Terry Funk: CM Punk will return for WrestleMania
After walking out on WWE on January 27 over a number of issues, CM Punk has been the subject of as much discussion within the pro wrestling industry as outside of it. Both in public and off-the-record, those that know Punk have spoken about his motivations, but after hearing of the former WWE champion's plight, 49-year veteran of the business, Terry Funk, offered FSM his own thoughts on such an complicated matter.
"It's a smart move on [Punk's] part," said Funk, referring to how clear Punk has now made his point. "If you look at what Vince has done, if someone has drawn him some money they will be on the card at WrestleMania, no matter what has happened between them. CM Punk will be back, because if he isn't, Vince leaves money on the table."
Indeed, it is well-known that it's Punk goal to headline WrestleMania, specifically working the last match on the card, and it is speculated that one of the reasons he went home is because his path to earning that role has been blocked by political factors beyond his control.
"If being in the last match at WrestleMania is his wish, then he's going to try and make it come true, the only way possible," added Funk. "He's put the ball back in Vince's court, and that's difficult because Vince has the only court. This is what made it so good about having several places to go [in years past]."
Scheduled for a match with Kane at Elimination Chamber and tentatively pencilled in for a bout with Triple-H at WrestleMania, Punk has been unhappy with a number of creative decisions since he lost the WWE title to The Rock at The Royal Rumble in January 2013. By walking away now, he is risking his WrestleMania spot, and the biggest pay-day of the year that comes with it. But to a performer as proud as Punk, Terry Funk believes that money is the least of any concern.
"Do you think CM Punk worries about the dollars? For all the great ones, it's not about that. They might tell you that they're in it for the money, but they're not - they're in it for the performance, and so is CM Punk."