According to a June 1 report from Christian Post, pro wrestling fans have already started filing into Chicago's Allstate Arena for tonight's WWE Payback special event. Unfortunately for them, Chicago wrestling legend CM Punk has not been spotted in the crowd. Punk, 35, is not expected to compete tonight at WWE Payback, even though the event is taking place in his hometown.
Punk hasn't appeared at any of the WWE's house shows since walking away from the promotion in January, but there's always speculation that he'll be returning to the fold whenever the league brings a show to Chicago. WWE fans chanted so hard for Punk during the promotion's recent stop in Chicago for a live taping of Monday Night Raw, that Paul Heyman was forced to walk out to the ring to let the fans know their hero would not be in attendance.
The WWE would have preferred to simply ignore the situation by pretending Punk never existed, but the fan support for him was so great that they were forced to address it that night. Since WWE Payback is taking place in Chicago tonight, the WWE is going to be faced with a similar situation like the one they faced a couple months back when they taped "Raw" in "The Windy City." The WWE could simply ignore the Punk chants, and hope it'll go away, or they could troll the crowd by playing his theme song as they did last time they came to Chicago.
Either way, the crowd is not going to be happy unless Punk at least makes a cameo. Since Punk recently stated in an interview that he's happily retired, it doesn't seem like he'll be competing at WWE Payback. Despite Punk's absence, the WWE is bringing a stacked lineup to Chicago for its annual WWE Payback event.
Following a kick-off show that includes a bout between Hornswoggle and El Torito, the main card of WWE Payback kicks off with a clash between Rusev and Big E. Elsewhere, Bad News Barrett takes on Rob Van Dam for the WWE's Intercontinental Championship Belt. As if that's not enough, WWE Payback will feature a Divas Championship fight between Paige and Alicia Fox.
Later on the WWE Payback main card, the United States Championship is on the line when Sheamus battles Cesaro. In the WWE Payback co-main, John Cena goes toe-to-toe with Bray Wyatt in a Last Man Standing collision. Finally, Evolution looks to settle the score with The Shield in a No Holds Barred match.