Finally got round to listening to the CM Punk podcast. Although it doesn't seem like he'll return to WWE (and fair play to him if he never has to), the fact that he never main evented Wrestlemania still obviously rankles him. This is something he can still obviously do. If he ever decided to return, it'd be huge and we know that Vince will always be open to it if it would make money.
1) What match involving Punk do you think would be a worthy main event at Wrestlemania? Obvious contender is now HHH (if he's willing to put past grudges behind him) or perhaps John Cena. Personally, I think Punk vs Bryan would be awesome. They are the two biggest stars WWE has created since Cena/Orton/Batista and their careers have obvious parallels. Also, Bryan is now on the same level as Punk (possibly even bigger?) whereas during their 2012 feud he wasn't quite there yet so it wouldn't seem stale (in the same way that Rock vs HHH wasn't stale in 2000, even though they fought loads in 1998 and 1999).
2) Do you think the fact Punk hasn't main evented Wrestlemania is actually a hole on his CV? I thought it was interesting that he mentioned Vince giving Mick Foley a chance to main event WM in 2000 as a 'thank you' so Punk was hoping he might get the same thing. But I don't think anyone would look at Foley's career differently if he hadn't been in that match, especially as it was so underwhelming.
1. The only one that would be worth coming back for and would justify the money they'd need to get him would be the HHH match. I mean, Punk v. Bryan as the main event of Wrestlemania? Come on, I know this is the smarkiest of the smarky smark hangouts, but let's have SOME connection to the realities of the financial needs of the company. Especially if they do finally pull the trigger on the "Vince's avatar v. HHH and/or avatar" angle, Punk as the ultimate guy to get H's goat would be the perfect payoff. Not to say there's any chance of it happening, but that would be the only one to really make sense.
2. I think Punk has already had a career miles above what I expected out of one of Raven's flunkies in 2002, and he had a **** match with Undertaker in a featured match that made him tons of money, so his "failure" is pretty much what everyone else would consider wildly successful. Also, Punk's pretty deluded about Foley's place in history if he considers 2000 to be a "thank you" to Mick by putting him in there. Foley was a bigger name than Jericho and Vince wanted a fourth guy "worthy" of the multiple McMahons gimmick who had enough star power to justify the position. It had nothing to do with Foley "earning" the spot from great matches or tenure or whatever. If Austin hadn't been crippled at the time, it would have been him in there instead. That was one of things most sad to me about Punk's podcast, his Great Pumpkin-like fixation on that main event spot, where he kept repeating his mantra about "If I just work hard enough and outshine everyone with great matches, he'll have no choice but to put me in there!" I mean, did he think that Vince was going to replace Rock or Cena in that match with him? Like Punk v. Rock for the third show in a row is gonna draw a million buys? Or Punk v. Cena for the millionth time? Yeah, Rock v. Cena II was disappointing, but disappointing for them is still a million buys. His own solution was doing a three-way with Rock/Cena/Punk where he'd get eliminated after five minutes to lose the title and then they could do their match, but can you imagine the backlash from the super-smarky crowd if that happened? It would completely kill off the Rock/Cena portion. As much as Punk probably doesn't want to hear it, there was no natural position for him in that Wrestlemania as a main event.
I feel like this topic is going to join the BOD Hall of Shame very soon, but I go with the currents of conversation...