While we still do not have a definite answer as to how long he has been upset with the company, we do know now that CM Punk was already contemplating a departure from WWE as early as Royal Rumble 2014. He vented to Mick Foley at the time about not being happy within the company and having trouble dealing with injuries.
The expectation was that ratings for Monday Night Raw would rise this week because fans would tune in to see if CM Punk would make his return or not. However, the opposite took place. WWE saw a 12 percent drop in viewership, which has to be a bit alarming since it is the time period between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania 30.
After he was pulled from Royal Rumble 2014 at the last minute, Evan Bourne told fans on Twitter that he was still working on making his return to WWE, but as of right now, it does not appear that management is making that a priority backsage.
Since the company wanted to sell the brutality of Brock Lesnar for his match against Big Show at Royal Rumble 2014, they had Mark Henry work an injury angle and take a couple of weeks off. It looks the former world champion is returning to WWE, possibly as soon as Monday Night Raw this week.
After what took place at Royal Rumble 2014, WWE officials were concerned that the audience at Monday Night Raw was going to hijack the event by voicing their opinions, so in order to help squash some of that and control the crowd, management had Daniel Bryan cutting a promo to open up the show.
Long known backstage as someone with a short fuse, Randy Orton was said to be irate with the fans at Royal Rumble 2014 because he feels that they interrupted his performance against John Cena by openly rooting for Daniel Bryan. Orton does have a history of being upset with audiences.
Wrestle-1, the new promotion founded by the Great Muta, is about to get an influx of talent from TNA for an upcoming live event in March. Austin Aries, Abyss, Bobby Roode, Brutus Magnus, Christopher Daniels, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Frankie Kazarian, Gail Kim, Madison Rayne and Samoa Joe have been confirmed for the trip.
"It's tough, even Hulk Hogan was a tough loss to accept. Sting has been the cornerstone of the company, Jarrett founded the company and I think he might be the best heel in the business, and AJ Styles is just the best athlete I've ever been in the ring with. From three different perspectives it is a tough pill to swallow because they are three of the best. When you don't have them in the company you hope to god that the young talent steps up, guys like Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, and James Storm seem to be stepping up. Will they replace Sting? You can't replace Sting, will they replace AJ? Probably not, AJ is irreplaceable, but will they become their own characters and do really well, yes they will do phenomenally well and it's not about replacing anymore, it's about making new stars."
- Kurt Angle on TNA losing stars recently
"From a wrestling standpoint, I'd love to have a guy like AJ Styles within the company to wrestle. I think the fans would, too. There was a tease of what could have been, but I don't think anybody saw what me and AJ Styles could do in there. On a personal level, I want AJ Styles to do whatever is best for him and his family, and if that's coming back to TNA that would be awesome. If that's working elsewhere, I completely understand that. If that will happen, I have no idea. I guess we'll find out. We all have to stay tuned and see what happens."