The most prominent way Hangman Page was involved in last year’s drama surrounding CM Punk & AEW was via his mention of “worker’s rights” in a promo he cut at Punk on Dynamite. That was allegedly what led to Punk’s unscripted callout of Page shortly before everything came to head after All Out.
But based on his remarks at the post-PPV media scrum before the locker room scrum that’s become known as Brawl Out, there was another issue Punk seemed to have with Hangman. That stemmed from a Q&A Page did at Galaxycon in Raleigh, North Carolina last July, where the Anxious Millennial Cowboy was asked about taking advice and replied:
“Oh boy, I don’t know, I’m stubborn, I don’t take advice. It’s a good question and that’s probably the honest answer. I listen to people say things, but very rarely do I listen hard. I was part of the movement that created the entire company and I’m a World champion. I don’t know that I need their advice. I’ll certainly listen, but there is something to be said about trial and error and doing it on our own. I take more pride in that.”
Punk’s scrum performance made clear his thoughts on that answer:
“Our locker room, for all the wisdom and brilliance it has, isn’t worth shit when you have an empty-headed idiot, who has never done anything in the business do public interviews and say, ‘I don’t really take advice.’ Who the fuck do you think you are? That’s stupid. I’m on a team with Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, and I don’t need to work on my swing. I’m not gonna listen to these guys. Fucking go fuck yourself.”
And that’s been all we’ve heard on this particular aspect of the Punk/AEW situation for months. Until today (April 18), when Page posted this to a Story on his Instagram:
the reports that i ‘don’t take advice’ have been greatly exaggerated, perhaps by no one more so than me. advice and feedback, particularly from those who have come before, have always been and always will be welcomed and appreciated. my self-deprecating and dry insistence otherwise just comes from a place of being more personally interested in wrestling as an art than a sport. it would’ve been hollow for Picasso to try to paint a mona lisa.
i kinda thought i’d have been asked about it by now and could’ve clarified. i just wouldn’t want any of the older generation, especially those whose work with us is vital and unknown to fans, to feel that their wisdom is dismissed.
i am also still in search of the cheese puffs. let me know if you find them. thank you.
The cheese puffs sign-off is a reference to this week’s Being The Elite. The rest is a fairly reasonable explanation for his comments from last year. It may still rub some the wrong way, but at least it’s a more relatable position that comes off as significantly less arrogant.
Question is, is he clarifying now simply for the reasons he mentions — that no one ever asked for a clarification, and he doesn’t want behind-the-scenes veterans to feel slightly? Or is this meant as an olive branch given it looks like Punk’s return to AEW is a fait accompli? Could it be a way to tell the world Punk never reached out to get Page’s explanation for any of his words that upset Punk so much? Has covering all the he said/he said behind this seemingly never-ending story broken my brain?
Sound off below.