Over his near fifteen years in wrestling, CM Punk went from an indie darling to one of the most beloved and longest reigning champions in WWE history. But after being eliminated from the 2014 Royal Rumble, Punk completely vanished and was never seen again, despite audiences clamoring for him to return. As they soon found out, he was never coming back, and not in the typical wrestler way. No, never ever, gone forever.
The situation that led to Punk's departure from WWE is something blockbuster movies are made of, and probably the ugliest burning of bridges between WWE and a wrestler since the Montreal Screwjob. Almost a year later, on his friend Colt Cabana's Art of Wrestling podcast, Punk finally explained his departure, dropping a salvo of bombs that would impress a B-2 crew. He claimed that he bailed on the company because of many health issues, most of which he claims the company blatantly ignored, so he sought treatment himself. The most damning allegation Punk made was a growth on his back, which he claims was diagnosed by WWE's doctor as a mere fatty deposit. When Punk got a second opinion at his wife's insistence, it turned out to be a near-fatal staph infection.
WWE officially fired Punk months after he left, but the firing package came on Punk's wedding day. That was, to Punk, the ultimate added insult, and it apparently officially killed any thought he might have had of returning some day. Punk's since moved on to a career in MMA, but the fans sure as Hell won't let him be forgotten. Any time anything happens that displeases WWE's audience, you can expect to hear chants of "CM PUNK!! CM PUNK!! CM PUNK!!" while whoever's in the ring usually has to pretend they're suddenly deaf.