It came as a shock to many members of the WWE Universe on Tuesday night when CM Punk made his long-awaited return to a WWE affiliated program when he appeared alongside Renee Young, Booker T, Paige, Samoa Joe and Adam Cole on WWE Backstage.
Out of everyone in the studio at that time, reports suggest that Young was the only one who knew that Punk was in the building and the shocked looks on all the other stars’ faces were their genuine reactions to the self-proclaimed Best In The World making his return after almost six years of hiatus.
PWInsider reports that FOX gained WWE’s approval before they asked Punk to make his return to be part of the show and that his deal is with FOX and not his former employers. The site went on to note that Punk will be part of WWE Backstage regularly but he won’t be there every week as many sites have stated.
Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer went on to report that All Elite Wrestling were interested in signing CM Punk to their company before he returned to WWE Backstage earlier this week, going as far as to report that AEW offered Punk a “lot of money” but the former WWE Champion passed on a deal so that he could sign a deal with FOX.
It was well-known that AEW were pursuing the former World Champion since there were a number of reports surrounding the company and the fact that they had approached the former WWE star in the hopes that he would follow in the footsteps of Jake Hager, Jon Moxley, Pac, Shawn Spears, Cody, and Chris Jericho but this obviously wasn’t meant to be since he decided to take the deal that didn’t involve him stepping back into a wrestling ring.