As if things couldn’t heat up more than it already is with the impending debut of WWE Smackdown on FOX in October and WWE NXT on USA Network in September, it now is. That would be because according to a report by Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required), Punk’s agent has inquired about a WWE studio show host job on Fox Sports 1.
“CAA, which represents Punk and also represents WWE, has had an agent reach out to FOX head honchos about Punk as a co-host of the upcoming new FS 1 talk show. From a WWE standpoint, my gut is that they’d hate the idea. He’d be working for FOX, not WWE. We’re told there have been no negotiations at all regarding that. The impression is WWE wouldn’t like it but things change daily.”
While Punk technically wouldn’t be employed by WWE — he would be an employee of FOX — the fact that the former WWE World Champion even wants to be associated with anything that revolves around WWE would seem to indicate that he wants to make a return to the company.
For those who don’t know the backstory, Punk abruptly walked out of the company in January of 2014 following the Royal Rumble. Due to a number of reasons, Punk was unhappy with the company and vowed to not only never return to the company, but also said he’ll never wrestle again. Punk’s biggest grievance with the company was an untreated MRSA infection and the fact that he was still wrestling through broken ribs, concussions and injured knees.
Unpaid royalties following his exit further fractured the relationship between both sides and a resulting lawsuit and settlement between WWE and Punk pretty much cemented and concluded the bad nature of their relation
Punk remains a big name in the wrestling world more than five years after his exit and he has kept busy as a UFC fighter and has appeared on “The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros” as a contestant and as the co-host of “Ultimate Beastmaster.”
While no one is doubting his qualifications as a host of a WWE-centric show — he’s one of the most recognizable names in pro wrestling and has experience as a host — the fact that he’s been so critical of the company over recent years kind of eliminates the idea of him being considered a candidate for the gig.
I mean, could you imagine Colin Kaepernick hosting “Sunday NFL Countdown” on ESPN or “Fox NFL Sunday?”
Kaepernick wouldn’t be an employee of the NFL — you know, the league he sued and won a settlement case against — he’d be an employee of ESPN and Fox. But do you really think either network would ruin their relationship with their biggest sports partner by hiring a guy who isn’t exactly on the best terms with the NFL?
The same rule applies here with Punk. While we can all safely expect Fox to pass on the idea of hiring such a big name — they wouldn’t want to ruin their relationship with WWE from the onset — the more interesting idea here is that Punk is not only looking for work in the wrestling business, he’s looking for something that has the WWE brand plastered all over it.
While it’s not quite a return to the squared circle just yet, it is a sign that Punk has moved on from his disdain for the Vince McMahon and the WWE.
Which means a return to WWE is on the table. Who would have thought that after all of the scathing comments that Punk made on Colt Cabana’s podcast many years?
As the “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase once said….everyone has a price.
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