CM Punk will not be returning to WWE anytime soon despite rumors sparked by the return of his new wife AJ Lee.
Lee’s return to WWE prompted speculation that Punk would be wrestling again soon. His existing contract expires on July 17.
Sources within the league asked by PWInsider said that Lee’s return is not linked to Punk.
“When WWE sources were asked whether there was any change with Punk’s status with the company, one source declined to comment, saying, ‘I’m not going there’ and the other said, ‘Nope,'” it reported.
“We are also told that Lee’s return has ‘no bearing at all’ on the company’s relationship with Punk. One of the aforementioned sources believed that the company has had very little contact with Punk since February.”
Further quashing the speculation is that Punk has been announced as the co-host for the Gibson Brands Alternative Press Music Awards on July 21 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
“I’m actually stoked to get out of the house and get gussied up for the first-ever Gibson Brands AP Music Awards, fueled by Monster Energy Drink,” Punk said in a statement.
“Red carpets and me don’t mix, so I figure it’ll be a perfectly hilarious night with friends and a live microphone-my favorite! Be there and be square!”
Wrestling blog Cageside Seats points out the importance of the date of the awards in relation to the WWE contract expiring.
“Punk will be doing the Gibson Brands AP Music Awards Show and using the name Punk, that means he won’t be re-signed by WWE when his contract runs out on July 17 and he will retain usage rights of that name,” it said. “So there you go.”
Not everyone is convinced that Punk will stay “retired.” A commentor on one of the recent stories about him noted that if Punk does come back, people probably won’t know ahead of time.
“He’s a very intelligent dude, and he’s smart enough to pull it off without it leaking, he knows the shock factor would be through the roof. I expect that we won’t see it coming if he does return.”