CM Punk walked away from WWE last week when he unexpectedly handed Paul Heyman the microphone eight days after his loss to The Undertaker.
There’s no doubt that Punk is injured, considering he’s been going strong for over a year and competed in some high-risk matches like no disqualification and Hell in a Cell matches.
According to WrestlingInc.com, Punk has been dealing with four different leg injuries. During his WrestleMania match he landed a diving elbow drop onto Undertaker, who was lying on the announcers' table, but the table did not break. Not long after, a bruise appeared on Punk’s knee. He’s also dealing with a strained ACL and other torn ligaments.
Even if Punk wasn’t injured, WrestlingInc.com reported that he would still be taking time off because he was mentally burnt out. That’s bound to happen, given Punk’s long title reign and nonstop schedule.
Now the question is, when will Punk be ready to come back to the WWE?
He’s already missing the upcoming pay-per-view Extreme Rules. Even if he did stay, who would he have feuded with? John Cena? Undertaker? Ryback? Having at least this month off will allow the WWE creative team time to think of something for Punk to do once he returns.
Sadly, Punk will be gone for more than a month.
He could return after Extreme Rules and begin building towards WWE’s new pay-per-view event, Payback. It just so happens that the event takes place in Rosemont, Ill., only 30 miles away from Punk’s hometown of Chicago. It would be even better if he returned at the event itself on June 16.
That would give Punk two months away from the ring. Unfortunately, that still won’t be enough time off for Punk. The following month is Money in the Bank, an event Punk won the WWE Championship with two years prior.
Three months could be enough time for Punk to heal up and get back into the swing of things, both mentally and physically.
However, I don’t think Money in the Bank is a big enough pay-per-view event for Punk's return. There is one event that garners a return from the “Voice of the Voiceless” and that event is the biggest party of the summer—SummerSlam.
The 2013 SummerSlam takes place on Aug. 18, about four months after Punk “lost his smile” and walked out. A return this late in the summer could be the beginning of a face turn for Punk. At that point he will have been a heel for a year. I think the roster could use Punk as a face.
After John Cena, there’s no true No. 2 babyface. It could be said that it was Ryback, but he turned heel. Then there are Sheamus and Randy Orton, but they haven’t been in a main-event feud for a few months.
WWE could be calling Punk to return sooner if their ratings start to drop, but I don’t think he would be too eager to respond.
Without talking to Punk himself, we can only speculate as to when he will return to action. We all want him to return as soon as possible, but in order for us to get the same CM Punk we all know and love, he needs as much time off as he wants.
With that being said, don’t expect Punk to return until late July or early August.