Fresh off his victory over WWE’s Dr. Chris Amann in court and just days away from his second mixed martial arts fight against Mike Jackson at UFC 225, CM Punk sat down with his semi-regular conversation with Ariel Helwani of our sister site, MMAFighting.com.
It’s a worthwhile 20 minutes, mostly covering the trial and his MMA career, but also the ever-looming question of a return to what Punk calls “the fake world”.
Of his recently completed legal journey, Punk says he’s “on the fence” about a countersuit to recoup his legal costs. He believes the case was “intentionally done just to bleed me of money”. Punk also won’t say whether or not he thinks its the case, but that Helwani’s questioning if WWE may have tried to delay the trial’s start to get it closer to his fight week “if you know them and if you worked there, it makes a lot of sense”.
He’s more nervous before his fight Saturday in Chicago than he was before his Sept. 2015 debut in Cleveland. Punk never doubted that he’d fight again after that one-sided, first round loss, but wasn’t sure it would be with UFC. He also says he’s honestly not sure if he’ll fight again after the Jackson bout, win or lose, but it sounds like he wants to.
The money quote for a humble wrestling blogger like yours truly comes at the very end. Punk affirms what he told WrestleZone yesterday, that he is not All In. But gives an interesting answer about possibly wrestling again. And yes, we’re doing exactly what he says we would and interpreting it the way we want to hear it...
“Nobody has ever asked me, like straight up asked me to come wrestle for them. Nobody.
Not since I left [WWE]. There’s been ‘Oh hey, uh, if you ever wanted to do anything” - and I know what this gonna sound like to a lot of people and everyone is always gonna find a way to spin it to make sure whatever they want to have happen happens, but I just like - nobody’s ever been like ‘Hey, here’s the deal. We’re having a show, we’re gonna pay you x amount, you’re working this guy - what do you say? Yes or no?’
Nobody’s ever done that. Everybody’s always been like, ‘Hey, you know, if you want to ever maybe do something’, and you know, to me that’s absolutely not an offer.”
Pressed on if he’d be open to a “real offer”, Punk answered:
“[sigh] I don’t think so. But it’s a hard question to answer. You know, a lot’s happened this week. I could definitely tell you, if you asked me that question a week ago when I felt like I still had a foot in the grave so to speak? The answer’s no, I don’t want anything to do with it. You know? I feel like I’m out and the future is yet to be written, it’s a wide open book, it’s my story to tell - I’m just being real. You know me, I’m always honest with you. I’m always probably honest to a fault. And you know, I’m not gonna sit here and be like, ‘No, no’. You know, something might come up. Some fun might be had. But right now my heart and my mind and my focus is 100% on Saturday and fighting. So does that mean fighting beyond Saturday? To me, yes.”
It’s a long version of that old wrestling chestnut “never say never”, but it offers more reason to hope than we had before. Considering the scorched earth approach represented by the trial, I still wouldn’t count on that comeback being with WWE... but I imagine some folks will be making CM Punk “real offers” after hearing this interview.