After years of being out of the wrestling business, CM Punk decided to work as an analyst for SmackDown a few years back—a deal that was then brokered between he and Fox and not at all between he and WWE, apparently —and in a recent discussion with Renee Paquette on her show, Oral Sessions, he divulged that his time as an analyst wasn’t all that swell and was plagued with incidents that were very reminiscent of his negative experiences as a wrestler for WWE.
The following are some of the comments Punk made on Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette and are based on a transcription by Wrestling Inc.
To Paquette he said:
“…I hadn’t spoken to you since I left probably, rekindled a friendship and was kind of the gateway to opening up the possibility in my head that wrestling could be an option…I don’t know where in the timeline AEW kind of started or launched during the Fox thing…but the Fox thing was too good to be true. It was great. Because people legitimately were like, ‘oh you went back to WWE.’ No, I went to Fox! It’s amazing the way people in the real world treat human beings. Fox flew to Milwaukee, I was in Milwaukee. They were like, ‘we’ll come to Chicago or Milwaukee.’ Jacob Spoon and Ben flew to Milwaukee and it was kind of a formal but informal meeting…”via: Oral Sessions
About his dealings with WWE moving forward at that time, Punk had made his sentiments regarding them quite clear:
“…We ordered food and I was very adamant: ‘guys, I don’t want anything to do with them. I don’t want to work for them. So, I don’t know if this is a Trojan Horse?’ I didn’t want that, and I was like, ‘I want transparency and honesty.’ And they were like, ‘we have SmackDown coming to Fox. We want an analyst show as a lead in or whatever, just like we have a football panel.’ I was like ‘makes sense, it’s a good idea.’ They’re like ‘you’re the guy, you’re the white whale.’ And I was like ‘well, I’m the white whale that probably has nothing good to say.’ But they were like, ‘we need honesty. We’re paying them a lot of money and we hope the show is good.’ I was like, ‘great.’ I thought I was fair on the show. When stuff was bad I was like, ‘eh.’ There was stuff I liked. But I think that was the whole start of possibly the idea. It was just an idea, and working with great people. Everybody at Fox was so great…”via: Oral Sessions
So the experience with Fox and its representatives was good. It turns out that the negativity came from WWE, which was where his earlier troubles stemmed…including the troubles that led to his exit from WWE and pro wrestling altogether.
“…My perspective is, I came up in a place that was a shark tank full of bullies that were protecting their spot…And it wasn’t about what was good or bad or right or wrong, it was what I did was always bad and always wrong. And there were people who ran the show who told me to my face, ‘I don’t get it.’ And I’d be like, ‘well then, what the (expletive) are we doing?’ Cause if I’m in developmental, and to liken it to playing Triple A ball, I want to make it to the major leagues…”via: Oral Sessions
On the bully aspect of the then WWE locker room:
“…I came up around a lot of that, but I think that also makes me a cycle breaker. Kofi (Kingston)’s first day on the road I was like, ‘hey, you’re riding with me.’ He was like, ‘okay, great!’ Because I got there and I was picked on. I was already a grown ass man and I had these other grown ass men picking on me, and I was like, ‘why is this like high school?’ But that’s the culture, that’s what they want. ‘We want you guys to fight and we want you guys to want his spot.’ And I never wanted anybody’s spot. I wanted my own spot…”via: Oral Sessions
He doesn’t mention any names at all, but states of a racist individual who had a problem with Punk to begin with, which explains so much at how he was stifled in the company backstage and publicly when the momentum Punk had garnered from the Pipe Bomb promo of his was extinguished and idiotically so. He says:
“…It just reminds me of when I showed up there and those same people were like, ‘I don’t get it.’ And I was like, ‘well, you’re 65 and you’re racist. I guess I’m super stoked that I’m not for you and you don’t get it.’ It’s not for me to get. It’s for the audience to get. And I think the culture for too long has generated this opinion that is just parroted by fans…”via: Oral Sessions
In the end, a series of negative experiences have led CM Punk to sign with AEW and perhaps the trouble he was dealt was nothing but a blessing in disguise for one of the greatest to ever step in the ring.
And judging by his performance at All Out, it’s safe to assume he isn’t close to being done, yet.