Right now the WWE seems to be doing pretty well. Daniel Bryan is getting a much deserved push and the fans have showed no signs of turning on him. Even with his current injury, he should be able to return with a lot of momentum. After the botched return of Batista he has naturally shifted into becoming a top heel. John Cena is busy with Bray Wyatt and in doing so has raised the Wyatt Family’s stock no matter who comes out on top in this feud.
Two noticeable wrestlers yet to retire who have been absent during this phase are Chris Jericho and CM Punk. Jericho has not appeared since the summer of 2013 and Punk left in early 2014.
Departures for both are nothing new. Jericho is busy with his musical and acting career while Punk has continuously threatened to leave the company whenever he felt unhappy. Expecting one or both of these men to return sometime in 2014 would come as no surprise, but does the WWE need them?
A return from Jericho would probably be like any of the others he has made in the last several years. He will come in and instantly feud with someone, exchanging wins at Pay Per Views. Jericho is known for always being willing to put over a younger talented wrestler. When the Wyatts are finished with Cena, Jericho could be the perfect guy to step in as their next challenger.
Unfortunately because there is only one main event title now there has to be a story for any returning wrestlers other than wanting the belt which means relying on the creative team. With only few exceptions, the fans will not accept something done this half-heartedly.
A big reason why Batista was instantly booed after returning had to do with him coming into the Royal Rumble and winning without any buildup. Jericho might be one of the few wrestlers who could come in and instantly challenge for the WWE Title, however he is talented enough to carry a feud over a grudge or war of words. Since he was “injured” by Ryback before departing, a Summerslam feud with another Paul Heyman guy like Brock Lesnar could be one thing for Jericho to do when he returns.
As for CM Punk, he left the WWE on worse terms than Jericho. Even so they would love to have him back for merchandising alone. A feud with Daniel Bryan once he is healthy would be great, although that has been done before. What seems to really be handicapping the WWE right now is that Batista, Randy Orton, and Triple H are all involved in the same storyline as is Kane. Once Bryan finishes beating them he will need someone new to move onto and they will need someone new to pick on.
The WWE doesn’t necessarily need either of these two superstars back on the roster. The benefit of one returning would significantly update the direction several superstars go in as this will bring one already established star back into the picture.