According to sources close to the former WWE Heavyweight Champion, Punk met with with WWE officials prior to Monday's WWE RAW taping and he was to wrestle against Antonio Cesaro with Kane costing Punk a victory by interfering in the match. A mini-feud with Kane would eventually lead into Punk wrestling WWE COO Triple H at WrestleMania XXX.
Punk has long wanted to main event at WrestleMania and with his contract up in July and due to his being burned out and unhappy with his future in the WWE, many feel that this WrestleMania would have been his last opportunity to headline the biggest show in wrestling.
Sources also indicate that Punk was less than thrilled with the return of Dave Batista and his being immediately thrust into the spotlight and winning the Royal Rumble which puts Batista into the main event at WrestleMania, something Punk has worked 10 years to achieve only to be passed over for someone who has not been part of the wrestling business or the WWE in over four years.
As the level of unhappiness for Punk has grown so too has his attitude toward the business and the WWE. Punk has noted in interviews that he has maintained a "crazy" schedule for the better part of the last 10 years only taking time off for injury and that he "doesn't know anyone else who can say that." (John Cena has had just an intense schedule over the last 10 years as well but the two are an enigma).
RAW on Monday was allegedly rewritten numerous times especially after Punk told WWE CEO Vince McMahon that he was leaving. Punk was written out of RAW, did not appear at the Smackdown taping on Tuesday and he has been removed from all advertising.
While Punks departure is reminiscent of Steve Austin walking out on the WWE years ago after he was scheduled to wrestle and lose to Brock Lesnar fans and some in the wrestling business hope that the WWE will be able to make amends with Punk and he will still appear at WrestleMania XXX.
If this is the last Punk is to be seen in the WWE, there is a lot of speculation about his returning elsewhere.Though he is a former ROH star it is unlikely he would return there due to the company now having corporate ownership. The indies are most likely not an attractive alternative for Punk either since most would not be able to afford or justify his asking price and Punk is known as miserly and is believed to have a net worth hovering around eight million.
What the long term future for CM Punk holds is unclear but his immediate future looks to be sitting on the sidelines until July when his contract expires and reflecting about an amazing career that started working the indies and becoming a break-out star in the IWA Mid-South, Ring of Honor, and Ohio Valley Wrestling before becoming a SuperStar in the WWE.
"Thanks for all the support. Keep being you guys, it's pretty cool," Punk said via Twitter.
Follow me on Twitter @jlwiseman13