Tony Khan announcing the termination of CM Punk from his AEW contract left the entire industry shocked, as it was a huge decision to let go of such a veteran. The veteran may have been fired from the Jacksonville-based promotion amid the recent backstage issues, but it’s not the first time he’s been named in such a thing.
His list of controversies goes back to his WWE days, as such issues were the reason for his abrupt exit from the company back in 2014. Even though it’s nearly been a decade since the former World Champion left the Triple H-led promotion, he is still known by the same name he used in WWE.
Many fans wonder why the Triple H-led promotion never took any action for this and how Punk got to keep the monicker. So, let’s check out how Phil Brooks got to keep his monicker CM Punk, despite leaving the Stamford-based promotion.
He never did.
— player/coach (@CMPunk) September 4, 2020
As revealed by The Straight Edge Superstar himself, Triple H’s company never really owned his name. Phil Brooks was using the “CM Punk” name years before signing with WWE and continued to use it throughout his long stint with the Stamford-based promotion.
As Punk had been using this monicker since the late 1990s, WWE never thought about having trademark ownership over it. It was Brooks who got the name trademarked and renewed its ownership a few years later, in 2019. This is the reason why he’s been using this name despite leaving Triple H’s company.
Is CM Punk eyeing a WWE return?
As Punk had received one of the biggest ever ovations during his AEW debut, everyone thought that now this was the place where he’d end his pro wrestling career. But his stint with Tony Khan’s company ended recently after several controversies, which led to speculation that CM Punk is eyeing a WWE return.
It was recently revealed by Wrestle Features that the terminated AEW star was ready to leave the Jacksonville-based promotion in December 2022. The reports added that he wanted to make a return to the Stamford-based promotion, most probably at Royal Rumble 2023; however, that didn’t happen.
– Those close to CM Punk claim that around December ’22, Punk was open to leaving AEW, and returning to WWE.
– Fightful have heard that Punk wanted to appear at the 2023 Royal Rumble, but there is no indication that WWE wanted Punk to return, or that AEW would have… pic.twitter.com/4MPauluSMt
— Wrestle Features (@WrestleFeatures) September 4, 2023
Now that Punk’s AEW career has come to an unexpected end, a return to his former workplace seems a real possibility. The thing that has added more credibility to this speculation is the report that WWE’s Executive Chairman Vince McMahon is open to bringing Punk back to the Stamford-based promotion.
Mr. McMahon giving such a positive response to the idea of the former World Champion’s return raises the possibility even higher. It remains to be seen if all such reports of Punk returning to WWE will actually become a reality or if they’ll just end up being rumors.