The things they’ll do for Punk. Wrestling has been turned upside down in the last few months as AEW has really shaken up the industry. The status quo has been thrown out the window with the new company making things feel completely different than they have in the better part of twenty years. That has led to some very significant changes, including in WWE, which now has CM Punk back on television. Punk’s deal is with FOX, and they went to some extremes to keep it a secret.

This week on WWE Backstage, Punk made his surprise return after a five and a half year absence, appearing at the end of the show with no advance warning. Of the four people on the set when Punk appeared, only host Renee Young knew in advance that he was coming. This was done to cause a genuine feeling of surprise, which seemed to be achieved. That is quite the difficult task to accomplish, and now we know a bit more of the extremes that were taken to make it work.

But first, the big return. Check out Punk’s return and look at the hosts’ faces:

The WWE on FOX YouTube page has posted a video showing the extent to which FOX went to make Punk a surprise, including sneaking him into the building and having him wear a disguise so no one would recognize him. Punk was then hidden in a back room before he was brought out to the set to end the show. Punk will be appearing on the show going forward, though he will not be on every week, making him more of a special attraction.

This is almost nuts. Check out the effort to hide Punk:

Opinion: As ridiculous as this may seem, it does make some sense. At the end of the day, Punk’s return impact was only going to work when he just appeared instead of being announced in advance. Therefore, it had to be a surprise and that is what FOX managed to achieve. I don’t know what Punk is going to be doing on the show or how much of an impact he is going to have, but he had a great debut/return and that is a lot more than some people get.

Did FOX put too much effort into this? How much can Punk help things? Let us know in the comments below.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. His latest book is KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews.

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