Raw was in Chicago, CM Punk's hometown. It opened with "Cult of Personality" and Punk's entrance video. After enough time for the fans to celebratory cheer (and for me to say "holy sh*t," then call someone to make they were watching), Paul Heyman walked out on stage and proceeded down the ramp.
This was it. WWE was finally addressing the CM Punk departure.
Heyman sat cross-legged in the ring, and informed the fans this was his "pipe bomb." As only he can, Heyman wove his tale, blaming the fans and, finally, the Undertaker for Punk's departure. This, of course, set up up Brock Lesnar's match against Taker at WrestleMania.
Will this stop desires for Punk to return? Were the fans really cheering for Lesnar at the end of that segment when they once again chanted, "CM Punk?" Yes, the CM Punk chants continued throughout the night, but once again, this was in Chicago and there were those rumors that he would return...
The important part is Heyman beautifully constructed a story around Punk's sudden and previously unexplained departure. He made Punk a part of the story for WrestleMania without Punk having to show up.