CM Punk Gets Candid About WWE Backstage Culture

CM Punk is infamous for leaving wrestling promotions in a cloud of controversy. His initial departure from WWE came due to numerous complaints that Punk had about the backstage politics and the end of PPV royalties with the introduction of the WWE Network. At the post-WWE Clash at the Castle press conference, Punk said that the company had done a 180 since he'd last been there, and he appreciated the changes.


"The climate has changed. It's a completely different culture," Punk said, jokingly mentioning his disdain for the media. "Somebody here...told me that they were extremely happy that I was back to experience the atmosphere and the culture that I started to grow here." Punk says the person told him many changes backstage originated with some kind of issue Punk had during his original tenure.

"It's just a much better place. I'm older. I'm wiser. It's a great crew. The people who like me will know that I'm being earnest and honest and believe me and the people who don't like me will twist [it]," Punk said, calling the changes "magic."

Punk left WWE in 2014, citing creative and personal frustrations. The former WWE Champion spent years away from wrestling, returning in 2021 when he joined AEW. Punk's tenure in AEW was storied, but it came to an abrupt end after a backstage altercation between him and Jack Perry in 2023 made AEW President Tony Khan fear for his life, leading to him ending up back in WWE in November.