CM Punk’s contract has officially expired now. Ever since the Royal Rumble when Punk left, every wrestling fan has thrown their opinion into the mixing bowl. The amount of times rumours have flown around that Punk was going to come back once he had time to call off is beyond ridiculous.
At the end of the day, even Punk’s best ally in the company – Paul Heyman – said that Punk was close to leaving for probably a year before he eventually did. The relationship between Punk, the creative team and the bureaucrats in the back deteriorated pretty rapidly and anyone could see that during Punk’s final few months on television.
By the end of his run with WWE, Punk was far removed from the man who was dropping pipe bombs. He was putting out the same stuff as everybody else. There was no passion left in him and every time he stepped into the ring, whether it be to cut a promo or to wrestle. His promo style had become a rehashed mess. It seemed like he had stopped writing his own work and started accepting the creative team scripts. Every time Punk got on the microphone in the last six months of his time with the company he sounded more and more like John Cena. Then all this was topped off with the fact he was due to face Triple H at WrestleMania XXX, Punk just couldn’t deal with it. He felt he deserved a more high-profile match – a match for the title.
But he didn’t get his wish and left the company months ahead of when his contract was due to expire. This wasn’t 2011, and he wasn’t going to drop a pipe bomb one last time. He left before the Raw after the Royal Rumble began and the WWE Universe hasn’t seen him since. Apart from at hockey games, or on the Talking Dead, or at San Diego Comic Con, or at a UFC fight, or at an awards ceremony, but you get the point.
This list highlights ten superstars who could well fill the position CM Punk left in the WWE. Let’s get started.