As noted earlier, Punk met with Vince McMahon on Monday before RAW and informed him of his decision to take time off. Punk's WWE contract expires in July and has been very vocal about the possibility of leaving for good this summer. We're told that his decision to leave is not due to an injury, but because he is unhappy with the handling of his character and the overall direction of the company. He's been very vocal about this and has money saved up. His attitude has always been that he's not afraid to speak up and doesn't care if he's fired for doing so.
Punk had been scheduled to wrestle Triple H at WrestleMania, but is no longer expected to work the show and is no longer advertised for any upcoming live events. He's stated in multiple interviews that his one remaining goal in WWE was to main event WrestleMania. In recent months it became clear that he was not going to be part of the main event this year. He's also said to be very frustrated with WWE bringing in part-time wrestlers (The Rock, Brock Lesnar, Batista) and giving them main event programs instead of the guys who have been working full-time for years and giving the company everything they have.
We reported on Monday that WWE had completely overhauled the script for this week's RAW, which was not completed until an hour or two before the show went on the air. The rewrites were partially due to the huge negative reaction to the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, however it was CM Punk's announcement to management that he was leaving that also caused a lot of the changes.
There are some reports that Punk was scheduled to wrestle Antonio Cesaro on RAW in an Elimination Chamber qualifying match, which would have seen Cesaro defeat Punk with help from Kane. Punk was not backstage at RAW during the night and he was not backstage at Tuesday's SmackDown tapings. Punk left the building shortly before RAW went live after a meeting with Vince McMahon.
During a recent interview with Ariel Hewani, Punk spoke about working the crazy WWE schedule, and only ever taking time off for injuries. Punk worked over 50-minutes in Sunday's Royal Rumble match, and was described as being "pissy" backstage. But some have said that this is not unusual for him. He has "good days" and "bad days".
Another source noted that Punk's last goal was to work a WrestleMania main event, and that it may be a situation where Punk realized it wasn't going to happen this year and with his WWE deal expiring and him being so goal oriented, it may have weighed him down when he realized it would not happen.
Also during the Ariel Hewani interview, Punk was asked about WWE killing his momentum at times and why such things happen and stated that he'd like to think they don't make those decisions on purpose and it's more they wanted to go in another decision and that it was a different era.
Also, Punk has been working through several nagging injuries over the course of the last year and has overall been very unhappy with the reality that WWE no longer sees him as "the guy." One source said, "this has been building up for awhile now. It didn't happen overnight."
As noted earlier, the plan was to work towards a CM Punk vs. Triple H match at WrestleMania 30, but now it seems as if WWE may slide Daniel Bryan into that slot.
Punk's last Tweet was from Monday night, and reads as follows…
Thanks for all the support. Keep being you guys, it's pretty cool.— Coach (@CMPunk) January 27, 2014
We'll keep you posted as we hear more.
UPDATE: -- Pauley sent this in: I was at Punk's Portland Comic Con and I didn't feel the need to relay the information until he departed from WWE. There are two key parts of his Q&A that stand out in retrospect.
1. He was very upset about Batista getting the WrestleMania main event, which pretty much spoiled the Royal Rumble. He clarified he was friends with "Dave" and that "they" would not be happy, but he wanted to be honest and it was Daniel Bryan's year. Actually, he said Bryan Danielson but corrected quickly.
2. He was very disinterested in the current product. Asked about promos he defeatedly made comments like "I show up. Someone tells me what to do and I just go out do it and leave." He implied his recent...