Matt Hardy Recalls Tension Backstage In WWE Around CM Punk

CM Punk is at the center of controversy in AEW, as he reportedly was involved in a fight backstage following AEW's All Out pay-per-view on Sunday. However, Punk has been a polarizing figure long before now.

AEW star Matt Hardy and Punk were in WWE at the same time more than a decade ago, and Hardy recalled there being tension backstage surrounding Punk.

"Some people in the office were very split on [Punk]," Hardy said on "The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy." "Paul Heyman was a big advocate for CM Punk, obviously, around that time. But I do know that there were forces in the office that weren't high on Punk and they didn't really want him to come up to the main roster. ... He overcame a lot of odds. ... I do remember there [was] some guy who just had issues with him because he was very outspoken about things, you know, and was very outspoken about the whole straight edge thing."

Despite not everyone in the office being a supporter of his, Punk went on to have a very successful career in WWE. He started out in ECW in 2006, and by 2008 he was already World Heavyweight Champion. Punk went on to become a Triple Crown champion, winning the WWE Tag Team Championships once, the Intercontinental Championship once, and the World Championship five times, with his final reign lasting 434 days. Punk left WWE in 2014 and returned to professional wrestling last September at All Out 2021. Punk has since won the AEW World Championship on two different occasions, most recently at All Out. 

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. or the transcription.