WWE Rumors on CM Punk Return, John Cena’s Future, WrestleMania 40, Giulia’s Contract | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors
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Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Punk Reportedly Denying Having WWE Contract Talks
Despite continued rumors and speculation about him possibly making his return to WWE, CM Punk is reportedly denying that he is negotiating with the company.
According to Fightful Select (h/t Felix Upton of Ringside News), Punk has told people close to him that he is not working toward signing with WWE and is not planning on appearing at Survivor Series in his hometown of Chicago later this month.
Punk was released from his AEW contract in early September after a reported backstage altercation with “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry at All In, paving the way for him to potentially return to WWE for the first time since January 2014.
Shortly after the Punk-to-WWE talk began, Fightful Select (h/t Andrew Ravens of WrestlingNews.co) reportedly that rumors of WWE and Punk having contract talks were “completely false.”
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Upton) followed up with a report that while Punk expressed interest in signing with WWE, the company “turned him down.”
Meltzer added that while a source told him “there’s no such thing as ‘no forever’ when it comes to WWE,” Punk to WWE isn’t currently in the cards.
Punk is by the highest-profile free agent available, and he would provide a huge boost to any company that signs him.
Given WWE’s recent success in terms of ticket sales and profitability, it doesn’t necessarily need a big signing right now, especially one who could possibly disrupt locker room chemistry.
Punk could always sign with a lesser company like TNA or NWA if he wants to continue his pro wrestling career, or he could continue to wait it out with WWE and hope the sports entertainment juggernaut eventually changes its stance.
Cena Reportedly Expected to Appear at WrestleMania 40
Following his decisive loss to Solo Sikoa at Crown Jewel last weekend, there are reportedly future plans in place for legendary WWE Superstar John Cena.
According to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, Cena is likely “finished with WWE for now,” but he is expected to return for WrestleMania 40 in April in “some capacity,” although it isn’t known if he will have a match or simply make an appearance.
Barrasso noted that the level of Cena’s involvement in WrestleMania will likely depend on his Hollywood acting commitments at the time.
In September, Cena returned to WWE amid the SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood writers strikes, and he appeared regularly on SmackDown for several weeks and wrestled a handful of matches as well.
After Cena and LA Knight teamed up to beat Sikoa and Jimmy Uso at Fastlane, Cena noted that it had been over 2,000 days since his last televised singles win, and he vowed to get one.
Solo stepped up to be his opponent at Crown Jewel, and it resulted in one of the most one-sided losses of Cena’s illustrious career, as Sikoa hit him with multiple Samoan Spikes en route to victory.
The loss seemed like WWE’s way of writing Cena off television, and it could lead to a redemption arc during WrestleMania season.
If there are plans in place for Cena to compete at WrestleMania, the events of Crown Jewel may have been WWE laying the groundwork for a Cena vs. Sikoa rematch on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
When Giulia Can Potentially Sign with WWE
WWE reportedly has its sights set on signing Stardom and New Japan Pro-Wrestling star Giulia in the near future.
According to PWInsider.com (h/t H Jenkins of Ringside News), WWE has been courting Giulia, and talks have progressed to the point that she is expected to visit the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, this month.
In a follow-up, Meltzer (h/t Upton) reported that Giulia is under contract in Japan until March, and that NJPW and Stardom parent company Bushiroad would have to give her clearance to meet with WWE and do a tryout before then.
Meltzer noted that it is unclear if Bushiroad would be willing to do that, and reported that a WWE source said while a tryout may not happen before March, the company has significant interest in Giulia.
The 29-year-old Giulia has been among the biggest women’s wrestling stars in Japan since making her in-ring debut in 2017.
Competing for Stardom, NJPW and Ice Ribbon, Giulia is the reigning NJPW Strong women’s champion, and a one-time World of Stardom and Wonder of Stardom champion.
In the latest Pro Wrestling Illustrated, Giulia ranked No. 2 in the PWI Women’s 250 for 2023, behind only WWE women’s world champion Rhea Ripley.
WWE has a recent history of pushing Japanese women’s wrestlers to the top, as Asuka is one of the most accomplished women’s wrestlers in WWE history, and Iyo Sky is the reigning WWE women’s champion.
Also, Kairi Sane made her WWE return at Crown Jewel last weekend after a stint in Japan that saw her become the inaugural IWGP women’s champion.
Given the influx and success of female Japanese talent in WWE, making the leap to WWE could potentially be of interest to Giulia, and it seems as though the sports entertainment giant is keeping close tabs on her.
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