CM Punk, the embattled pro wrestling star who made two appearances under the UFC banner between 2016 and 2018, returned to the world of sports entertainment with a shocking return at the WWE Survivor Series on Saturday night.
Following an abbreviated run with AEW that saw him feuding with everyone in the locker room before his unceremonious exit, Punk returned to WWE nearly a decade after walking away from the business altogether.
CM Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, has been one of the biggest pro wrestling stars over the last two decades. A particularly impressive feat considering he was largely disconnected from the industry for seven years. After becoming disenfranchised with the WWE, Punk walked away from the promotion following an appearance at the 2014 Royal Rumble. During his time with the promotion, he had a memorable 434-day reign as WWE Champion.
CM Punk’s Short and Forgettable UFC Career
Following his exit, CM Punk decided to test his skills in mixed martial arts, signing a deal with the UFC. He made his Octagon debut in 2016 at UFC 203 against Mickey Gall. Punk suffered a decisive loss, succumbing to a rear-naked choke less than halfway through the opening round.
Recent reports revealed that Punk has received more than $1 million for his UFC debut.
Two years later, he would return at UFC 225 for a clash with Mike Jackson. Punk would suffer his second-straight loss inside the Octagon, but the bout would later be overturned after Jackson tested positive for marijuana. Officially, CM Punk is 0-1.
It only took two bouts for him to realize that he should probably stick to pro wrestling.
Punk made his triumphant return to the wrestling ring in August 2021 for All Elite Wrestling, but his run would be marred by a series of backstage controversies. After getting into a behind-the-scenes brawl with Nick and Matt Jackson, better known by AEW fans as The Young Bucks, Punk was largely absent from the promotion. He later returned, but controversy quickly struck again after he got into an all-too-real rivalry with ‘Jungle Boy’ Jack Perry.
That ultimately led to his outright release allowing CM Punk to make his WWE comeback.