Triple H Stephanie McMahon
WWE planned for CM Punk to face Triple H at WrestleMania 30, before the superstar walked out on the company. Getty

It’s been four months since CM Punk walked out on WWE, but speculation about his return continues with every pay-per-view. With Payback scheduled for Chicago on June 1, many fans still expect the wrestler to make his return.

Last time WWE was in Punk’s hometown, rumors swirled that his hiatus was set to come to an end. His music played at the beginning of “Monday Night Raw” on March 3, but Paul Heyman walked to the ring, and the former WWE champion did not make an appearance.

What are the chances of CM Punk showing up at the next Payback 2014?

Why Punk will return at Payback

If Punk is going to come back anytime soon, it would likely have to be at the next PPV. His contract reportedly ends in July, and if he doesn’t return this summer, he could be done for good. Last year he took a two-month break, but reappeared at Payback in Chicago.

When Punk left WWE in January, it actually improved the WrestleMania 30 card. It forced the company to pit Daniel Bryan against Triple H, and led to him fighting in the main event. Now, Bryan is hurt, and WWE needs star power. Even if Bryan is stripped of his WWE World Heavyweight Title, the championship might not be on the line at the event. WWE wasn’t happy with the way Punk left, but they’d likely put those feeling aside if the 35-year-old wants to get back in the ring

Why Punk won’t return at Payback

There’s been no evidence that Punk has reconciled with the company. He’s been seen at several sporting events, and even appeared on the Chicago Cubs’ television broadcast, but hasn’t addressed his situation with WWE. Punk announced that he is getting married to AJ Lee next month, and it seems unlikely that he would make his return, around the time of his wedding.

From all indications, Punk is done with wrestling. In a recent article for RedEye Chicago, Natalie Slater, a friend of Punk’s, referred to him as the “recently retired seven-time World Champion.” With Punk’s contract almost up, WWE looks like it’s moving on from one of their former top stars. The last edition of “Raw” was taped in London, and a barrage of CM Punk chants were reportedly edited out of the show.

What would Punk do if he returned to WWE?

A major reason why Punk originally left was likely because of the poor WWE creative. He reportedly wasn’t satisfied with fighting Triple H at WrestleMania 30, and wanted to be in the main event. If Punk comes back, he’ll have to be involved in the No.1 storyline. That would likely put him in the WWE World Heavyweight Title picture, and he might even hold the championship for a short period of time. Bryan’s first defense against Kane was underwhelming, and a feud between the two former independent wrestling stars would be welcomed by many fans.