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CM Punk to return to WWE fold with appearance at Monday Night Raw in Chicago?

According to a Feb. 17 report from, CM Punk remains under contract with the WWE and has not been granted an early release.

Punk, 35, has not been officially let go from the WWE, even though he hasn't appeared at any of the promotion's events since last month's Royal Rumble.

Rumors started that he was granted an early release after his girlfriend, A.J. Lee, didn't appear at any of the WWE house shows held over the weekend. However, it was revealed that she was simply given the weekend off, and it had nothing to do with Punk's contractual situation.

Punk's contract is set to legitimately expire this July, but the WWE is apparently interested in opening the lines of communication back up with the disgruntled superstar.

The WWE still hopes to bring Punk back before WrestleMania XXX, as he's one of the promotion's biggest stars and Wrestlemania is their biggest annual event.

WWE Examiner Michael Essany reports that Punk may return to the promotion as early as March 3, when the WWE hits the superstar's hometown of Chicago, Illinois for a live taping of Monday Night Raw.

Punk's exit from the WWE might even be part of an elaborate storyline, since his image is still up under the "Superstars" page.

Analysis: If Punk does come back to the WWE, the March 3 Monday Night Raw taping in Chicago would make perfect sense as a spot for him to a make his grant return.

WWE Universe loves CM Punk, but he's especially beloved in his hometown of Chicago. The crowd would go absolutely bonkers if Punk made a surprise return to the ring next month in Chicago.

Punk has had his mini-vacation from pro wrestling, being that he hasn't competed in close to a month. Hopefully he'll return to the WWE fold at the Chicago "Raw," and maybe even start a feud with Triple H that could hype up a Wrestlemania XXX confrontation between the two superstars.

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