiancee AJ Lee.

So, at the end of the day, does Punk need WWE or...does WWE need Punk? Well, with WWE being in a bit of a downward spiral in most storylines not involving Seth Rollins at the moment (not to mention Daniel Bryan possibly not returning until after Summerslam), I'd say it's probably the latter. Yes, the show goes on without Punk. It went on without Cena. It went on without Rock and Stone Cold. And, yes, it went on without Ho Kogan. But, right now, "worked shoot" or not, the WWE needs--or would at least like to have--Punk more than he needs--or would at least like to be around--them. Why else would the WWE pretty much not destroy him in promos like they tend to do with many departed talents who leave on "bad" terms?

And, honestly, retiring at 35? I'd do it too if I could. So, if you don't return, thanks for the memories, Punk.

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