CM Punk leaves WWE weeks before 'Wrestlemania XXX'?

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In a surprising turn, it seems one of WWE's biggest stars has taken a leave of absence from the company less than three months before "Wrestlemania XXX," their biggest annual show.

According to the Wrestling Observer, CM Punk has left WWE following a meeting with CEO Vince McMahon on Monday (Jan. 27). The news is surprising, given how WWE was building toward Punk having one of the marquee matches at "Wrestlemania XXX," against Triple H.

After lasting 50 minutes in Sunday's "Royal Rumble" match, Punk was noticeably absent from both "WWE RAW" on Monday and Tuesday's taping of "Smackdown." He has also been removed from WWE's live event schedule for the foreseeable future.

The usually vocal Punk has remained silent about the issue on Twitter, save for one message to the fans sent Monday morning. "Thanks for all the support," he writes. "Keep being you guys, it's pretty cool." In an interview with an MMAFighting.com on Thursday (Jan. 23), Punk admitted that he wasn't sure if he would be staying with WWE when his contract with the company expires in July.

The whole thing could also be a larger part of a story WWE is telling. After all, this isn't the first time Punk possibly leaving the company has become an important part of the show. In 2011, his contract became a story line that saw him winning the WWE Championship the night it expired. He ended up returning to the company and enjoyed a record-breaking championship reign. As part of the story he also had gave one of the most memorable promos in WWE history, which you can watch below.

UPDATE: According to TMZ, the tipping point for Punk was learning that Batista was returning to the company to headline "Wrestlemania XXX," because he didn't think Batista was in good enough shape for the main event match on the show. Punk reportedly feels like he earned the right to appear in the main event after all of his hard work and wasn't happy about being booked to face Triple H elsewhere on the show.

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