CM Punk Offered $1 Million For In-Ring Return
Will the lure of $1 million dollars tempt CM Punk to return to the squared circle?
British wrestling promotion 5 Star Wrestling – which in January aired their Dundee show live on Spike TV in the UK – have made a grandstand offer to the former WWE star and current UFC fighter for an in-ring return as part of their ambitious 128-man tournament.
The tournament begins in the 11,000 capacity Liverpool Echo Arena on June 10th and is then scheduled to take in weekly arena stops around the UK over a 30-week period.
Promoter Dan Hinkles told the Daily Star’s Patrick Lennon:
“We want to offer CM Punk $1 million dollars to come and join the 5 Star Wrestling tour starting June 10th.
It’s a genuine offer. We’d love to hear back from the man himself. We want to do this with him.
Even if it’s a no, we want to know he’s at least heard the offer. It
doesn’t get more credible than CM Punk. We all know that if he ever comes back to wrestling it will be one of those all time, epic moments – I want that to be with 5 Star Wrestling.
We are hugely ambitious. Starting June 10th we will have a weekly show airing live from the UK’s biggest indoor arenas, on Saturday’s at 8pm. We want to fill the show with the biggest stars and the best wrestlers from this country and from all around the world.
When we ask the fans who they want to see, CM Punk’s name is on everybody’s wish list and we’re willing to spend big to make it happen.
I know he is seemingly focused on MMA at the moment and this wouldn’t have to end that, but wrestling is in his blood and $1 million has to be worth thinking about.”
While undoubtedly a Punk return would be a huge coup for 5 Star Wrestling, the chances of it happening – even for the money offered – are slim: Punk has an exclusive contract with UFC which prevents him from wrestling. The company would have to grant him permission to work the shows, which given the precedents set previously is unlikely.
Even if he was granted permission, it is still unlikely that Punk would take the offer. He has never been motivated by money, nor has he shown any interest in a wrestling return – often he refers to himself as an ex-pro wrestler. As yet, he has yet to make any comment on the situation.
The grandstand offer was met with some criticism from people within the industry. PROGRESS promoter Jim Smallman took to Twitter to express his thoughts, tweeting:
“As a promoter, I always thought you should have people want to wrestle for you. Not throw massive amounts of money around to convince them.”
He later clarified:
“People should be hungry to work for your brand.
Don’t BRIBE people to work for you.
Do you get me now, internet?”
Others in the business echoed Smallman’s sentiments, criticising 5 Star for what they felt was a blatant publicity grab. That may well be the case, but if so, it has worked – undoubtedly more people are talking about 5 Star than ever before, which was surely the intention of the announcement in the first place.