WWE and AEW backstage rumors: The latest on CM Punk, Matt Cardona and more
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Credit: All Elite Wrestling
Nearly three months since the All Out pay-per-view that effectively ended his career with All Elite Wrestling, CM Punk is still making headlines, this time for a possible return to WWE.
While fans would be receptive and WWE would likely do some big business on his return, it sounds like not everyone would be too excited about The Straight Edge Superstar’s potential return.
That topic tops a collection of wrestling rumors that also includes updates on WWE WarGames matches and the latest on the potential returns of Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green.
Backstage reception to the idea of CM Punk returning to WWE
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After reporting that CM Punk and AEW discussed buying out a contract following the post-show feud between the Chicago native and Kenny Omega of The Elite and The Young Bucks, Dave Meltzer of wrestling spotter radio He pointed out that there are people in WWE who absolutely do not want the former world champion to return to the company.
Unfortunately for them, they are not WWE creative nor in a position to make that decision, so it can happen anyway.
Punk achieved his greatest success in WWE, holding the company’s top title for over a year and going from mid-card fan favorite to legitimate main event attraction. He was one of the most beloved Superstars in the business during his run with the company and managed to work with all the big names there, including John Cena, Brock Lesnar and The Rock.
He’s built up equity with fans, and depending on which side he takes in the feud that brought about the conclusion of his AEW career, he’ll almost certainly receive a standing ovation upon his return to the company.
How he would be received in the dressing room, however, is another matter entirely.
Considering AEW’s locker room professionalism was one of his most prominent complaints during his now-infamous media scrum, perhaps returning to the WWE environment would better suit what he’s looking for at this point in his career.
Update on the return of Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green to WWE
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WrestleVotes told Give Me Sport that Triple H would “100 percent bring” Matt Cardona back to WWE, appreciating his passion for professional wrestling and the fact that he doesn’t shy away from growing up as a fan:
“I hear Hunter is a fan of his because he’s done it on the indies. Cardona isn’t ashamed of being a lifelong fan and Hunter likes people who don’t shy away from growing in this business. Hunter would 100% accept Matt Cardona from I’m back, but I don’t know if that offer has been extended.”
However, Cardona would not be coming alone, as company officials are also excited about his wife, Chelsea Green. In particular, according to the report, Shawn Michaels is a huge fan of his.
Cardona and Green have spent the last year building their reputation as one of the hardest-working and most hated acts in independent professional wrestling.
High heels throughout her career in Game Changer Wrestling and Impact Wrestling, it’s no surprise that they catch the eye of Triple H and company regarding a potential return to the industry’s top promotion.
“Zack Ryder is dead. Long live Matt Cardona!” former intercontinental and tag team champion posted on Twittersuggesting that any return would be under his given name and as the person he popularized on his own.
That may be for the best for everyone involved given how Ryder’s character had been so mishandled during his last run.
Kevin Owens originally slated for WarGames…
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Meltzer also reported that Kevin Owens was set to play a key role at the Survivor Series War Games pay-per-view before an injury sustained at a WWE live event halted those plans.
Reportedly, KO would have joined The Brawling Brutes and Drew McIntyre in the battle against Roman Reigns, The Usos, Solo Sikoa and Sami Zayn of The Bloodline.
Now, WWE’s creative plans are up in the air, with no obvious Superstar prepared to step in and fill the void. Does that leave Triple H to turn to someone like Brock Lesnar, who the company routinely relies on to help shore up star power?
Could the focus shift to the Raw brand and attract someone like Seth Rollins, whose history with Reigns is well documented?
If nothing else, it’s created a kind of intrigue that might not otherwise have existed, unfortunate as that is for Owens.
Hopefully, The Prizefighter can bounce back in time for the Road to WrestleMania, where he’ll look to follow up his match with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin with something meaningful.
… and also Candice LeRae
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A busy week for Meltzer concluded with the reveal that Candice LeRae was also set to appear in WarGames, but the absence of an announcement until now suggests that she might be injured and unable to compete.
It would be a huge disappointment for the 37-year-old, who is one of the best workers on the women’s roster and has played key roles in previous WarGames matches on NXT.
Creative appeared to suggest she would be involved in the ongoing battle between Raw babyfaces and Damage CTRL, but she has not appeared on the company’s flagship since Bianca Belair’s Oct. 17 loss to WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Dakota Kai. and Iyo Sky.
Unlike the scenario with Owens on the men’s side, there are plenty of women who can step in and provide a spark to the match if LeRae is unable to compete.
Becky Lynch suffered a shoulder injury that halted the return of her “The Man” persona. If she could, she would be a newsworthy replacement, much like Naomi or Sasha Banks, should they return to WWE television.
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