CM Punk's shocking return to WWE last week at Survivor Series and sent fans into overdrive with speculation about what the future holds during this reunion, and it looks like one of the most sought-after dream matches could be in the cards.
Fightful Select reports that the long-desired -- but until recently all-but-impossible -- dream match between Punk and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is "a possibility," according to WWE sources. Many in the company are hopeful "and even optimistic" that the match could actually take place, the site reports, noting that Punk himself has had discussions about the possibility.
One source told Fightful that several ideas already have been suggested between the company and Punk. While it's unclear how far along these conversations have progressed, the "ideal scenario" would involve Punk traveling to Stone Cold to discuss ideas. On the positive front, despite all the rumblings about current superstars not wanting to work with Punk, there are no indications that that sort of friction exists between him and Austin, with those close to Stone Cold indicating that the two send messages to each other every so often.
Austin famously retired from in-ring competition after WrestleMania 19 in 2003, resisting all urges to wrestle again until finally relenting and fighting Kevin Owens at WrestleMania 38 last year.
During his retirement, Austin had a couple of interactions with Punk that sparked fan interest in the potential match. The two verbally sparred during a June 2011 episode of Raw, just two weeks before Punk's legendary "pipe bomb" promo. The confrontation between the two had fans salivating at the idea of the beer-swilling Austin returning to battle the Straight Edge Superstar, but it never came to pass.
Punk and Austin would engage each other again in a video promoting the upcoming WWE '13 video game, openly speculating on who would win a match between the Hall-of-Famer and the then-WWE Champion.
A match between the two certainly would be strong enough to main event night one of WrestleMania 40 -- Austin/Owens main-evented the first night of Mania 38 -- and is one of those long-discarded dream matches that has suddenly come back sharply into focus.
Watch this space.