25 biggest pro wrestling ‘what ifs’ of the past 25 years

Photo credit: WWE.com
Photo credit: WWE.com /
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Photo credit: WWE.com
Photo credit: WWE.com /

23. What if CM Punk didn’t walk out of WWE?

Since I just talked about a few guys that used to run interference for CM Punk, we might as well go ahead and get into this situation as well.

It’s now been close to four years since CM Punk stepped foot in a WWE ring. Following years of playing second fiddle to guys like John Cena, The Rock and Brock Lesnar, Punk chose to step away from WWE just after the Royal Rumble in 2014, citing numerous reasons that included medical issues, lack of passion for wrestling and a general disdain for the company as a whole, including never having main-evented a WrestleMania, which really should have happened at some point. I mean, the guy held the biggest title in the business for more than a year and never got that spotlight. It really is a little ridiculous.

So what if CM Punk hadn’t walked away from WWE when he did? I suppose that the scenario may look very similar to what I described with Daniel Bryan. Some of the matches we could have seen Punk have with Styles, Nakamura, Finn Balor and others is amazing to think about, even though it’s likely we’ll never see that happen. Can you imagine how great a war of words would be between CM Punk and Kevin Owens, not to mention the matches those two could put on at a big event like WrestleMania or SummerSlam?

Instead, the only match we’ve seen from CM Punk in four years was a two-minute, 14-second beating at the hands of Mickey Gall at UFC 214 in September 2016. The CM Punk chants still pop up from time to time at WWE events and one has to wonder what might have been had he decided to stick around. Would he have ever gotten that WrestleMania main event? Would he still be at the top of the card? Vince McMahon has gone on record saying that he’d be open to working with Punk again but that seems highly unlikely at this point in time as the Straight Edge Superstar has said repeatedly that he’d never return. But you know how that goes in professional wrestling.