After WrestleMania, he took time to heal. The time off allowed him to rediscover life, he explained to Cabana. It's not sold out yet, so we put you on, it will sell out, and we want you to work. Chicago welcomed Punk back with a raucous reaction.
Reconstructing a Timeline of CM Punk's Exit from WWE
He responded with the best match of the night. He and Jericho continued what they had going around WrestleMania time in A feud with Heyman led Punk to battle Lesnar. Punk was excited about working with both The Beast Incarnate and his advocate. Again, McMahon promised that if he did this, he would owe Punk. To The Best in the World, that meant the goal of headlining was still alive.
The beginning of that interaction saw The Big Guy add to Punk's collection of injuries. Ryback powerbombed Punk onto a table, but the crash didn't go as planned. Punk fell on the edge of it before tumbling onto the concrete. Suffering from broken ribs which Punk blames on Ryback and concussion symptoms, Punk struggled to work.
He tells stories of himself on all fours, vomiting after a match. The WWE medical staff treated him with a conveyor belt of antibiotics. Punk says that led him to soil himself in the middle of in-ring action on SmackDown. Little did we know it, but Punk offered hints that he was going to leave.
He talked about how injured he was, saying, "Some days I feel so beat up, I don't know if I can put my boots on. He told himself, "I'm going to change their minds. I'm going to have this awesome Royal Rumble, and they're going to be like, 'Goddamn, all right, Punk needs to be in the main event.
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He hasn't been in the main event. He entered the man battle first. During his nearly 50 minutes in that match, he suffered a concussion. The injury sent him into the corner, hurt, confused, his head spinning. He told the ringside doctor about the concussion, and Punk says the doc simply said, "W hat do you want me to do? Kane eventually came down to the ring, pulled Punk out of the match early and threw him, concussed and all, into the announce table.
Punk quit. McMahon didn't give up hope that he could talk Punk into coming back. When Raw came to Chicago, the Internet buzzed with reports stating that Punk was on his way back. He talked briefly about how not being able to beat Undertaker drove him away before starting the selling process on Lesnar's shot at The Phenom. The show went on. The machine kept humming. Triple H reached out to Punk via text.
Punk says he told him, "Send me my royalties that I've been asking about for two months. That is reasonable, and then I will talk to you when I get back from my honeymoon. This is the day he received his walking papers from WWE to go along with his ring. McMahon would later say in an interview with Steve Austin on the WWE Network subscription required that the timing was the result of a mix-up. Punk believes otherwise. I used to be able to reach out to him. I think he's just cut off all communication with people from the business.
With no statement from Punk or WWE yet, it was Punk's former manager who provided insight into what triggered his walking away. He had enough.
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He couldn't take it anymore, and it wasn't a slow build. A year before he walked, there were daily conversations of 'I don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to take this.
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I don't know how much longer I'm going to be here. Heyman painted a picture of a man who had long lost his passion for the grueling art form. He was not surprised in the least that Punk left. Punk's career officially ended in the quietest way possible. Nope, thank YOU. Thanks for all the help and support through the years. Health and happiness above all. Don't ever take any shit from anybody.
Not that many folks knew this at the time, but WWE had already fired Punk. In an interview with Chris Van Vliet, Punk said he would "never, ever" return to the ring. Punk looked happy, more energetic than he had in years. Fans didn't want to believe his claims that he wasn't coming back, but it sure looked as if he was enjoying not wrestling anymore. Royalties from the video game were of chief concern.
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Later, Punk's legal team went so far as to talk about his removal from the game. He stayed in WWE 2K And as he tells Cabana, he can't discuss the amount of his settlement, but that he got everything he wanted " and then some. WWE's next trip to Chicago saw fans roaring Punk's name. McMahon extinguished that fire in a hurry.
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The chants haven't completely gone away, but their volume has lessened in the months following this moment. WWE didn't want fans to linger on a man who had left the company. It removed several signs supporting Punk from fans at a live event. The reports said that the company would try to avoid bringing attention to Punk's absence. On the day before Thanksgiving, Punk spilled his guts onto a microphone. He told a disturbing story of a misdiagnosed staph infection and explained his reasons for leaving. It was a story of mounting unhappiness, of his never getting that opportunity that so often hung dangling in front of him.
Punk never headlined a WrestleMania.
Instead, he sat at home and watched his friend Bryan get that chance. He will make his debut sometime in I feel like an undertaker who just heard about a bus accident. It's tragic, but good for business. Perhaps his comic strip Dilbert is nothing more than a cleverly disguised year-long love letter to corporate America.
And maybe, just maybe, monkeys will fly out of Donald Trump's butt. In Try Rebooting Yourself , AMP's 28th Dilbert collection, the world's most dysfunctional office family is back and doing what it does best. Wally adroitly steers clear of new assignments-and perfects his "work grimace. As part of a new strategy to make the pension plan solvent, he reminds employees "Smoking is cool. And Dilbert, alas, he soldiers and smolders on, searching for intelligent life in the corporate universe-and maybe, just maybe, a little action.