I can name one off the top of my head. How about main-eventing a pay-per-view as the World Heavyweight Champion against Undertaker and then, a few months later, being in a dark match against R-Truth at WWE TLC? That's pretty ignorant in my mind. This is the problem. We do this too many times to too many Superstars. It's a startstop kind of thing. The company likes to spotlight certain people. Like, "This week, Kofi's cool," and then, the next week, "We changed out minds we like Dolph this week." It flip-flops back and forth ad nauseam, and the next thing you know, the people couldn't give a crap about either guy.
When did the powers that be really begin to take your leaving WWE seriously?
I told them probably a year out. They would say, "Hey, how about we talk about your contract?" And I would just say, "No, I don't really feel like it." And they would say, "Okay, back off. Punk's crabby and temperamental. We'll get him next week." And the next week it would be, "Hey, let's talk about it." And then maybe eight or ten months out, it was, "Hey, I really want to sit down. We really need to sign you a new deal." And that's when I straight up said, "No, I'm not interested."
Take us back to your title match at WWE Money In The Bank. What did you do differently that day knowing that could have been your last day on the job?
I don't think I did anything different that day. I'm a man of my word. I wasn't going to skip out on my contract earlier. I was going to let it run out. These are the terms I agreed to and the dates I agreed to do, and I was definitely going to finish up. But I think I talked so much about everything and everybody that all eyes were on me and it created a high pressure situation. Thankfully, I thrive very well in those situations. I'd say I pulled it off. All this stuff I talk about, about being the best in the world, I certainly proved it that night. The match went near the 35-minute mark. But I wrestled for 93-minutes one time back in 2002 or 2003 in a Two-Out-Of-Three-Falls Match.
You mentioned on the Bill Simmons BS Report podcast that you had made the decision to come back and resign at WWE Money In The Bank. Do you think your decision was at all clouded a little bit too much by all the emotion going on that day?
I can definitely put it aside. I can be a robot if I need to be. Resigning was something that was on my mind day in and day out whether I was at the gym or sleeping. I was dreaming about it, I was really trying to figure out what the best decision was for me and my future. Call me crazy, but I was also trying to figure out what was the best decision for the company as a whole. I love what we do. I'm not going to get along with everybody I work with. I'm certainly not going to agree with everything all the time, but at the end of the day, I want everybody voice to be heard. I want this place to succeed. So I had to weigh my options.
Another thing we noticed is that you used the "W" word a lot in your tirades these last weeks. how much do you dislike saying "sports-entertainment"?
I don't hate it as much as you would think, but I really do think It's ridiculous when you're not allowed to say "wrestling." At the end of the day, that's what goes on in that ring. That ring is our stage. What we do on that stage is we wrestle. I'm not playing grab-ass. I'm out there fighting to win. Wins and losses mean something. Wrestling happens to be damn entertaining.
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