The highly anticipated return of the elusive CM Punk to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) actually happened several weeks ago, though few fans realized it because he has been portraying masked luchador Sin Cara.
Punk had been on a so-called “sabbatical” from WWE since January, and most fans expected his eventual return to be a much-ballyhooed affair, but the unpredictable Punk opted for a subtler approach.
Since early last month, Punk has been performing lucha libre-style matches as Sin Cara, a role previously portrayed by a revolving cast of wrestlers including Luis Urive, Hunico and, briefly, the versatile Mark Henry.
Punk has been able to maintain anonymity in the role thanks to the mask, long Spandex sleeves, and ubiquitous colored “mood lighting,” which has prevented fans from seeing his telltale tattoos.
A number of fans in online wrestling forums, however, have pointed out that Sin Cara has seemed “different” lately, largely due to the relative infrequency of his tradmark “botches.”
Other fans pointed out that Sin Cara’s mannerisms have seemed a little smarmy and self-righteous lately, and that he generally appears to be not impressed.