Exclusive: Backstage Update on CM Punk’s Future, Cena Angle

Nick Paglino

CM PunkAs seen on Monday Night Raw tonight, CM Punk announced that he will be leaving WWE after his contract expires on July 17th, which is the day of the Money in the Bank PPV.

After speaking with several sources, WZ can confirm that as of this writing, Punk does indeed plan to leave the company following the PPV, and he has not signed a new deal with WWE.

This does NOT mean, however, that it’s guaranteed Punk will actually leave following the PPV, as anything can change between now and then, and has in the past.

Two years ago, when Jeff Hardy was finishing his last run with WWE, he had informed management on a number of occasions that he would be leaving the company on a certain date. But because he was such a hot commodity in WWE at the time, officials did their best to accommodate Hardy, and were able to re-sign him to contract extensions that saw him remain with the company for several months after he had initially intended to leave.

In the case of CM Punk, it could play out that the current angle between him and John Cena draws better than expected, which could lead WWE brass to step up and offer Punk a bigger money deal to remain with the company. It’s no coincidence that Punk has been putting a tremendous amount of effort into his work recently, in what I would guess is an attempt to prove his ultimate worth in WWE.

Last month, WZ was the first to exclusively report that Cena requested to feud with Punk this summer, in an attempt to persuade CM Punk to re-sign with the company after his contract expires. One source noted to us tonight, "in a way, this angle is a test for both management and Punk. For management, it’s to see how well he can draw at the top, and for Punk it’s a way for him to gauge whether or not WWE fully backs him as a main event player."

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