Who’s the man under the mask?

The 350 people who filed into the Knights of Columbus building in West Allis, Wisc., on Friday for a local wrestling show had no idea that they caught of glimpse of one of the biggest names in wresting. 

At one point in the show, a man in a mask and a hoodie came running through a door and into the ring to interfere in a match. The masked man hopped in the ring, hit a very famous WWE finishing move and ran back out. The whole thing lasted about 20 seconds. 

But little did they know, the guy under the mask was none other than former WWE Champion and UFC fighter CM Punk. 

Rumors of Punk’s involvement began to swirl when a wrestling fan on Twitter noticed that Punk had been “liking” tweets from the small independent show. Further digging revealed that Punk was wearing the same hoodie as the masked man when he took a photo with a fan at a Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament in the same town the next day. 

Punk’s exit from WWE and the world of pro wrestling was extremely messy. He left in January 2014 and vowed never to return, burning bridges with WWE by ripping the company in a lengthy podcast interview that led to a defamation lawsuit brought by a WWE doctor. Even as his UFC career failed to amount to anything, Punk has refused to return to wrestling and everyone assumed he’d never been seen in that world again, which is what makes his shocking return at a random show on the outskirts of Milwaukee all the more incredible. 

But it turns out this isn’t even the first time Punk has pulled a stunt like this. In December 2015, Punk appeared at a small show in Chicago as a mysterious hooded figure and word didn’t get out until Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp reported on it this weekend. 

Punk also said in a 2016 interview before his UFC debut that you may just see him “in a ninja f---ing outfit” wrestling some day, just never anything televised. 

CM Punk 3 years ago on a potential return to wrestling: Its not going to be anything televised, it’s gonna be me in a ninja f*cking outfit, wrestling one of my buddies from r/SquaredCircle

You never know, anybody you see wearing a mask in the upper midwest could be CM Punk. 

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