CM Punk: Nick Khan Is A Main Reason I’m Back In WWE, I Probably Wouldn't Be If It Wasn’t For Him

CM Punk highlights Nick Khan as an important player in his return to WWE.

CM Punk electrified the wrestling world with his return to WWE at WWE Survivor Series 2023. As previously reported by Fightful Select, the deal came together very quickly, and very few people knew about it ahead of time. Punk previously left WWE and wrestling altogether in 2014, but he signed with AEW in 2021. Over the years, fans have wondered whether Punk considered going back to WWE.

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Speaking with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, CM Punk was asked whether he had considered going back to WWE before he went to AEW.

"Yeah," Punk said. [Helwani asked if it got close] "Yeah. Yeah, like, ‘okay. this is done.’ Even before Backstage. I thought Backstage was going to be a backdoor way to get me in. I told everybody from Fox, ‘Look, I want to work for you guys, it sounds like fun. If it's tied to getting me back, we’re not going to have the greatest business relationship.’ At that time, I had a handshake thing, things were in place, and then it didn’t happen. They were like, ‘No, we’re hiring you to be an analyst. We bought the TV rights from SmackDown. It’s not different than Brett Favre doing football,'" Punk said.

Helani then asked what the plan was and who was leading the charge. Punk noted that it did not get done, but Nick Khan had been trying to get him back for a long time.

"It didn’t get done. I think it was Nick Khan. I think since the day I stepped out, Nick has been trying to draw me back in," Punk said.

Helwai directly asked Punk whether he would be back if Nick Khan was not the CEO, and he answered, "Probably not."

When Helwani asked whether Khan was the difference-maker, Punk noted that he thought so, as he helped open the door to having a conversation. He made it clear that issues from the past were water under the bridge.

"I think so. Just in regards to having a conversation, which is something I was never adverse to. Talking to Triple H, sure. It’s all water under the bridge. I remember texting him and being like, ‘Hey man, I’m about to get married. Can I call you when I’m back from my Honeymoon and we can talk?’ That was my attitude. Famously, I got papers FedEx’d overnight. That was my biggest tipping point. It wasn’t because I was upset about that, it was the intent was fucking dirty. We talked about all this," Punk said.

Punk then reiterated that it was water under the bridge when Helwani asked whether he had cleared it up.

During the interview, Punk also provided an update on his recovery from the torn triceps he suffered at WWE Royal Rumble. Check out his comments here.

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