CM Punk doesn't believe in bucket lists but says that being in the same match as Sting is now one of the items he would put on a bucket list that he never thought he would have the opportunity to.
CM Punk return to professional wrestling officially at AEW All Out 2021. He competed in a generational clash against Darby Allin and when it was over, Darby’s on-screen mentor, Sting came out and shook CM Punk's hand before they both offered to help Darby to his feet in a mutual showing up respect.
Speaking on a post-show media scrum, CM Punk would say that while he never thought he could wrestle Sting, he wants to at least tag with him saying that there is organic chemistry there between the two generational icons.
"Without ever having a bucket list, it'd be hard for me to write things down because I've done so many cool things, but yeah, that's one of them, that's a bucket list thing. It's an item that I never thought I would, you know, because your brain doesn't go there. We were never in the same company at the same time with two different generations of wrestlers and you just, you never thought it was possible, and now it is. That's kind of how I feel about the entire groundswell of AEW as a whole, you know, like you got me, Darby and Sting in a ring and it's legitimately three different generations, you know?"
Punk added, "It feels like there's something there and there's real organic moments here. Like him coming out and shaking my hand. We didn't talk about that. That wasn't a planned thing. He came out and he did it. Before I shook his hand, I looked at him and I was like, 'This means something to a kid like me,' and he said, 'It means something to me too, you know?' That's, that's wild to me. That's the playground we have here, where we could do all the stuff that you didn't ever think was possible."
Later, CM Punk would say that Sting told him that he feels CM Punk did for Darby Allin what Ric Flair did for him at the first Clash of the Champions event in 1988. Famously, Ric Flair and Sting went to a 45-minute draw for the NWA World Championship in a match that many people believe put Sting on the map.
"Sting came up to me today, and, you know, I don't think these guys are lying to me. He was just like, you know, your match with Darby reminded me of what Flair did for me in Greensboro when I went 45 minutes. I mean that's a quote from him, and like, I don't think the dude's gonna lie to me. That means something to kids like me. You know, Sting and I put together our segment from Dynamite the other day and it was just refreshing to have him be like, ‘Oh no, what do you think? I was like, ‘What do you think?’ We went, you know, we did the respectful thing and then we came together, and I thought drew our ideas together and made a pretty good segment. So I'm learning from Sting which is wild. There are familiar faces; Arn, Dean being there, guys like that I will always default to. Guys, what do you think? Jim Ross, what do you think? But I do see younger guys defaulting to me. … I'm here to help somebody if they want the help, but I'm also still learning. There was a point where I was like, I'm not learning anything, this isn't any fun. That's when you know you got to get up, and now I'm back and I’m one of those creative people that are happy to come to work and it's a fun, great learning environment."
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