The WWE is thinking about extending CM Punk's contract even though he hasn't appeared at any of the promotion's house shows in six months, according to a June 12 report from What Culture. Punk, 35, is expected to see his WWE contract legitimately expire this July, just a month before the WWE's SummerSlam pay-per-view spectacular. Before WWE Universe gets excited about this news, its important to note that the possible contract extension has nothing to do with Punk actually returning to active competition.
For the WWE, extending Punk's contract would simply prevent him from working for rival promotions. While the WWE has a strong hold on the pro wrestling market, Vince and Stephanie McMahon might want to keep Punk from dipping into the MMA market with a fight under the UFC banner. The McMahon family has always done whats best for business, and the best thing for the WWE to do might be to bite the bullet by extending Punk's contract.
Even if the WWE makes the deal to extend Punk, its unlikely they will script him to become the third member of The Shield. The WWE teased on its website this week the names of the six men in consideration to join The Shield, and Punk was not listed. Adrian Neville (from NXT), John Morrison, Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, Big E and Dolph Ziggler were the six men listed as potential replacements for Seth Rollins, who left The Shield two weeks ago with a controversial heel turn that included a steel chair to Roman Reigns' back.
Since Punk was not listed as an option to replace Rollins in The Shield, the WWE doesn't appear to even want to consider gauging fan interest in the combo. Last week on WWE Monday Night Raw, WWE superstar John Cena aligned himself with The Shield for a one-night only match against Bray Wyatt and the Wyatt Family. Fans didn't seem to take to having Cena join the group, so its not likely the WWE will cast him as a permanent member of The Shield.
WWE Universe will find out towards the end of July how WWE officials want to handle the Punk situation. Extending his contract might mean having to pay someone who is unwilling to perform, but it'll also save the WWE from having him compete for rival promotions. Having Punk fight for the UFC might hurt the WWE brand, so the promotion might be willing to sign on the dotted line to prevent that situation from happening.