CM Punk has left WWE reportedly. The news broke today, Wednesday, January 29.
According to PWInsider, Punk walked out of the company on Monday, January 27, prior to the taping of Monday Night RAW in Cleveland, Ohio. He has since been pulled from all advertising for upcoming live events and pay per views.
Punk is still technically under contract with WWE until July, but as of this point is no longer factored in the company’s creative plans going forward.
The belief is that Punk is walking away due to personal burnout and general unhappiness with the company’s direction going into WrestleMania XXX. He had also been vocal about returning and part-time stars coming back to the company and getting top billing over wrestlers working full-time with the company.
The penciled plan for Punk at WrestleMania seemed to be a one-on-one bout with WWE COO Triple H or Director of Oerations Kane. That spot may now go to Daniel Bryan.
Punk apparently had been booked to appear and/or wrestle on Monday Night RAW while continuing his rivalry with Triple H and Kane. He reportedly left the building before the taping began after a meeting with management. He was not at Tuesday night’s SmackDown taping in Toledo, Ohio. This led to panicked re-writes of RAW’s script just hours before the show went live on the air.
As of this time neither WWE nor CM Punk have released official statements regarding the matter, other than cryptic Twitter comments from Punk on his official Twitter account.
The night before the walkout, CM Punk entered numbered one in the 2014 Royal Rumble match, lasted over 50 minutes and was one of the final four men in the ring before being pulled out of the ring by Kane.
Punk joined WWE in the summer of 2005 after an impressive run on the independent circuit that earned him his job in WWE. Punk is one of the last wrestlers WWE signed that was allowed to keep his independent wrestling moniker and not convert to a WWE approved trademarked name.