According to a July 15 report from Classicalite, CM Punk's WWE contract has finally expired and the promotion responded by placing him on their alumni roster. Punk, 35, doesn't seem to be too concerned with the situation, as he tweeted that he plans to start a podcast and a rock band. Obviously, Punk is enjoying retirement by staying extremely active.
Earlier this week, Punk was on the 'Superstars' section of the WWE website. By July 15, he had been moved to the 'Alumni' page. What exactly does that mean for Punk's future with the WWE? In all likelihood, it means he is completely done with the promotion. He seems quite happy in retirement, as he has been spotted at several Chicago-area sporting events. Punk also said he has been spending his downtime playing softball with Bill Murray.
WWE fans were holding out hope that Punk's departure from the promotion was just part of some elaborate storyline, but it appears more and more real as time goes on. Was Punk's exit from the WWE just part of the script? Not likely. If that was the case, the WWE would have likely trotted him out when they brought a Monday Night Raw episode to Chicago, his hometown. Since Punk was nowhere to be found that night, it was pretty clear that he was done with the promotion for the long haul.
Punk walked away from the WWE since losing at this year's Royal Rumble. He was apparently legitimately burnt out on the grind of active competition, and upset that Batista reigned supreme in the match. He hasn't appeared at any WWE house shows since Royal Rumble. Of course, plenty of past superstars have made their way back to the WWE after clashing with the McMahon family, so you can't count him out forever.
Chances are, Punk will stay away from a few years and then made a surprise return at a future Wrestlemania event. Time will tell how the situation plays out. It might depend on how well Punk's outside-the-ring endeavors pan out. If his band turns out being successful and bringing in a lot of money, he'll have no need to return to the WWE. Same goes for his podcast. At the end of the day, Punk is going to play by his own rules and follow his passions. He can't be bashed for that.