CM Punk discusses the potential of All Elite Wrestling while taking a shot at WWE.
A couple of MMA losses aren't getting CM Punk down. The former WWE Champion is set to be part of the broadcast team for the Cage Fury Fighting Championships event on Dec. 14 in Atlantic City, NJ. He recently finished filming The Girl on the Third Floor, a horror film scheduled to be released in 2019. Although Punk has been away from the wrestling business since leaving WWE in January 2014, his name will be forever linked to sports entertainment.
Speaking to Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting, Punk was asked about All Elite Wrestling, the rumored promotion headed by Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks, and whether or not he would entertain an offer from the group.
"I would always listen. I would listen to them, because just like Dave (Sholler), I like the Young Bucks. I text with Matt on and off. But business is business," said Punk. "I know Cody was out there in the media saying that an offer was made [for the All In event Sept. 1]. An offer was not made. Calling me up or texting me saying, ‘Hey, if you want to come to the show and do something, we would love that’ is not an offer. That’s not an offer."
Cody reportedly made an offer to Punk to appear at All In in Chicago on Sept. 1. However, Punk refuted the report that an official offer was made. Punk was in Chicago that weekend and made an appearance at a Pro Wrestling Tees meet-and-greet the day before All In.
When asked for his thoughts on Cody and the Young Bucks potentially starting their own promotion, Punk expressed his excitement for the group and took shots at his former employer in the process.
"I think at this point that whatever those guys decide to do will be great for them and their families. If I was asked what I would do or what I would say to them — because they could obviously go to WWE whenever they want — it’s just a matter of is this what’s best for your family? And I think we live in a time now where WWE is not the end-all, be-all. I don’t think it has been for quite some time," he said. "I think the stigma that it is is still there and probably will persist for many, many years. But enough people have been there and left that can, I guess, extoll the knowledge of, ‘Hey, you know what, the place ain’t all that.’ And I’m in a spot now where I’ve been gone what, five years? Maybe the place has changed. I’ve got people who text me and say otherwise, but there’s ways to make money and support your family outside of that." Punk continued, "With also being able to satisfy the side of your brain that’s creative, the side of your brain that loves professional wrestling, the reason you bought a pair of boots in the first place. And I think those guys can definitely do that. I think they can command their price if they want there. But if they did go there, then they’d just be another guy — just like everybody else on that show. It’s amazing, the more time the show gets, the less time it really seems they develop new characters."
Despite being off WWE television for nearly five years, fans still chant "CM Punk" in WWE arenas. The chants were heard on a recent episode of SmackDown where Shane McMahon was announced as the "Best in the World" following his WWE World Cup victory at Crown Jewel.
Punk ended the interview by saying, "There’s a couple more loose ends that I’m still trying to tie up to fully absolve me from the world of pro wrestling. I feel like I’ve still been attached to it since the day that I left it and that’s mostly because of fugazi lawyers and such. But we’re wrapping all that up and that’ll come to an end. And once I’m truly free, we can explore the world and just float and hang out."
Prior to his UFC fight in June, Punk and Colt Cabana were found not guilty in their defamation lawsuit brought forward by WWE doctor Chris Amann. Following their victory in court, Cabana sued Punk for the cost of legal fees and other damages stemming from the Amann trial. Punk made a recent appearance on WGN in Chicago and stated that it would take "a time machine" for him to return to wrestling.