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Kevin Nash on CM Punk: burnt out, working through pain, 'I commend him'

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The always outspoken Kliq and NWO member spoke to our own Jason Martin about his dealings with Punk and his impressions on his exit from WWE.

WWE.com

In his great interview with cSs' own Jason Martin (follow him on Twitter @GuyNamedJason) on Squared Circle Radio (which you can catch on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville, or online right here), Kevin Nash touched on all the hot button pro wrestling issues of the day.

And almost three months since he left WWE, that still includes CM Punk.

Echoing the sentiment that Mick Foley expressed in his Facebook post on the subject last week, Nash talked about his experiences working with Punk and getting to see both the physical toll it was taking on him, but also how his patience for the backstage process at WWE was wearing thin:

I got the chance to hang around him a little and get to know him a little bit. And I was there during the Rumble when they were putting the Rumble together. He just kind of looked at me, you know like he just gave me these eyes like 'do you believe this?' You know, it's like this guy is putting this match together and he shouldn't be putting this match together. It should be the guys putting the match together. I could just tell that he was...

The thing is, you know, Phil's not a small guy but he's not a big guy either. And he's one of the guys, he takes a lot of punishment on a nightly basis. He had a heating pack on his back and he was walking around that day and a year ago when we, he and I, were on the road together and we were in London working we fell asleep, like side by side on the floor. I woke up and I was paralyzed. It was just a couple hours asleep on the floor. I woke him up and I was like, dude, I can't move if you don't get up. So he got up and he got some heat on his back. We were in the trainer's room and we were talking. I just asked him what his condition was. He really hadn't even had an MRI at that point. I think he's gotten an MRI since then and I think he's got some degeneration in his lower back.

The former WWE and WCW Superstar also had the impression that many behind the scenes and in the stands share, that the man behind the character was financially shrewd both in how he lived his life and handled his income:

A guy like him, man, it just... One thing that Chief Jay Strongbow told me when I first got in was 'get you a place and pay cash for it. Then you always have a lifeboat and you don't need the business.' ... I think Phil lives in a town house and he doesn't... you know, he's not one of those guys that's going to have 15 cars. He's one of those simple guys. He was an indie guy for probably 10 to 12 years before he made it on top. That's a lot of miles, and he works a lot more aggressive style than I ever did, so he's got wear and tear on him. At some point he probably saved $4 or 5 million. Really, if it's in a Lincoln National Fund with a five-percent return you don't need much more than that. I'm sure he's smart, he's a smart guy. I'm sure he's looked at it.

Nash sees a guy who had worked hard to reach the top but whose body is hurting, who wasn't loving what he was doing anymore and wasn't dependent on WWE or the pro wrestling business for money.

Yeah, he came back for some money but when you're in that spot and you're just burned out you don't do anybody any good. You don't do yourself any good, you don't do the company any good. Yeah, he missed a payday but Steve missed some paydays too when Steve decided he was burnt out.

I commend him. If you don't need them, then you have the power. If you need them, then you're in trouble.

Obviously, current WWE Superstars aren't going to go against the company policy of not commenting on the situation. But it's interesting that veterans with good working relationships with Vince McMahon, Triple H and the company they run - such as Nash, Foley and Steve Austin - are all vocally supportive of Phil Brooks.

From a company with a history of burying people or characters that it believes to have somehow wronged them, that's worth taking note of. As time goes by and more voices frame the situation, the picture being painted is much different from the "walk out" scenario that many of us assumed occurred in late January and early February.

Do the statements from industry legends in support of Punk change your opinion?

If you missed Nash's thoughts on Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker and the end of The Streak, you can read Geno's post about them here. And definitely give Jason and his co-hosts Brandon Haghany and David Reed's show a listen.