Ricky Starks On How Working With CM Punk In AEW Has Helped Him

Ricky Starks opened up on the experience of working with CM Punk, both as an ally and rival, in the weeks since "AEW: Collision" started. In an interview with Alicia Atout, he revealed that the storyline has given him a sense of renewal. 

"It's been really good for me, I feel like I have a renewed sense of myself, and I have a renewed sense of, like, something of substance," Starks said. 

He described that in CM Punk's 2021 feud with Team Taz – which saw Punk face Powerhouse Hobbs – he felt "some type of way" as he also wanted to get in the ring with someone like Punk. Someone, as he explained, who had worked in the 2000s independent scene, and both the pre and post-PG versions of WWE, before coming to AEW. 

"He's one of the very few, him, Bryan [Danielson], you know people like that, that have gone through that system and they know, they've seen all those different phases of wrestling. So it's great to have that just because iron sharpens iron and I think being in there with Punk obviously makes me a better person, because in my head there's a lot of pressure that I put on myself to step up to the plate, so to speak. As they say on the internet, it's sink or swim, and I've been swimming quite a bit so it's great, it really is."

He admitted that while it's cool to wrestle with those he feels are on his level, he wants to fight upward and work with someone that is way better than he is. He wants to be cutting promos against someone with the ability to destroy him. That way he can hone his craft and see where it goes. Recently, Starks hailed Punk as wrestling's last true superstar.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Alicia Atout with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.