Dec 11, 2023 - News

CM Punk returns to where he walked out on WWE 10 years ago

CM Punk poses at the top of the ramp at a wrestling event.

CM Punk returns. Photo: Moses Robinson/Getty Images

One of the biggest returns in professional wrestling history will come full circle Monday in Cleveland.

Driving the news: "Raw" airs live from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse at 8pm.

  • The show is headlined by CM Punk, the polarizing superstar who made his return to WWE last month.

Why it matters: Punk is one of the biggest stars in wrestling history, who begrudgingly left WWE almost exactly 10 years ago before an episode of "Raw" in Cleveland.

Flashback: On Jan. 27, 2014, Punk — then one of WWE's most popular stars — was not happy with his role in the company and expressed frustrations to WWE CEO Vince McMahon during a "Raw" pre-show meeting backstage at Quicken Loans Arena (now Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse).

What happened next: Punk spent several years making appearances on the independent wrestling circuit and competing in mixed martial arts via the UFC.

  • He returned to mainstream wrestling when he joined WWE competitor All Elite Wrestling in August 2021.
  • Yes, but: Multiple conflicts with other wrestlers led to AEW firing Punk in September 2023.

State of play: Punk made his WWE return during Survivor Series: WarGames on Nov. 25 and is expected to play a vital role in upcoming events like Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.

The intrigue: Punk's return to Cleveland stands as one of the most anticipated wrestling events in Northeast Ohio history. Though it could be topped next year.

  • In October, pro wrestling news site Fightful Select reported that Cleveland is the "likely" location for SummerSlam 2024, one of WWE's biggest events of the year.
  • Cleveland has hosted SummerSlam once before, in 1996 at Gund Arena (now Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse).

Yes, but: WWE has yet to announce the location of SummerSlam and did not respond to our request for comment on this story.

💭 Troy's thought bubble: SummerSlam in Cleveland makes sense, considering the 2023 version took place in another Midwest city, Detroit.

  • I'd expect CM Punk to be there and at every big WWE event, assuming he stays out of trouble.

If you go: Tickets for Raw in Cleveland start at $25.

  • The show will air on the USA Network.
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