CM Punk returned to the USA Network this past Monday night on RAW, but this does not necessarily imply that he has been assigned to the red brand.
Punk was seemingly in good spirits backstage, according to Fightful Select. Punk reportedly spent much of the day taking photographs in an official capacity and also with talent/fans. Fightful also noted the following:
“Those that we heard from said he was on his best behavior as anticipated, and with good reason – some in WWE were told by higher ups that there is a behavior clause associated with his contract, which we’ve yet to confirm.”
Punk is listed as a “free agent” on the WWE’s internal roster, according to PWInsider. This essentially means that he can appear on both Raw and SmackDown. Of course, wrestlers have appeared on multiple brands in the past, but for the most part, the rosters are kept separate for the majority of the year.
In Punk’s case, expect to see him on both RAW and SmackDown for the time being. Punk appears to be heading toward a feud with Seth Rollins, and that match appears to be saved for WrestleMania, so one would expect him to primarily appear on RAW when that storyline begins.
As PWMania.com previously reported, according to Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso, Punk vs. Roman Reigns is planned after the Rollins feud. Punk would then mostly appear on the SmackDown brand at the time.
Punk’s comeback on Monday was a success. His return boosted overnight viewership to 1,884,000, up from 1,459,000 the previous week. The key demo was 0.56, up from 0.49 overnight last week. WWE is obviously pleased, and as we approach WrestleMania season in January, it’s expected that numbers will rise as they no longer have to compete with Monday Night Football.