Eddie Guerrero’s legacy will always live on due to his wrestling skill and charisma. The impact Guerrero has had on the business runs even deeper. CM Punk shared a personal story of a past match with Eddie that he wants to use as inspiration for coming to AEW.
In a conversation with Jim Ross on the countdown show for All Out, Punk explained his goal for joining AEW. The clip starts at 22:09 of the program.
Jim Ross: What do you want to do for this company?
CM Punk: Sigh...
Ross: You’re supposed to say, ‘I want to be the AEW champion.’ See, that’s wrestle speak. But in Phil Brooks’ heart, what do you want to do for this company?
Punk: You know, I got to wrestle Eddie Guerrero quite a few times. I think so many times that a lot of people out there don’t realize it. Eddie famously got rehired. You know, when I met Eddie and got to wrestle him, he was in the midst of a very dark time in his life. So, he had the indies. I don’t think he wanted to be on the indies, you know. I’m sure he was making okay money, but he wasn’t making Eddie Guerrero money. He wasn’t making the money that he should have. And I befriended this guy. And amidst that, he cleans himself up. He gets his job back.
He fulfilled one of his bookings against me in Pittsburgh. The promoter’s name was Norm Connors, Pittsburgh IWC. So, I show up to the building, and I’m like, ‘I’m so happy for you, dude. You know, this is great.’ Promoter comes by and gives us times, says, ‘Oh, by the way, Eddie’s the Intercontinental champion.’ Okay. So, I’m not beating Eddie Guerrero, you know. I think I was the IWC champion at the time. Eddie says, ‘No, I can’t beat your champion. Let’s do a time limit draw.’
Wow, okay. So, now I’m nervous. I got to go, I think it was 30 minutes with Eddie. Can I do this? I like challenges. And I just thought that was super selfless of him. Number one, to fulfill bookings. Not a lot of guys would do that. Number two, to say I don’t got to beat you. I’m not going to be here next week, next month. You are. He’s the champion of a place, that for better or for worse, some day I would like to work at, right?
So, we have this match. The bell rings. The crowd stands on their feet. I’m exhausted. I’m happy its over. You know? Because the dude was a machine. And he grabs the microphone, and he says, ‘Punky, I can’t leave without knowing. I should have been able to beat you.’He said, ‘I want five more minutes, and I’m going to put the IC title on the line.’
This is not talked about beforehand. This is Eddie. I’m going to start crying. And I’m like, ‘Okay.’ So, we lock back up and he says, ‘Sorry, Punky. I got to hit the frog splash.’ And I’m just elated, because I’m a kid and I love pro wrestling and I love Eddie Guerrero.
He hits me with the frog splash, he pins me, and then he gets on the mic. And he says, ‘You’re good. Some day, you’re going to be up there (WWE) and you’re going to wrestle me for this (Intercontinental Championship) up there.’
That’s what I would like to do for this company (AEW). I’m not saying that I’m Eddie Guerrero to any of the kids in this locker room. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. But that spirit of wanting to fulfill dates and wanting to give back and also wanting to challenge young wrestlers with scenarios that aren’t talked about. Pull stuff out of the hat. Learn how to ad lib.
Man, I’ve done, I’ve literally done everything, except come back and tell the story that I want to tell my way. And along the way, if I can be Eddie Guerrero to a kid, I want to do that. There’s so many legends in this business that selflessly helped me. Harley Race. Who ever thought Harley Race would like a kid like me? Eddie Guerrero. Tracy Smothers. I mean, the list goes on and on.
Punk will get his first chance to follow Eddie’s path by wrestling Darby Allin tonight on the All Out PPV.
With Punk’s motivations in mind, which AEW wrestlers would you like to see Punk work with? Which wrestlers would benefit the most from dancing with the best in the world?