The landscape of professional wrestling is ever-evolving, and as we head towards the end of the year, the WWE Universe is abuzz with various developments and speculations. However, one persistent question remains: will CM Punk make his way back to the WWE?
**CM Punk’s Status with WWE Still in Limbo**
Despite the upcoming Survivor Series 2023 earmarked to take place in Chicago—a city synonymous with CM Punk’s wrestling legacy—Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter asserts that a Punk return is not on the cards. Inside sources from WWE’s creative team have indicated that they are not privy to any plans that include the Straight Edge Superstar, nor has there been any internal buzz about a potential surprise similar to Cody Rhodes’ return in 2022.
The dilemma doesn’t end there. Although officials allegedly stated their openness to reevaluate their stance based on a strong fan demand for Punk’s return, backstage sentiments lean towards the negative. There’s an apparent reluctance to reinstate Punk into WWE’s fold, especially following his controversial exit from AEW earlier in September.
**Triple H and WWE Looking Forward to Endeavor Partnership**
Amidst the swirl of rumors about in-ring returns, there’s a confirmed forward trajectory for WWE’s corporate structure. The recent acquisition of WWE by Endeavor has positioned the company alongside UFC under the umbrella of the newly formed TKO Group. Paul “Triple H” Levesque, WWE’s Chief Content Officer, expressed his enthusiasm for the merger in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated.
Levesque highlighted the swift advantages this collaboration with Endeavor would yield for WWE, drastically accelerating growth and professionalism. He underscored the immense potential the union held for future opportunities, claiming, “We’re going to take this to a whole new level.”
**NXT Ratings Triumph Amid Thin Competition**
In the realm of viewership figures, WWE’s NXT brand showcased an impressive surge in ratings for its November 7, 2023, episode. Garnering 794,000 viewers and a 0.26 key demographic rating on the USA Network, the show clinched the top spot for the night. Dave Meltzer attributed this jump in viewership to a relatively subdued sports schedule, lighter election news coverage, and particularly strong increases among younger and older female demographics.
The biggest draw of the night was the matchup between Bron Breakker and Von Wagner, which peaked at 833,000 viewers, while the Carmelo Hayes, Trick Williams, and Lexis King in-ring promo segment during the show’s overrun maintained solid figures.
NXT’s demographic composition leaned significantly towards male viewers, comprising 61.4% of the audience. Nonetheless, the show experienced an uptick across the board, including an incredible 77.9% increase year-over-year in its key demographic viewership, with the 18-34 group alone surging up by 82.1% compared to the same period last year.
While fans’ clamor for CM Punk’s WWE return persists, the organization seems to be steering clear of that path, investing instead in partnering with Endeavor to broaden horizons and enhance WWE’s global appeal. Meanwhile, NXT’s buoyant ratings spell good news, indicating a healthy interest in WWE’s developmental division and the potential stars of tomorrow. The WWE Universe is sure to keep a close eye on these evolving narratives as we edge closer to Survivor Series and beyond.