Ever since he departed from WWE in 2014, CM Punk has always been linked with a possible return to the ring.
Through his time in UFC and various movie roles, Punk will always remain most associated with wrestling. Much talk regarding his comeback has been wishful thinking, but it may be more of a reality now.
Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp has reported that CM Punk has had talks over an in-ring return. AEW seems to be the likelier destination for the self-proclaimed 'Best in the World,' but one can never rule WWE out from a situation like this.
If Punk does return to "McMahonland," it would be absolutely massive for the company. WWE has a lot of momentum following the return of live crowds, while this can deliver an even bigger buzz.
With an insanely talented roster, CM Punk has several WWE Superstars who can be great opponents for him. Whether from a stylistic or storytelling standpoint, the following five names may be the best of the lot. These are the biggest dream matches Punk may have if he returns to WWE.
Who would you like to see CM Punk face if he returns to WWE? Let us know in the comments below.
#5 CM Punk vs. Triple H
The most obvious match CM Punk could have in WWE is the one that made him leave in 2014. The bad blood he and Triple H have shared since then would make for fascinating television.
Punk has mentioned that he isn't interested in a match with Triple H, but the layers to the story make it a 'must book' affair, should the former WWE Champion return to the company. The Game has not wrestled in over two years, so it might take something huge for him to return to the ring.
This could even be Triple H's retirement match, where he finally puts CM Punk over. He should have done so at Night of Champions 2011, instead of during a proposed rematch at WrestleMania 30.
The leader of NXT is the perfect representation of the McMahon family for a feud with Punk because that is exactly the direction WWE might go if he returns. Other matches against fresher talent may sound more appealing to the Straight Edge Superstar, but this would help him come full circle.
#4 CM Punk vs. Seth Rollins
When CM Punk became an analyst for WWE Backstage in the latter months of 2019, Seth Rollins was pretty vocal over wanting to have a match against the 'Best in the World.' Punk did not show much interest in facing The Architect, but could very well be open to business if he returns to WWE.
Again, there seems to be some tension there, forming the basis for an angle between the pair. It makes sense because Rollins is a "Triple H guy," making it an extension of sorts, of CM Punk's possible feud with The Game.
Also, Seth Rollins is wildly different right now from who he was when the six-time WWE world champion was last with the company. The Shield, which was formed thanks to Punk, is long gone.
The 'Savior of SmackDown' gimmick seems perfect to accommodate a match with a returning star like it is for the impending SummerSlam match between Rollins and Edge. He is a safe bet when it comes to in-ring quality as well, making CM Punk vs. Seth Rollins a mouth-watering prospect if it ever comes to fruition.
#3 CM Punk vs. Kevin Owens
One current WWE Superstar most comparable to CM Punk might be Kevin Owens. He made a fantastic name for himself before joining WWE but did not seem like somebody who would succeed in the company's system. But just like Punk, albeit to a lesser extent, Owens shattered all doubts.
KO is capable of magic on the microphone and cut a "pipe bomb" of sorts in 2019, when he called out Shane McMahon for taking up too much TV time. He has a history of hating the McMahons, having faced Shane O'Mac multiple times over the years.
That element likens him to CM Punk, with the two of them being excellent anti-heroes. But Kevin Owens would likely revert to being the heel for a program like this. With neither man holding back, the promos would be phenomenal.
Their in-ring styles would mesh very well, potentially similar to KO's matches against Sami Zayn and Punk's matches against John Cena. The two have never wrestled, which ticks CM Punk's box of working with somebody he hasn't faced before, if he returns to the ring.
#2 CM Punk vs. Keith Lee
During CM Punk's stint as an analyst on WWE Backstage, he made some interesting points about the current product. One of them was his pick to win the 2020 Royal Rumble Match. Punk said that Keith Lee should win the Rumble, despite him still being in NXT at the time.
The Limitless One was fantastic on the black and gold brand, creating moment after moment. However, his run on WWE RAW hasn't been the best. Lee made his return this week after around six months away, which gives fans some kind of hope that he will eventually come good on the main roster.
Keith Lee is a big man who is capable of ridiculous athletic feats in the ring. This description can be given for Samoa Joe, who remains one of CM Punk's biggest rivals in his entire pro wrestling career.
The two have wrestled some absolute classics in the past, which does lend hope that Punk could have a similarly exciting clash with Lee. And based on his praise for the former NXT Champion, the Straight Edge Superstar would put him over huge. This is as fresh a match could get for CM Punk in WWE.
#1 CM Punk vs. Roman Reigns
This is the biggest match CM Punk can have in WWE. While facing Roman Reigns is obviously huge for any returning star, there are quite a few layers to this potential story.
On the Art of Wrestling podcast, Punk stated that his original vision for The Shield did not involve Roman Reigns at all. He further mentioned how WWE officials constantly told him to "make Roman look strong."
This was the first step towards fans turning on Reigns, which led to a few turbulent years for him as a babyface. But he has now fully recovered. The Big Dog became The Head of the Table and is currently on the run of a lifetime as a heel.
Roman Reigns is easily the biggest full-time star in WWE - something that CM Punk himself has stated. The feud between the two further digs into real life, with Reigns stating that he is willing to put business first if there is an opportunity for such a program.
Aside from the visible bad blood, we also have the Paul Heyman factor. Roman Reigns' special counsel has been associated with CM Punk. He was a major advocate of the 'Best in the World' and even managed him in 2013, before an intense break-up angle.
These multiple real-life elements make the story between Reigns and Punk a very exciting one, if the Straight Edge Superstar ever returns to WWE.