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Editorial5 Ways CM Punk Could Appear at WrestleMania XL

5 Ways CM Punk Could Appear at WrestleMania XL

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CM Punk has been advertised for the upcoming Monday Night Raw on March 25th at the Allstate Arena in Chicago.

Is that just because it’s Chicago, WWE knows fans will be cheering his name, and there’s nothing more to it? Or could there be another game plan in mind for his appearance?

Could he, perhaps, even be announcing that he’ll be taking part in WrestleMania XL’s festivities in some fashion?

I’ve been thinking of that possibility for a while, and while I think there is certainly a chance he just isn’t part of the biggest show of the year, I can imagine five potential ways WWE could utilize him.

1) CM Punk is Special Guest Referee of Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre

This is by far my favorite option, hands down, no competition. Enough animosity has been put out there between Seth Rollins and Drew McIntyre both having their issues with CM Punk that his role as special guest referee would make for a very interesting dynamic.

Clearly, he would call the match down the middle. He hates both guys. They both hate him. There would be moments in the match where both of them would pick a fight, thinking he’s screwing them over. Maybe it’s even a byproduct of that which costs Rollins the championship, and he blames his loss on Punk rather than himself (or that he wrestled the previous night and was just coming off an injury).

This keeps Punk fresh in the minds and eyes of the crowd and would be a great tool to further his feud with whoever walks out with the title, whenever he’s ready to return to the ring. Whether it’s Seth or Drew, if Punk’s ready by SummerSlam, you’ve got your match right there.

This all hinges on whether or not Punk can actually be that active, though. Being a referee isn’t the same as wrestling in the match, but it does require walking around briskly, flopping down to the mat rather aggressively and counting all those pinfalls. A torn triceps isn’t something that can be taken lightly to do this type of activity, which may simply be too strenuous to be realistic.

The way I see it, though, if there’s any way he can perform in that role, WWE should do it. It would up the stakes and marquee value of the World Heavyweight Championship match considerably and help make up for the people who bought tickets thinking they’d see him in action.

2) CM Punk is the Host of WrestleMania 40

Assuming Punk is entirely a no-go for physicality, at least his mouth is still working. He can be entrusted to be the emcee of the night. Would that make him MC Punk, instead? Horrible joke, but I couldn’t resist.

There have been various hosts of WrestleMania before, to varying degrees of success. When done well, like The Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin, they can be part of the storytelling, truly hype up the crowd, and lend their star power to the mix. When done poorly, like Titus O’Neil, they’re just an unnecessary distraction filling up time.

I’d imagine a guy like Punk with the gift of gab like he has, could find a way to cut a promo or two each night that would justify his role as the host. He could even assert that mystical temporary power the hosts have and add something to a match on the spot, like The New Day adding The Hardy Boyz to the tag title match many years ago.

WrestleMania being in Philadelphia instead of Chicago wouldn’t matter. Philly is a town that welcomes someone like Punk, even without the pseudo-ECW connection that would make it even easier for him to be able to work the crowd.

3) CM Punk Joins the Commentary Booth for WrestleMania

Maybe there’s no room in the show to include a few segments specifically for Punk to talk. I’d argue that’s not true, as WWE has far too much wasted time and filler on all of its events that could be cut down in favor of this or more matches—just do it during one of the Peacock Premium Plus commercial breaks or something—but let’s just say WWE says “absolutely no way” to that idea.

Another way to use him for his voice alone would be for him to join the commentary booth, either during the whole show or for at least one match—likely the World Heavyweight Championship bout.

Punk has had more time doing commentary than most Superstars on the roster. He’s proven himself rather good at it, too. We know he can hold his own nowadays, as he was able to do so even under the Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn regime, which was far more rigid than what is allowed nowadays.

Putting him on the booth would spice things up and possibly even allow others to do the same. It would also give Michael Cole, Pat McAfee, Corey Graves and Wade Barrett an opportunity to save some of their voices, as we often hear them going hoarse throughout the two nights.

4) CM Punk is a Guest on The Grayson Waller Effect

If not on commentary, what about a dedicated promo segment in the ring? Maybe he can even hit the GTS on Waller and/or Austin Theory to get a pop, if he’s able to at least do that, physically?

I throw The Grayson Waller Effect out there as the go-to talking segment rather than The KO Show or any others because it just seems like the most likely of the bunch. It’s doubtful with someone like Waller on the roster, who hasn’t been booked for a match yet on the card and should certainly participate in some fashion, that they’d switch it up and make this a Carlito’s Cabana segment for no reason.

It’s not my favorite option, clearly, but it’s a means to get a pop. Fans would boo Waller and Theory for badmouthing Punk for his injury, he’d crap on them in response, leave them laying on the mat and his music would hit. Bing bang boom, done.

5) CM Punk Does Kickoff Panel Duty

The worst case scenario I can viably think of that still uses Punk for something instead of wholly sitting this out would be to slap him on the pre-show panel.

Over the past few years, Mania has had a panel that has a few revolving spots. Kayla Braxton or Jackie Redmond will likely be the chair that isn’t moving the entire time. There’s no longer Matt Camp, sadly, but they’ll cycle in Sam Roberts and Pete Rosenberg. Jerry Lawler probably still can’t appear, but John “Bradshaw” Layfield and Booker T most certainly will.

Punk could just be another one of those guys they have on for a few segments. He can talk about his predictions, maybe badmouth Rollins and McIntyre and say he doesn’t want either of them to win but he’ll be gunning for that title no matter who walks out with it, and voila, he’s technically appeared, even if it isn’t in front of the stadium in a more proper practice.

What would you like to see CM Punk do at WrestleMania 40? Drop your thoughts and predictions in the comments below!

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