We are winding down a very eventful year, and now we are going to talk about the 2023 most shocking news in wrestling.
There are plenty of options, but one stood out the most to me, with two solid honorable mentions.
Am I leaving some off? Probably.
Did I forget some? It’s possible as well.
But these three are hard to dispute. To be honest, the title of this one really could have been “holy sh!@” moments of the year, because at least two of them made me say exactly that.
So, let’s get into them, shall we?
2023 Most Shocking News In Wrestling: The Fall And Rise Of CM Punk
Exactly as this one says, this is the fall and rise of CM Punk.
Fall, as in, his exit from AEW.
Rise, as in his triumphant return to WWE, welcomed with open arms and setting records along the way.
We are talking about a man who was out of wrestling for a really long time, refusing to come back to WWE in spite of near constant chants by fans.
AEW came along and finally made his return a reality…but things did not go as swimmingly as Tony Khan had hoped.
Books may eventually be written about where AEW went wrong, but Punk made it clear (at least, when he was allowed to talk about things).
What we do know is that the company had too many friends letting friends do what they want, and it sounds like it was run too much like a failing WCW versus a successful WWE.
Things boiled over, Khan fired Punk, and here we are.
Drew McIntyre Has Stories About CM Punk
Many were convinced it wouldn’t happen. WWE told us it wasn’t happening.
Then, it quickly and quietly came together, and WWE is doing business with Punk that AEW only wished they could have.
And when he arrived to close out Survivor Series? I legitimately said, out loud, holy s!#$.
Literally something you figured should happen, but listening to everything we were told, we didn’t expect.
The cherry on top? With Punk joining WWE, the RAW television negotiations could shift to Warner-Discovery.
Which was the same company working with AEW. Ouch.
2023 Most Shocking News In Wrestling Honorable Mention: The Death Of Bray Wyatt
Another moment that made me utter holy s%$!, but for an entirely different reason.
Bray Wyatt was stunningly released during the pandemic era WWE budget cuts.
Supposedly he was expensive and some claimed hard to work with.
And yet, he moved merch to crazy numbers, justifying it all.
As Triple H came in, people figured Wyatt had a chance to come back.
He did, and it was the return of 2022. Then, for reasons we weren’t immediately told, he was basically off television other than the Pitch Black match.
Eventually we heard of some “career and life threatening” condition Wyatt was dealing with…but again, not much else to go on.
And then the news broke. Bray Wyatt was dead, gone at age 36.
He had been dealing with heart issues exacerbated by COVID, but was nearing a return to the ring.
However, he had been given a heart monitor that may have helped save him, but he was not wearing it at the time of his death.
It was and is sad and tragic, and his bright creative mind has been extinguished far too soon.
2023 Most Shocking News In Wrestling Honorable Mention: The Sale Of WWE
Maybe not quite as shocking, but it made my list. WWE finally got sold, after a lot of chatter and speculation.
Vince McMahon forced his way back in right around the beginning of the year. His main stated objective was to get WWE sold.
Of course, he did more than that at first, and he mucked up what many had worked to fix.
But, over WrestleMania weekend, news of the sale broke.
WWE would be purchased by Endeavor, the parent company to UFC.
Together, they would form a new company known as TKO.
The acquisition was completed in September.
But here’s the best part…
While Vince pushed his way back in, and did what he wanted and had a spot on the board and everything…it was the new owners who opted to put Triple H in charge of creative and effectively cut Vince out.
He got everything he wanted…and then he got shut down.