CM Punk is getting ready for his MMA commentary debut next month at the Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC)’s Dec. 14 show in Atlantic City, which will stream on UFC’s Fight Pass service. In support of that, he sat down with Marc Raimondi of our sister site MMAFighting.com. As you may know, Marc is also a pro wrestling fan, and has covered a number of events for Cageside - so given the opportunity to talk to Punk, he squeezed in a few questions about the scripted side of the combat sports world.
You should check out the whole interview here, but if you’re not interested in reading about his approach to broadcasting or his last MMA fight, teammates at Roufusport, etc., we thought we’d dive into the wrestling portion of their conversation.
Asked for his thoughts on the reports Cody Rhodes & The Young Bucks could be starting their own promotion, Punk’s advice both covered familiar ground and revealed he has a little more to say about the pro wrestling business - and WWE in particular - than he’s let on in the past:
“I think at this point that whatever those guys decide to do will be great for them and their families. If I was asked what I would do or what I would say to them — because they could obviously go to WWE whenever they want — it’s just a matter of is this what’s best for your family? And I think we live in a time now where WWE is not the end-all, be-all. I don’t think it has been for quite some time. I think the stigma that it is is still there and probably will persist for many, many years. But enough people have been there and left that can, I guess, extoll the knowledge of, ‘Hey, you know what, the place ain’t all that.’
And I’m in a spot now where I’ve been gone what, five years? Maybe the place has changed. I’ve got people who text me and say otherwise, but there’s ways to make money and support your family outside of that. With also being able to satisfy the side of your brain that’s creative, the side of your brain that loves professional wrestling, the reason you bought a pair of boots in the first place. And I think those guys can definitely do that. I think they can command their price if they want there. But if they did go there, then they’d just be another guy — just like everybody else on that show. It’s amazing, the more time the show gets, the less time it really seems they develop new characters.”
That last sentence sounds like everyone’s critique of WWE main roster programming these days.
On whether or not he’d play a role with the rumored All Elite Wrestling if asked, Punk reiterated that he’s not thinking about a comeback. But he also doesn’t rule it out completely in an answer which both disputes Cody’s claim he was made a “real” offer to work ALL IN and may provide a back door update on the case Colt Cabana brought against him for legal fees related to the Dr. Chris Amann lawsuit:
“I’m not actively pursing really much of anything. I’m just kind of floating. And it’s a nice thing to be able to do and just kind of float and hang out and if somebody wants to pick up the phone like [CFFC part owner and former UFC Vice-President of Public Relations] Dave Sholler did and call me up and say, ‘Hey, we really think you’d be good at this and we want you to be a part of your company,’ they can call me up and make an offer. That has remained to be seen. Pro wrestling is not on my radar.
I would always listen. I would listen to them, because just like Dave, I like the Young Bucks. I text with Matt on and off. But business is business. I know Cody was out there in the media saying that an offer was made [for the All In event Sept. 1]. An offer was not made. Calling me up or texting me saying, ‘Hey, if you want to come to the show and do something, we would love that’ is not an offer. That’s not an offer.
There’s other things. There’s a couple more loose ends that I’m still trying to tie up to fully absolve me from the world of pro wrestling. I feel like I’ve still been attached to it since the day that I left it and that’s mostly because of fugazi lawyers and such. But we’re wrapping all that up and that’ll come to an end. And once I’m truly free, we can explore the world and just float and hang out. And I can walk my dog and drink coffee and do commentary for Dave Sholler and continue to train at Roufusport. And do all kinds of stuff. I’ve earned it, I’ve paid my dues.”
Free of legal entanglements, could Punk “float” back to wrestling? This interview makes it sound like a little bit more of a possibility than it has in the past.
But we still wouldn’t advise holding your breath - or chanting his name at every WWE show you go to.
Read Marc Raimondi’s entire interview with CM Punk at MMAFighting.com here.