CM Punk Talks AEW Return, 'I Was Either Going To Sit At Home Or Get Some People On TV And Do Fun Shows

CM Punk knew that his return to AEW wasn't going to work out.

Following the events of Brawl Out in September 2022, many fans thought that they had seen the last of CM Punk in the world of professional wrestling. Instead, the 'Best In The World' ended up returning to the company on the debut episode of Collision in June 2023.

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Only months later, Punk was fired from AEW after being involved in a backstage altercation with Jack Perry at AEW All In.

While speaking to Ariel Helwani on a recent episode of The MMA Hour, Punk explained that he came back to AEW because he didn't want to sit at home, noting that Tony Khan would not let him go.

"I have a lot of friends there. Even though I thought the separate show and separating everyone without getting everyone in a room and squashing it was not going to work, part of me was like, ‘Well, he’s not going to let me go. I’m either going to sit at home or I can try to do some good and if I can get a crew of people on television and do some fun shows, that sounded fun to me.’ Preferably, I would like to be out of here and then everyone is happy. I don’t do this because I need to. I do it because I want to and it’s supposed to be fun, especially at this level."

Helwani then went on to ask Punk if he ever had a moment where he thought things could end up working out.

"No. I knew, ‘this is never going to work.’ It’s not the way you facilitate things. I’ll always go back to so many stories in wrestling with people flying off the handle, socking each other, and then going on to make money. How many times does it happen on the basketball court? It happened a couple of years ago in a NHL practice game. The St. Louis Blues started beating the shit out of each other. To me, that’s life and where I came from. To others, it’s the most outrageous thing in the world. I’m the devil."

The 'Best In The World' was then asked about a line in his Collision return promo where he talked about counterfit bucks.

"No." Punk said when he asked if the line was off script. "Going back to the Pipebomb. A lot of things that people don’t understand, ‘Oh, it’s a shoot promo.’ I never do anything that exposes the business. I know where the line is and I know where to dip my toe over the line. It changed the landscape of WWE. The reason I said Paul Heyman’s name and Brock Lesnar’s name is because I was not supposed to. Persona non-grata. To me it’s not that big of a deal, mentioning these two guys names, but everybody, because they knew the rules and parameters and that would specifically piss somebody off, I said it. To me, I’m getting away with murder, but I haven’t even kicked the dog. Everything I said was related to everything on television. Same with that line. If you want to think I was talking about somebody because I was talking about currency and bucks, that’s on you, but that’s the magic of CM Punk. I know where the line is. I say and do things that make you go, ‘This is phony bullshit, but that guy. That guy is real.’ If now I’m real and I’m absolutely insane and everyone backstage hates me and I’m this diabolical person who is going to whip your ass if you do some fucked up shit. Great."

Elsewhere in the interview, Punk revealed that somebody told him that they were grateful to have Punk back in WWE so he could experience the culture that he helped create. Learn more here.

Punk is set to appear at WrestleMania 40, as he will be on commentary for the World Heavyweight Championship match between Seth Rollins and Drew McIntyre. Learn more here.

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