CM Punk delivered his inaugural WWE promo on Raw following Survivor Series 2023, declaring that he has finally returned home—much like The Rock.
Regardless of the labels of hypocrisy thrown around, I'm unconcerned, as CM Punk's re-entry into the WWE is primarily aimed at proving that he is more than just a backstage nuisance. Describing WWE as his "home" carries significant weight. Regardless of opinions about his stint in another wrestling company, AEW was essentially crafted in his image. It became a place where chaos reigned, but not in a positive way. Punk transitioned from being a leader of a revolution to creating a company-sized Frankenstein. The backstage dynamics in WWE differed significantly from those in AEW. The matches in WWE had a distinct quality compared to those in AEW. When CM Punk ventured into unleashing chaos during the All-Out media scrum, he likely didn't anticipate it revealing issues he wished the company had handled better.
The use of the term "change" by both Triple H and CM Punk is intriguing. What Punk despised when leaving WWE is now something he desires in AEW.
Punk envisioned retiring as an anti-establishment visionary but found himself labeled a locker room cancer upon exiting his AEW contract.
Now, he's back in WWE to make amends.
Punk's demeanor is not as fiery; some might even call it "domesticated" or pedestrian by his standards. Nonetheless, he delivered a promo that benefitted all parties involved. His commentary on AEW was minimal, and it did sound a bit cheesy.
If WWE plans to feature a special on CM Punk, his "home" soundbite will undoubtedly be a valuable asset. As the Raw logo appeared, Punk stated that he was in WWE to make money and not friends—a sentiment echoed by many WWE stars.
Yet, WWE wrestlers also embrace a sense of professionalism. Backstage altercations are managed by respected officials, agents, and elders. A developmental system instills a sense of respect for the system in upcoming talents.
All the points Punk raised during his time in AEW were valid, considering he hadn't been in WWE for an extended period. It's worth noting that he performed during a time when Vince McMahon was at the helm, and the current WWE setup is arguably even more corporate than it was a decade ago.
While the potential for Punk to cause upheaval behind the scenes still exists, his current focus is on establishing a legacy through accomplishments rather than the media's portrayal of him.