C.M. Punk walked away from the world of professional wrestling in 2014, fed up with the grind and the politics. He then made a surprise jump to the UFC, despite having zero MMA training, and was given the chance to have his very first legit professional fight.
It didn’t go well.
Punk was thoroughly out-punched, out-wrestled, and eventually submitted within about two minutes against the relatively inexperienced Mickey Gall. The debate of whether the UFC will offer Punk another chance is still open, with the former WWE champion publicly campaigning for another fight. In the meantime, there are always whispers that Punk could go back to his original craft as a pro wrestler.
One company, 5 Star Wrestling in the U.K., is on the verge of kicking off a 128-man single elimination tournament, which is scheduled to begin on June 10. According to U.K. newspaper/tabloid The Sun, 5 Star’s owner Daniel Hinkles has offered C.M. Punk a cool $1 million to join the tournament.
“We’ve been trying to contact CM Punk on and off for well over a year. We wanted him on the first show we did in Edinburgh in 2015. I’ve tried going through friends in the industry, I’ve gone through his website and sent dozens of emails but the opportunity has never been this big. We want to offer CM Punk $1 million dollars (£770,000) 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.
“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 epic moments -– I want that to be with 5 Star Wrestling, right here in the UK. A common saying in the wrestling world is that the UK has the best fans, well how about we give them the biggest moments too. We are hugely ambitious. 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.”
Punk made a disclosed $500,000 for his embarrassing MMA debut, and that’s including any kickbacks he may have received from the proceeds of merchandise or PPV buys (the UFC typically does not disclose those figures). And if were to consider 5 Star Wrestling’s generous offer, he would likely be committing to wrestle in multiple matches — the two men that reach the final will each be in their seventh match of the competition.
Still, a million dollars is a million dollars. And that’s hard to turn down, regardless of the circumstances. Will this offer entice Punk back into the squared circle? Well, probably not.