WWE Superstar and former member of the Shield
Why CM Punk Will Sign With TNA
By Peter Bahi, OWW columnist
Allow me to make a disclaimer: I for one have not spoken to CM Punk regarding what his next career moves will be now that his World Wrestling Entertainment career has come to an end. However, considering this is my column and I have been given full disclosure by the OWW “Powers That Be” (Dave) the opportunity to voice my opinion, and considering I am a TNA enthusiast, allow me to give you my reasons as to why I believe wholeheartedly CM Punk will sign with TNA in the not too distant future.
CM Punk made his NWA-TNA debut in 2003 aligning himself with Raven after their long heated feud that dated back to their time in Ring of Honor the same year. The group CM Punk joined was called The Gathering, with former ECW star Julio Dinero being a member of the group as well.
In 2004, CM Punk was not being used properly in TNA and was let go due to, as his good friend Colt Cobana is known to use sporadically, “creative has nothing for you.” Several years later CM Punk signed on with World Wrestling Entertainment, and from 2006 until this year, he was a mainstay on the main roster, placing himself in top level matches against top level talent. CM Punk’s legendary WWE career is definitely deserving of a Hall of Fame spot, however, considering he left on bad terms and practically quit despite his contract not being up, that Hall of Fame spot is up in the air at the moment.
There are many speculations as to why CM Punk quit on the company in January when his contract was not up until July of this year. The one main reason I have read is due to being burned out because of the long travel and the toll it takes on your body both physically and mentally. The average WWE performer wrestles on the road for over 250 days out of the year. That is missed birthday parties, missed holidays and missed time sleeping in your bedroom on your bed.
Pro wrestlers have passed away because of the amount of pain their bodies had been through due to long travel days and abuse on the body. CM Punk lived a lifestyle that was quite the opposite of his peers. He never touched a drug prescription, or an alcoholic beverage to drink away his pain. This may not be exact reason why CM Punk left WWE, however, all signs pointed that they were and no one can blame him, considering those who came before him that never lived to see the age of 50.
IMPACT Wrestling is on the rise. It has a television deal. It has creative marketing, a veteran locker room as well as athletes who have the traits to lead the company for years to come. Say what you want about Dixie Carter, she is by far the most OVER personality in the professional wrestling industry today. She has absolutely no mic skills, however, that does not matter. Everyone who watches professional wrestling knows she is the main person in charge. When she comes out, you listen closely because you know quite well what she says is most likely what she means, because she can say and will say what she wants. This is where CM Punk can take full advantage of his celebrity status. He has been out of WWE since January. Considering he was still under contract with the WWE, we were not able to hear anything from him regarding his status, or why he quit the company unexpectedly.
Not since Scott Hall was seen on WCW television could there be as much hype of CM Punk being seen on IMPACT television. The no-compete clause has given wrestling fans a huge punch to the gut because the excitement of seeing the likes of a Scott Hall on WCW programming is for the most part over; however, if CM Punk shows up on Spike once his compete clause is over, then that is where the excitement would begin. IMPACT Wrestling deserves CM Punk and CM Punk deserves IMPACT Wrestling. He has been known to bad mouth TNA in the past, calling it an independent company. People who do not believe TNA is an independent company are only fooling themselves. TNA is an independent company because anybody who tries to get involved in the pro wrestling business not named Vince McMahon is considered to be an independent. That is not something to feel disrespected by; TNA Wrestling has all the tools to be an elite company on its own. It is not World Championship Wrestling, competing with WWE, and as I have stated in previous columns it does not have to be. TNA Wrestling is an elite brand on its own and CM Punk can only make the brand that much more bigger.
CM Punk recently stated that he will be joining a band and would like to start a podcast show. People mistake that to believe that he is retiring from professional wrestling. He told Chicago news reporters that he has indeed retired, but that is where the genius of CM Punk emerges. Chris Jericho has proven that just because you join a band and work on a podcast does not mean you cannot go back and become a professional wrestler. Chris Jericho works a part time schedule where he is able to wrestle and do his other activities like music and podcasting on the side. Or, in other cases, it’s being a musician and a podcaster, and wrestling on the side. TNA Wrestling only works wrestlers close to 150 days out of the year; for the most part they all work in Orlando, Florida with some special events where they have to travel. The travel schedule is far less strenuous than that of WWE. Dixie Carter is more open to CM Punk’s personality than what WWE was willing to give him credit for (See: Ink, Inc).
Another thing I hear quite often is that CM Punk has saved his money so he can retire at his age. CM Punk is only 36 years old. He isn’t even halfway to retirement yet. You believe that his money would not eventually run out, or he would eventually get bored and would not want to wrestle again? You believe he would want to return to Ring of Honor despite him being able to make more money in TNA, be on national television, and if for the tiniest chance TNA can compete with WWE, wouldn’t he want to “stick it to them” for mistreating him? (his belief). It is time to open up your eyes and realize that the possibility is there. I stated that the average wrestler performs around 150 days a year, Dixie Carter would easily accommodate CM Punk and make him only work 80-100 days out of the year because she knows the amount of mainstream attention signing CM Punk would garner for the company. She could offer him a rough estimate of $250,000 a year along with money for his merchandise; be able to get on a live mic and issue a pipe bomb on the WWE and be able to do everything else he has dreamed about, still wrestle and be a happily married man with a very attractive AJ Lee.
Whether I have convinced you that CM Punk will return to TNA Wrestling or I have completely wasted five minutes of your time, either way, deep down inside, you want CM Punk in TNA because you miss him speaking his mind and you miss him giving his opponents the GTS (Go to Sleep).
Stay tuned for the saga of CM Punk that truly never ends.
— Peter Bahi