What's Next for CM Punk and WWE?

Sharon GlencrossContributor IMay 6, 2013

photo from wwe.com
photo from wwe.com

Many fans have wondered lately: When will CM Punk be returning to WWE?

The star was last seen on Raw, sulking about his loss to The Undertaker at WrestleMania. He gave longtime friend and business partner Paul Heyman a tender hug and then walked out of the ring sadly, Bruce Banner style.

OK, so Punk hasn't disappeared. If anything, he's been highly visible. He's been at virtually every UFC show lately, and he even did a lengthy interview with MMA reporter Ariel Helwani.

Clad in an ill-fitting suit, he even attended the recent premiere for Iron Man 3 with real-life girlfriend Amy "Lita" Dumas (photo via WrestlingInc.com).

Clearly, he's having a good time away from the ring. As for his WWE return? Well, that appears to be up in the air.

As WrestlingInc.com recently noted, Punk was pulled from all advertised WWE dates through to SummerSlam, leading to speculation that it would be quite some time before we saw the former champion on TV again.

Over at PWInsider.com, Mike Johnson has provided an update on the matter, mentioning that the star was never supposed to be at the shows in the first place and that "his name was added in error."

As far as Punk coming back goes, Johnson noted that there was currently "no timetable" for his return, with one source claiming that Punk would not be back "until late summer, at the earliest."

Interestingly, Johnson also went on to claim that the company has had limited contact with the star since he walked out: "We are told there has been very little communication between Punk and the company since the angle where he walked out and internally, there has been no discussion about his return storyline."

Examining the situation, maybe a lengthy hiatus is exactly what Punk needs right now.

What would he do if he were to come back right now, anyway? Have his 4,078th match with John Cena? Feud with Triple H again? Attempt to pick up the now-forgotten "The Shield works for Heyman and Punk" storyline?

After spending nearly 18 months all over WWE programming and doing seemingly everything he can in the company, his creative options appear pretty limited right now.