Let's face it: CM Punk's near future in WWE looks to be somewhat uncertain.
His current feud with The Undertaker—over an urn, no less—is just coming off as silly, rather than dramatic or compelling. Punk's verbal performances are as strong as ever, sure, but this program is fading fast. Does anyone really believe there is any real hatred here or that Punk has a legitimate chance of ending the streak?
His one-year title reign, while critically acclaimed, didn't do the big numbers die-hard Punk fans would have surely hoped. The disappointing buyrate for the Royal Rumble, in which he took on The Rock and lost the belt, served as exclamation point on this. (Wrestling Observer via CagesideSeats).
He's also been pulled from house shows, with reports claiming he's physically banged up. Yes, that hectic WWE schedule has taken its toll.
In this week's (subscribers-only) Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer gave an update on the former WWE champion following WrestleMania:
Punk is not scheduled for house shows after Mania and the European tour. He's currently not booked in May, nor is he advertised on the Extreme Rules PPV. There is suspicion he's hurt worse than anyone is letting on, because everyone is denying any injury. There are reports of this having to do with frustration or burnout, and more nagging hurts that need rest than a major injury.Of course, it's difficult to tell what the real story story here is, but the claims that Punk is frustrated seem to have more than a shred of truth to them.
Notably, the star recently did a radio interview with Mark Madden (via PWTorch) in which he mentioned his anger towards "the part-timers" who "don't work as hard" and were taking all the big spots at WrestleMania.
Whether this is a truly wise or diplomatic thing to say considering he's about to face a part-timer who only does one match a year is something only the former WWE champion could answer. (Is Taker, who's struggling through lingering and painful injuries to do the WM match, really going to be OK with a dismissive remark like that?)
Interestingly, Punk also complained to Madden in the interview about feeling "burned out."