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If you doubt that CM Punk loves wrestling, watch him talk to Bret Hart

You can’t label yourself a “sociopathic straight-edge atheist jerk” and not rub a significant amount of people the wrong way. Even big CM Punk fans like myself acknowledge that. Heck, Phil Brooks himself recognizes it. He just doesn’t care... hence the sociopath part. He’s polarizing, as his former employers like to say.

But in the years where Punk left WWE - where he got into a public relations battle with the company & what ended up being a legal battle with their medical team, made a controversial move to mixed martial arts, had a big falling out with Colt Cabana, didn’t sign with AEW despite both sides talking about each other publicly a lot, then did sign with Fox to talk about WWE but still not express interest in returning to the ring he walked away from back in 2014 - some folks have become convinced he hates wrestling.

It’s one of the reasons I dig his appearances on FS1’s WWE Backstage. Sure, he’s snarky. But a part of him still loves this weird business/art in all the goofy and intense flavors it comes in.

That’s most apparent when he gets to talk about it with someone he respects, like Daniel Bryan. Or someone he idolizes, like the man who was on the June 16 episode with him - Bret Hart.

For starters, Punk wasn’t even supposed to be on last night. He worked to get booked just a couple weeks after his last appearance just so he’d have a chance to gab it up with the Hitman. First, they covered some history, talking Bret’s mid-90s history with Steve Austin, and where Stone Cold ranks among Hart’s favorite “dance partners”.

Then, Renee Young prompts The Best In The World to tell The Best There Is, The Best There Was, and The Best There Ever Will Be about seeing Bret vs. Owen live in Chicago at SummerSlam 1994. You can’t watch Punk thank Hart for “how you made me feel” watching that cage match live and think he hates pro wrestling.

We also get Bret describing the challenges of working in the old WWF blue cage, and lamenting he would have rather worked a ladder match with his brother if Shawn Michaels & Scott Hall hadn’t stolen the idea from him.

The two also discussed Edge and Randy Orton’s “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever” at Backlash, and they both gave it significantly better than 4/10!

So yeah. There are lots of valid beefs to have with the Punkster. But “hates wrestling” isn’t one of them.

Hart catching up with Booker T about their WCW days was pretty great, too. Bret of course including Goldberg kicking him in the head on his list of reasons why he wished he never signed with WCW, becauseThe Hitman will never not bring that up. And we got to revisit this classic promo!

That El Dandy was a jam up guy.

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