Perhaps the biggest event in WWE history is set for Sunday in New Orleans with WrestleMania 30. However, one of the most popular wrestlers over the past decade is not on the match card.
CM Punk walked away from the company in late January, and hasn’t appeared on WWE TV since. While many speculated that Punk’s absence might be a wrestling angle, his departure has been all but proven to be legitimate. Punk has not spoken on the subject, but according to numerous reports, the combination of injuries and disputes with the WWE creative team have forced him to leave the business.
While a Punk appearance in New Orleans would be one of the biggest surprises in WrestleMania history, one former WWE superstar isn’t ruling out his return at the event. On the latest episode of his podcast, Stone Cold Steve Austin predicted that Punk would be involved in WrestleMania 30.
"I'm telling you, I'm going to stick to my prediction that CM Punk is going to make his return at WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans,” Austin said on his podcast, which was released on Tuesday. “I made this prediction two months ago here on the show. It's been a long time, I think he's cooled his jets, he's got some rest, and I think it's time to get back to work. I don't see him participating in a match, but it would be great to see him in a run-in to establish himself, to entrench himself immediately in a memorable and just a great moment, and I would say plant himself firmly in the middle of an angle, because he would be the angle, by attacking whoever he sees fit to attack or asserting his presence rather, whatever the case may be. But I see CM Punk coming back at WrestleMania 30. Who knows if it will happen."
For years, there has been speculation that Punk and Austin would have a match against one another at WrestleMania. That seems highly unlikely now, considering Punk could be done with WWE. Austin has not been in the ring since WrestleMania 19, when he lost to The Rock.
At last year’s WrestleMania, Punk challenged The Undertaker’s undefeated streak. In 2012, he defeated Chris Jericho to retain the WWE Championship. He went on to hold the title for 434 days, marking the longest reign in 25 years.
Punk is, reportedly, under contract until July, so he wouldn’t have to sign a new deal to make a comeback. It’s been eight years since Punk did not appear at a WrestleMania.