CM Punk’s most memorable angle during his WWE run involved him lambasting Vince McMahon and his inner circle. His exit from the company involved getting fired on his wedding day, and a bitter legal fight that led to the end of his relationship with a close friend. Punk’s spoken about how working for McMahon at WWE not only sapped his love of pro wrestling, but also left him generally angry and depressed.
So to say there’s still some bad blood there is more than fair. Maybe that’s what coloring his take on how the company will change Vince gone. He did once refer to new co-CEO Stephanie McMahon and EVP of Talent Relations & Creative Paul “Triple H” Levesque as “his idiotic daughter and his doofus son-in-law,” after all.
Or maybe Punk’s just saying what no one else will say?
You can decide after reading his comments at San Diego Comic-Con (via Absolute Geek Podcast):
“You think because he [Vince McMahon] tweeted that ‘I’m retired’ that he’s not going to be hands-on?
“I don’t think the structure there, I don’t think the — what’s the word I’m looking for — I don’t think the culture there changes at all. I think it is what it is.
“I’ll put it to you like this. They — oh boy, people are going to be real fucking mad about this, but fuck it. Mercedes [Sasha Banks] and Trinity [Naomi] leave, and they announce on SmackDown that, ‘Gosh darn, we are so disappointed in them, they really let our fans down.’
“Brock splits. Comes back, obviously, I know he worked the show. Where is Michael Cole saying, ‘Brock Lesnar really let these fans down.’ I walked out. I walked out, they went on TV and called me a quitter. What’s changed? What’s the difference? You’re going to attack these two fucking poor women who’ve just kind of had enough and they walked. They have bigger balls than everybody there.
“So what’s changed? There’s nothing much that’s changed. There’s people that talk about it and there’s people that do it. The people who lick the boots and have the audacity to go on live television and say that about those two women. Fucking cowards and bootlickers. Shit’s ridiculous. Why didn’t they do it to Brock? They did it for me. You know?
“I don’t know — it’s none of my business.”
A lot of folks were comparing the Sasha & Naomi and Brock situations last Friday. While it was a striking difference, I’m not sure that something that happened hours after McMahon’s tweet proves anything. And would burying Brock have made how the Women’s Tag champs were treated any better? I’d rather see Michael Cole issue an on-air apology on behalf of the company rather than see more people’s actions being shamed.
But part of that is because I, perhaps naively, want to believe the worst stories we’ve heard about WWE over the years will become things of the past now that McMahon — and “glad handed, nonsensical douchebag yes men like John Laurinaitis” — aren’t backstage every show. I want performers whose work I enjoy to work somewhere free of that kind of bullshit, and selfishly want to enjoy their work without worrying about it.
Although he may bitter, someone like Punk has insight into the situation I never will. Maybe he’s right?
Sound off below, Cagesiders.