CM Punk Not Officially Gone; Is This A Work?, Batista's Contract, Splitting The World Titles, Punk To TNA?

The following is today's edition of Ask WNW. Ask WNW is the most popular feature on the website where Richard Gray answers four questions daily, Monday through Friday. To submit your question for the next installment of Ask WNW, click here
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Is CM Punk officially gone from WWE? If so, is there anyway he could turn this around and get back on good terms with the company?

CM Punk is under WWE contract through July and they're not going to release him. So technically, until July, Punk is still with WWE. We're told Vince McMahon wants Punk back for Wrestlemania XXX and will try to get him on the card.

With the information you have released concerning CM Punk, is it possible this is one beautifully played out work for his character and match at Wrestlemania?

It's my belief WWE will do all they can to turn this situation with CM Punk into a work, culminating with a big match at Wrestlemania. However, based on the facts as I understand them, this is a situation where Punk legitimately walked out. The more people analyze and the longer this story lingers, the more theories that will develop. All we know for sure is Punk met with Vince McMahon at Raw on Monday and went home afterwards. We've reported as many details before and after the situation but the fact of the matter is Punk isn't talking right now.

Will Batista wrestle on Raw anytime soon? Will he make appearances on Smackdown?

Batista is believed to have more of a full-time agreement than some people might think. While he's not advertised for this weekend's live event loop, he is scheduled to work live events in a couple of weeks. With that being said, I don't see any reason why we wouldn't see him wrestle on Raw and make occasional appearances on Smackdown. However, I can tell you he's not on the booking sheets for upcoming episodes of Smackdown as of this writing.

Wouldn't it make sense to split the WWE and World Heavyweight titles again with the main event scene now so crowded? Even without CM Punk, the top is crowded.

Vince McMahon was concerned last week about the company being overcrowded at the top. It's a good problem to have, especially after CM Punk walked out on Monday. The fact WWE has still has Randy Orton carrying both belts indicates to me there is a possibility. Last week Vince instructed the writers to find ways to feature more talent. I think this is one of the reasons why Christian's return wasn't on Raw but scheduled for Smackdown instead.

If the rumors are true and CM Punk went home, do you see him going to TNA? Could they afford him and when would he be allowed to sign?

CM Punk isn't going to TNA Wrestling. As I mentioned in the lead, he's under WWE contract through July so he's untouchable until then. TNA would then have to be able to make a competitive offer and given the fact they're in a situation where they just let Hulk Hogan and AJ Styles walk (as well as Sting?) and they've just let some of their biggest names go because they didn't want to pay them. If they wouldn't pay guys they've invested a tremendous amount of time, money and resources on, I wouldn't expect them to make a competitive offer to someone of CM Punk's caliber.

From the Ask WNW vault…

October 2008: Considering his heel work in the past, do you see a heel turn for CM Punk in the near future? I understand with WWE going PG, they obviously want to keep role models for kids and Punk's 'straight edge' gimmick is ideal with that direction. However, anyone who's seen Punk as an 'I'm straight edge and that makes me better than you' heel can't deny he makes a good heel. Anything in the cards? - From what I was told, CM Punk is still one of Vince McMahon's favorites so I do not see any changes to his current gimmick. That's not to say that they couldn't turn Punk heel down the road but right now they like the direction that he is going on with Kofi Kingston as his partner and there is talk of an eventual Randy Orton vs. CM Punk feud.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Monday, February 3, 2014.

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