Eric Bischoff Suggests CM Punk’s Financial Situation May Lead to a WWE Return

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On a recent edition of his “83 Weeks” podcast, Eric Bischoff offered his thoughts on CM Punk’s future in the pro wrestling industry.

AEW fired Punk at the beginning of this month following an investigation into his backstage altercation with Jack Perry at All In 2023.


Bischoff noted that Punk’s current and future financial conditions could keep him involved in the wrestling business, thus paving the way for a potential WWE return.

You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On what does CM Punk do next in wrestling: “I don’t know the man. Never had a syllable of conversation with him, so I have no insight into his goals and aspirations are. And I think a lot of it has to do with how much money he has in the bank. If he’s sitting on a pile of cash and he’s not financially motivated, or doesn’t feel the need from a financial perspective to make a move, well that’s a factor in a variable. Doing your own thing, promoting your own show? I mean, if you’re passionate about it and you really want to do it, it’s fun for you and you like that sort of thing, have at it. But it’ll last once or twice. It’ll be a failed experiment. It just is what it is. The cost of doing it well and promoting it well. It’s such a high-risk, little-reward opportunity that unless you’re doing it because it’s your passion, it’s probably not going to be a long-term solution. I feel a little differently. And again, I don’t know Phil. I know the characters CM Punk, but I don’t know the person, Phil Brooks. I just think this is just human nature. If Phil wakes up this morning — and again, this is what I don’t know — and says, ‘Wow, I’m – how old is he? 40 some, 30, late 30s. He’s 44 years old. He’s got another 25, 30 years of kicking around this planet where he’s going to want to have some bucks in the bank. So unless he’s got enough money sitting in the bank right now where he doesn’t have to worry about the next 25 years, at some point he’s going to wake up — trust me, I do it every day. You wake up and you go, ‘Oh, man, I’ve got to make something happen here.’ Now, it depends on how intense that pressure is on him determines a lot. But if he comes to the realization that, ‘Okay, I can’t live off of the mystique that I created in WWE any longer. The thing with AEW didn’t work out. There’s not a lot of other places to go.’ I like the idea — you know, Impact and all that. Great. They don’t have two nickels to rub together compared to what Phil was making in AEW, or probably what he made in WWE. It becomes a financial issue at some point.

If Phil were to wake up and just have a cup of coffee and realize, ‘Okay, I kind of think I f**ked up a little bit. At least it’s 50% of my fault. I could have done things better.’ I mean, we can all say that. Every time we wake up in the morning, we could have gone through the day before and done it better if we really thought about it, right? So if Phil wakes up and says, ‘Okay, I’m 44 years old. I’ve still got three or four years in my tank of being able to go out and make millions of dollars a year if I can convince people that I recognize what I did wrong, I want to correct it, and I want to make the most of the last three or four or five — whatever he’s got left in the tank. At least three years for sure.’ I think Phil sat down with Paul Levesque and had an honest conversation. And just laid it on the table and left his ego back in Chicago. And just really had a heart-to-heart, honest conversation and was able to convince Paul that he really did want to end his career on a high note? I think that that’s a possibility. I really do. We’ve seen it before in WWE. The culture has established — the WWE culture, whether it’s Vince, I think Paul Levesque. I’ve known Paul forever, but I don’t know him that well. I just know that he’s a really smart guy and he’s seen a lot. And I think that Paul would be reasonable. And again, it would all come down to Phil Brooks being able to convince Paul that he’s sincere. That’s the part that’s going to be the most difficult part of whether or not Punk has another chapter in his story or not.”

On the other places CM Punk could go: “I think these other opportunities, whether it’s Impact — New Japan, what do they gross, $33 million last year? Gross, that’s not profit. That’s gross sales of $33 Million or something close to that. They’re not going to be able to afford Punk in any significant way. Impact, same thing. They just don’t have the budget. So there’s no real viable financial opportunities, especially compared to what he was making in AEW or like I said, what he made in WWE. So, I think it all comes down to money and aspirations. I would hope — not knowing Phil Brooks at all, I would hope that at some point soon, he recognizes that the clock is ticking. And more than that, recognizes that he is an absolute control of the final chapter of his professional wrestling story.

“And I would think that he would want that to end on a high note. That’s what I hope happens. Whether or not it does, who knows? But I think that’s the most viable option for Punk. Otherwise, he’ll just fade away. He’ll make an appearance here, make an appearance there. He could probably make a killing doing personal appearances and signing autographs. I’m sure if he went over to the UK right now, he could pull 25 or 30 grand in an afternoon. And you can do that for a while until that wears off. A couple of years of that and everybody that wants an autograph has got one, everybody that wants a picture has got one. So you can live off that for a little while. But long-term, writing the end of — closing the chapter out on your career on a high note. I hope that that’s his biggest motivation.”

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CM Punk is one of the most recognizable names in professional wrestling. After a successful career in the WWE, Punk made the jump to All Elite Wrestling (AEW) in 2023. However, his time with AEW was short-lived after an altercation with Jack Perry led to his firing.

Recently, Eric Bischoff offered his thoughts on Punk’s future in the pro wrestling industry. Bischoff noted that Punk’s current and future financial conditions could keep him involved in the wrestling business, thus paving the way for a potential WWE return.

Bischoff believes that Punk could make a successful return to the WWE if he is able to convince Paul Levesque of his sincerity. He also noted that Punk could make a living off of personal appearances and autograph signings, but this would not be a long-term solution.

The other viable option for Punk is to explore other promotions such as Impact Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling. However, these promotions do not have the same financial resources as the WWE or AEW, so Punk would not be able to make as much money.

Ultimately, it is up to Punk to decide what he wants to do with his career. He has the opportunity to write the final chapter of his wrestling story on his own terms. Whether he chooses to return to the WWE or explore other promotions, fans will be eagerly awaiting his next move.