CM Punk's infamous appearance on The Art of Wrestling podcast in November 2014 in which he detailed his final years in the WWE also included some incendiary comments about Ryback. Ryback recently opened up about Punk's remarks and said he doesn't feel any ill-will towards him or the host of the podcast, Colt Cabana.
Punk spoke with Cabana about the may issues he had with the WWE before his departure. He even made comments that led to him and Cabana being sued by a WWE doctor. He also took aim at Ryback, calling him "steroid guy" and claiming that he is a careless worker who injured him in the ring multiple times. In a recent appearance on The Art of Wrestling podcast, Ryback told Cabana that there's no beef between them.
"I was taken aback by your even apologizing because you never - you were just there, you weren't the one saying the things. It was never between you and me," Ryback said. "I'm not the type of person where, just because you are friends with the guy where you aren't the one that said it. Yes, it was your show, but it's what it is. Not even once did I remotely think, 'God damn, that Colt Cabana, I wish he didn't go there with that.'"
Ryback said he understands where Punk was coming from. He also revealed that some of Punk's fans were so riled up by the comments that they still hate him to this day.
"I remember when that whole thing happened, and even at the time I didn't think it was that big of a deal, but he has such a following where he made some very valid points about the company and his frustrations, it kind of all lumped into one," Ryback said. "Till this day, his followers and fans still hate the idea of me, which sucks because once you do get to know me, they think to themselves, 'Oh, he's not that bad.'
Ryback assured Cabana that they have a civil relationship. As for Punk, he said they were never really best friends, but he also never felt any hate towards him. He believes it call came down to the competition of trying to reach the top of the WWE.
"I always enjoyed being around you, and you were always good to me, so it was just one of those things, and I understand after going through my own things with WWE, everybody has their own personal story and what not, but at that period in time, he and I always going along before that," Ryback said. "We were never friends but we were always civil with one another. He was in his own world and I was in my own world but we would talk occasionally and everything was always pleasant. I think also when you are dealing with that atmosphere and you are talking about top positions in that company, it is a very sensitive thing. The two guys that I 'supposedly' didn't get along with were the two top guys at the time, and it makes sense, I understand it, and you can't take anything personal."
Now with the benefit of hindsight, Ryback said he can relate to Punk's frustrations. He said he had to be a strong performer or he'd end up losing his spot at the top of the card, but he now realizes he could've been more cognizant of Punk's ailments.
"But I too understand, after going through my own back and shoulder injuries, he was really beat up too during that time period and I am a power wrestler. I remember one night giving him a simple power slam and his back was really messed up and he was hurting," Ryback said. "I didn't really know what to do because the one thing with Vince is, if you are a bigger guy and it looks like you are throwing fluff, there's nothing that will kill you off quicker, but at the same time you never want to hurt a guy that really is injured, so the things he said I think he was just really frustrated too. Again, being in a top spot, I just think it all got grouped together."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Art of Wrestling podcast with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: The Art of Wrestling
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.