Despite the fact that CM Punk is still included in the advertisements for WWE’s “Elimination Chamber” pay-per-view, and may continue to appear on some official WWE advertisements for upcoming live events in the future, the word within the company is that those will eventually be pulled.
In the past week, two different key people within WWE with knowledge of Punk’s situation, have noted that he was “as good as gone” from the company once his WWE deal expired in July. One person even claimed that Punk wouldn’t even last until the duration of his contract.
As far as the meeting between Punk and Vince McMahon backstage at RAW on Monday before he ultimately left and went home, one source noted that the meeting didn’t even take place until approximately 7:30pm.
The reason the Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio match went so long this past Monday night on RAW was because it took place during the period that Punk was originally scheduled to have a segment, and because he left, the two had to have their match go a second segment to cover the time.
Apparently there has been a working assumption within WWE creative for multiple weeks now that Punk was going to be leaving when his contract expired in July, and that he would not be signing a new deal at that time.
As things stand right now, Sheamus is scheduled to replace Punk on the bookings he had advertised for the SmackDown television tapings.
(Credit: Wrestling Observer Newsletter)