More than four years after CM Punk left WWE, and three and a half years after the podcast interview which triggered a defamation lawsuit to be filed against Punk and host Colt Cabana by company doctor Chris Amman first aired, the trial began yesterday (May 29) in Cook County, Illinois.
According to reports from PWInsider and Chicago Tribune reporter Gregory Pratt, the day was spent on playing the episode of Cabana’s podcast, The Art of Wrestling, which featured Punk claiming Amann dismissed and misdiagnosed a growth on his back which was later found to be a MRSA (Staph) infection, and the start of Amann’s testimony refuting the claim and detailing the damage it did to his reputation.
Amann is expected to continue testifying today, as the legal teams for both sides are said to be taking a “thorough” approach. It’s speculated that could lead to a long trial (it’s already resulted in Cabana needing to reschedule an indie show this Friday (June 1)).
Pratt said the courtroom was mostly empty except for the participants. All involved were understandably taking matters in the potentially multi-million dollar suit seriously, although Punk was “visibly amused” by some “over-the-top” comments he and Cabana made on the podcast. The reporter also commented that Punk “looked good and fit” ahead of his scheduled fight with Mike Jackson next Sat., June 9 at UFC 225.
The trial continues today.