CM Punk is returning to his old stomping ground in the world of professional wrestling … well sort of.
On Tuesday night, it was announced that Punk (real name Phil Brooks) would be joining “WWE Backstage” — a magazine style program that currently airs on FS1 — as a contributor and analyst. FOX recently inked a new multi-year deal with WWE to bring “Smackdown Live” to the network on Friday nights.
As part of the broadcast deal, FOX expanded its coverage of WWE with the new show called “Backstage” that features personalities such as Renee Young and former WWE champion Paige as hosts and analysts.
Now Punk will join that crew as a contributor after he went through a very public breakup with WWE just a few years ago when his contract with the organization came to an end and he opted to sign with the UFC to pursue his fighting career.
Punk was then locked in a nasty legal battle with a doctor from WWE, who accused the former superstar of defamation following an inflammatory podcast interview where he detailed the medical issues that precipitated his exit from professional wrestling. Punk ultimately won that lawsuit.
Now Punk will re-team with WWE in a limited role as part of the FOX team covering the professional wrestling circuit.
Will CM Punk return to the WWE ring?
Punk’s return during WWE programming led many to believe that this could be a harbinger of things to come with speculation running wild that this may lead to his return to the ring.
Right now, Punk is only working as an analyst for FOX as part of the team covering the WWE, but who knows what that may mean for the future.
While he has never officially retired from fighting, Punk hasn’t competed in the UFC since 2018, when he lost a lopsided decision to Mike Jackson. Punk then went on to commentary duties for Cage Fury Fighting Championships, although he never closed the door for a potential return to fighting.
Punk is actually still part of the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) testing pool under the UFC’s anti-doping policy with the former pro wrestler already submitting to four tests during 2019.