The impression you get reading transcripts and recaps of CM Punk’s Q & A session at Starrcast III in Schaumburg, Illinois today (Sat., Aug. 31) is that Phil Brooks is lot less angry about the events which led up to and followed his departure from WWE. He’s never struck me as being as anti-wrestling as he seemed to to his biggest critics, but the man clearly needed some distance from a series of events he believes made him mentally & physically sick - and cost him a lot of money. With that distance, Punk sounds like he’s reflecting on his entire career with perspective and even gratitude.
There’s a lot to take in, and we’ll probably have more on the session once all the actual in-ring action of the day is done and we can actually watch the interview conducted by PWInsider’s Mike Johnson. But there are two big newsworthy items which are worth discussing immediately. Quotes courtesy of Fightful.
On whether or not he’ll show up at AEW All Out in Hoffman Estates, Illinois tonight:
“I’m not gonna be anywhere. [Punk’s wife April “AJ Lee” Mendez] was in Los Angeles for a week, week and a half. I haven’t seen her in a minute, so I’m gonna be hanging out with her tonight. I hate to burst anybody’s bubble. Sorry.”
Not that that will change anyone’s minds, but there you go.
Punk also addressed whether he would listen to offers from wrestling companies, including WWE*:
“I wouldn’t not talk to [WWE]. I’m over [what happened when I left]. I’ve been over it for a very long time. It’s in the past. I’m 40 years old and I try to be as zen and as wise as I can be. My life has taught me a lot of times that I would be confrontational when there was no need to be confrontational. I’ll have a conversation with anybody, but I’m not calling them. But if they’re like, ‘Oh hey.’ I’ll talk to you and see what you have to say. But it better be good.”
The report his agent reached out to Fox about a gig hosting WWE’s upcoming FS1 studio show didn’t come up, but this makes it seem a little more plausible. Punk said he’s working on his own show for Stadium, and joked he’d sign with WWE just to immediately tell them he needed time off (that Superstars are getting weeks or months-long breaks from Vince McMahon’s company this year, something Punk asked for while he was there, seemed very interesting in him).
But he also couldn’t/wouldn’t name anyone he’d like to face if he were to return, and seemed happy with where he left his career overall, saying “I think I had a pretty good career.”
We’ll see what happens, but the door kind of feels less closed than it did just a couple weeks ago, doesn’t it?
* UPDATE: Other sites, namely 411mania and Wrestling Inc, have that Punk specifically mentioned Vince and Triple H as who he would take a call from. While they would certainly be representing WWE, it’s worth noting this difference in how the three sites reported this answer.