CM Punk's Surprise Return to the WWE Received Plenty of Heat

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Nov. 27 2023, Published 2:52 p.m. ET

The Gist:

  • Phil Brooks, aka CM Punk, is a professional wrestler best known for his time in the WWE.
  • He retired from wrestling in 2014 but returned in 2021 and signed with AEW.
  • After nine years, CM Punk made a surprising return to the WWE at Survivor Series on Nov. 25, 2023.
  • Reactions to his comeback are mixed, with some excited and others less thrilled.
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In a plot twist so mind-blowing even the most seasoned wrestling fans were left with dropped jaws, CM Punk waltzed back into the WWE spotlight after nine years away from the promotion. The pro wrestler orchestrated a jaw-dropping comeback, and where else but in the electric embrace of his hometown crowd in Chicago?

It all went down at Survivor Series: WarGames on Nov. 25, 2023, and let's just say the WWE universe collectively lost its cool! However, not everyone was in the mood to celebrate his long-awaited comeback. Curious why? Keep reading to uncover how CM Punk's controversial past has left him with fewer fans.

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Why does everyone hate CM Punk?

CM Punk is known for being vocal about his opinions and concerns, and in 2014, he left the WWE on particularly bad terms and said he would never return to the promotion. He then retired from pro wrestling before signing with AEW in 2021, which was a total disaster.

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CM Punk's colossal ego and immaturity took center stage, so much so that he used a post-show press conference to criticize numerous fellow wrestlers and AEW executives. This incident escalated into a legitimate altercation, leading to suspensions for CM Punk, Kenny Omega, and The Young Bucks.

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On Aug. 27, 2023, nearly a year after that tumultuous brawl, reports circulated that CM Punk had been involved in a physical confrontation with Jack Perry. This clash stemmed from comments Jack made during his match earlier in the night, which referred to CM Punk's refusal to let Jack use real glass in his segments on Collision.

After an investigation, AEW fired CM Punk on Sept. 2, 2023. Even his most loyal fans struggled to defend the Chicago native, as his negative attitude and lack of professionalism were qualities that no one could support.

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This wasn't exactly breaking news, as CM Punk had ruffled feathers during his initial tenure with the WWE. In fact, he reportedly aggravated fellow wrestlers for real, including Jeff Hardy and the heel faction The Authority. Although CM Punk and The Authority leader Triple H reconciled, the same couldn't be said for him and Seth Rollins.

Why does Seth Rollins not like CM Punk?

Following CM Punk's return, Seth was seen yelling angrily and had to be held back by referees and commentators. He looked legitimately upset, but why? Well, back in 2019, Seth issued a challenge to CM Punk via X (formerly known as Twitter). CM Punk turned it down, claiming the two-time WWE champion was merely seeking relevance.

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This couldn't have been further from the truth, as Seth's career was thriving in 2019 — he was essentially the face of WWE! While Seth had acknowledged CM Punk's significant influence on his early career, he no longer held the "Best in the World" in high regard. And in January 2023, Seth referred to CM Punk as a "cancer" in the locker room.

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"Oh, Philly Phil. Stay away. Stay away, you cancer. Get away from me forever," Seth said. "I don't like Phil. I don't like Phil. He's a jerk. Oh, did we just figure that out? ... Everybody in the room is like, 'Oh no, did he say that?' Yeah, no, he's a jerk. Come on, we figured it out over there, we knew it over here. I don't want him back. Go do something else."

Despite the history, it seems Seth and CM Punk might have buried the hatchet. In fact, reports suggested that Seth's enraged reaction at Survivor Series: WarGames was part of a storyline to set up a feud between him and CM Punk.

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