If you've not heard the news by now, CM Punk has apparently walked out of WWE this week. Citing being burned out and general frustration over the direction of the company and his on-screen persona, Punk left the building on Monday night just shortly before "Raw" was scheduled to go live. On Friday afternoon, it was reported that as a result Punk has been removed from WWE Axxess events prior to WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans.
WWE Axxess, which is held during WrestleMania weekend every year, gives fans a chance to get up close and personal with their favorite superstars. However this year, Punk will not be a part of the festivities. He has been pulled from all advertised events going forward. Replacing him this year at the VIP autograph signing will be WWE Hall of Famer "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair. Below is the email that the company sent out regarding this situation:
WRESTLEMANIA AXXESS - IMPORTANT INFORMATION (January 31, 2014)
Unfortunately, CM Punk will not be able to appear at the WrestleMania Axxess VIP Autograph Session on Saturday, April 5 at 6:00 P.M. However we are pleased to inform you that Ric Flair will appear at this VIP Autograph Session. Your existing CM Punk VIP ticket will now grant you access to the VIP Autograph Session on April 5 at 6:00 P.M. with Ric Flair.
If you wish to exchange your VIP ticket for a different VIP session, a limited quantity of tickets will be available on a first come first serve basis. Please respond to this email no later than Monday, February 3 at 5:00 P.M. ET with your new VIP ticket request. If you do not respond by this time, your existing CM Punk VIP ticket will now grant you access to the VIP Autograph Session on April 5 at 6:00 P.M. with Ric Flair. Refunds are available through your original point of purchase.
Although WWE has yet to formally acknowledge Punk's departure from the company, this is merely communication with those that had already purchased Axxess tickets.
This situation has enraged a legion of CM Punk fans, who have essentially hijacked WWE's social media pages with comments demanding his return to the company. At this week's NXT event at Full Sail University in Florida, reports came out that CM Punk signs were confiscated and some fans were even told not to chant his name during the show.
It's also interesting to note that Punk is still scheduled to appear on the Feburary 12 episode of the Comedy Central game show, @Midnight. He was originally set to appear with current WWE star The Miz, however Miz has been pulled from that appearance.