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The year 2018 has been a wild one in the world of combat sports. Pro wrestling/WWE is worth over $1 billion in TV deals, boxing has started its new golden era and MMA is just starting to evolve to the next level. The media is going crazy as news is churning out faster than before. Athletes are also making an impact in and out of their sport.
In the middle of all of that, one man has had a surprising impact in both MMA and pro wrestling. His name is CM Punk.
If you recall, Punk was the hottest commodity in pro wrestling twice before switching to MMA. The first time was when he was in Ring of Honor, right before joining WWE. The second time was when he had an expired contract with WWE and he created what ended up being called a pipe bomb.
Both moments brought Punk into the limelight, the latter of which pushed him into the stratosphere. Years later, there has been a Punk renaissance resurgence. Whether you like it or not, CM Punk has become one of the most talked-about men again, this time in more than one sport.
CM Punk has had a pretty busy schedule the past few weeks, and it continues on this summer. To start things off, he won his lawsuit against WWE and Dr. Chris Amann. This was regarding his appearance on the Colt Cabana Podcast and the ignored health problems he had during his time with the company. I highly recommend you giving it a listen. Besides exposing the meaning behind his name to the courtroom, Punk has told behind the scenes stories that are hard not to believe, especially when looking back at his last few weeks with WWE.
The timing could not have been worse for the trial. Conveniently enough, he had to deal with the trial while also attempting to cut weight. After losing to Mickey Gall in his first ever pro MMA fight at UFC 203, Punk has gotten a second chance. He faces Mike Jackson this weekend at UFC 225. The case ended earlier this week, allowing Punk some time to prepare for a homecoming fight in Chicago.
Speaking of, there has been a huge debate of his place on the UFC 225 card, specifically on the main card. At first, it replaced Holly Holm v. Megan Anderson, then Alistair Overeem v. Curtis Blaydes was moved to the prelims main event. With 225 being one of the biggest cards of the year, it is questionable for a guy heading into his second ever MMA fight to open up a card like that. Joe Rogan was very open about his thoughts regarding Punk’s place, and there are several MMA fighters who agree.
It truly is a wild decision by the UFC, but there is a spin on this. The fact that people are talking about it is a positive, especially if Punk happens to prevail and prove doubters wrong. While it seems to be a long shot at the moment, anything is possible. One thing is for sure: if you are dealing with a court case the same week as weigh-ins and still make weight, while other talent haven’t, that is something to admire.
Finally, are you All In? CM Punk may be. The 10,000+ seated event hosted by Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks on September 1st at the Sears Center in Chicago sold out in less than 30 minutes. Only one match was announced, but several big-time independent talent will be there. A huge surprise was announced when Punk was named as a surprise guest at a meet-and-great the day before. Rumors of a Punk appearance in a wrestling ring again was just a dream, until now that is.
Unfortunately, Punk has shot down any rumors to numerous members of the media, stating the fire doesn’t burn anymore. Speaking to TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter, Punk made what may have been his final message to fans who crave to see him back in the ring: Never Again.
Could this all be a work? In the world of pro wrestling, anything is possible. Place your bets now before it is too late.
CM Punk has become a driving force in content for the combat sports world again. Can the third installment of the Summer of Punk be as fruitful as the first one and as over as the sequel in 2011 was? Like anything in the world of entertainment, we’ll have to stay tuned to find out.