Welcome to Wrestling Inc.'s live coverage of CM Punk: Best in the World interview and discussion at Starrcast III in Chicago.
Coverage will begin at 1:00 pm ET and is expected to run for about 90 minutes. The interview will stream on FITE (Starrcast III Weekend Pass is $39.99) and traditional PPV (DirectTV has it listed for $14.95).
* CM Punk comes out to a nice pop (he's wearing a brown leather jacket and an AJ Lee shirt). First topic is about him returning to the pro wrestling world. Punk feels like no matter where he goes it's always a pro wrestling vibe, even when he does different conventions.
* Rumors are mentioned of his FS1 studio co-hosting gig, or when is he coming back. Punk says it's flattering and he'd rather fans ask when he's coming back and not when he's going away. Punk says he's not going to be anywhere in regards to WWE, AEW, or tonight's All Out. Punk says he'll be hanging with his wife tonight, hasn't seen her in a week. Didn't say much about the FS1 rumor.
* Punk talks what's life like now post-WWE. Punk says he's now sleeping in (for the most part) the same bed each night, and he feels fortunate with where he's at now thanks to the support of the fans.
* Asked about some of his recent movie roles and how it feels to play someone different than CM Punk. He enjoys telling a different story from what he did previously in the ring. Jokes that both roles he's been in, the characters have been jerks, so that's what his friends think of him. Punk talks more about his roles and how he hates everything about himself, but he didn't hate his performances. Speaks highly of the cast and people he worked with in the films.
* Talks if he misses any part of wrestling, Punk says he doesn't miss it or pine for it every day, mainly because he got to do so much in his career. Feels like a lot of his stuff holds up still today.
* Asked if there was anyone he wanted to work with. Punk talks about years ago when he approached "Stone Cold" Steve Austin if he wants to give him a stunner at the end of a dark match to send the fans home. Ultimately, Punk told everyone involved Austin would stun everyone. Punk said that was when Austin took a liking to him and tried to prod Austin into having a match. Mentioned wanting to face Marty Scurll, also Kenny Omega, but isn't sure he could keep up with Omega or not.
* Asked about opening the doors for indie wrestler to make it the big leagues. Punk was astonished at the thought that WWE Superstars can now ask for time off (Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins). He was speechless for a moment as he pondered wrestlers getting more time off. Punk says he didn't know if he influenced that, but is happy to hear if people can take time off without getting punished.
* Punk talks about wanting to go home from WWE, getting four days and then getting a text from Vince about coming back to work. He then gets suspended, and felt like WWE just didn't get back to him. Mentions how he got his walking papers from WWE on his wedding day. Punk said WWE could have done something differently by just talking to him while he was out for a period of time.
* Asked if he'd return to WWE, says he'd go just to ask for time off, since WWE Superstars can do it now. Punk says if Vince or Triple H called, he would talk to them. Punk says ultimately he's over what happened years ago. He says he'll talk with anyone, but he's not reaching out to anyone.
* Talks pressure to not miss shows, says there's "toxic masculinity" that goes on in WWE. Says there should be an off-season and "better doctors."
* Punk on not main eventing WrestleMania, realized he should have just asked for more money, rather than being so focused on main eventing.
* Mentions rumor of him being mad that he wrestled Undertaker at WrestleMania. Says he wasn't mad, but was a little mad at the presentation of it, didn't want to just be another "guy" wrestling Undertaker.
* Talks about Harley Race and how the final years were really tough for him. Punk says the last time he saw Race, he would recognize Punk one second, and then not the next. Talks working for Race, training with him, tells story of Race throwing up in his brand new car.
* Talks about his trilogy in Ring of Honor with Samoa Joe. Company was in peril at the time, but their matches brought a lot of eyes to the company. Punk says he wasn't sure if he was seen a big star, but was kind of next in line to be in the main event for ROH. Praises Samoa Joe for his in-ring work.
* Punk talks leaving ROH for WWE and how he was literally going into the unknown. He wanted to see how he would do though in WWE as he tried to climb another mountain. Punk says he didn't aspire to be a WWE guy, but rather it was wrestling in Japan. Says he was told he's too big for lightweight and too small for heavyweight, so his time in Japan was short and then really focused his time on ROH and made it a destination for wrestlers to go.
* Talks going from OVW to WWE ECW. Tells funny story about Tony Atlas saying Punk looked like he had two broken arms with how his hands/arms are taped up. Says Atlas later on called him an "ass---" during the post-show meeting with the other wrestlers. Punk ends up getting into an argument with Atlas who was mad about Punk not listening to him about the wrist tape. During this time Punk was the ECW champion. Punks says loved what he did, but a lot of them couldn't wait to tell Vince McMahon, Undertaker, or other higher ups.
* Talks build-up to Undertaker match being weird. Fatal 4-Way decided who the opponent will be (he won), but said it was weird. Punk says he didn't agree about losing to Kane in the weeks leading up. Talked to Vince about it who said he'd get over more after a loss to Kane. Says things picked up when he poured Paul Bearer's ashes (said it was actually kitty litter).
* Doesn't think Vince McMahon ever "got" him even after the "pipebomb" promo and Money in the Bank. Didn't think Vince or Triple H ever understood him during his time in WWE.
* Talks positives of working for WWE. Mentioned traveling with Kofi, working house shows (mentions Daniel Bryan), working with wrestlers with different styles.
* John Cena is brought up, said it was easy to work with him. Thinks Cena was glad someone came along and took the reins from him for a bit. Talks wrestling him early on and Cena started calling the match, but Punk asked Mike Chioda during the match "who's calling the match?" Cena realized he didn't have to this time around and let Punk run with it. Says it wasn't like pulling teeth when wrestling Cena, compared to other guys who were worried about their spot in the company. Punk mentions he literally didn't sign his new contract until the day of Money in the Bank. Vince said the match finish would have to change had he not actually re-signed with the company, but he did, got what he wanted. Says it was a great moment in his career, but said he was happier when he could main event with people that he could bring up a level.
* Topic about his promos, Punk says he couldn't beat anyone up, but would always keep "talking s---" and thought it worked well. The "I'm better than you" was so easy to get fans mad at him.
* Punk says he would write a book about himself, but not multiple books. Jokes "Plus, I'm tired of being sued."
* Story of The Rock cutting a promo in the ring, fans chant "CM Punk" and Rock pulls out his cell phone and calls Punk. Punk says he was in the elevator and didn't get any reception. He went into the elevator with zero message and by the time he got out, he got 87 messages saying "pick up your phone!" He thought someone had died, but then realized what Rock was doing. He texted Rock afterwards and told him what happened. Punk says Rock was smart to go along with it to quiet down the crowd so they could film the shot for his film. Punk says he got texts from people backstage at WWE saying, "It's getting crazy back here."
* Mentions getting knee surgery, Vince calls him and said in three weeks he's got a TLC match against Ryback. Spoke with Vince later, but didn't change his mind.
* Talks planning for match against The Rock. Other writers in the room, Punk gets a script for his promo and he was like "Oooo buddy!..." It was a crash course on how to work with The Rock and how they should work together. He said they were able to push the other people aside and figure out things more between just the two of them. Liked working with The Rock.
* Comments on Kofi Kingston and his thoughts of Kofi becoming WWE Champion. Thinks it's awesome, but felt it should have happened ten years ago. Thinks it's probably better for Kofi now with his kids being able to watch.
* Gets back to movies and maybe what comic book series or superhero he could get involved in. Casey Jones, Kraven, and Moon Knight were mentioned. Says he's stoked to be able to have down two horror movies, especially loving them growing up. Mentions it's cool to enjoy both DC or Marvel, much like AEW or WWE, there's no need to pick sides, just watch it all.
* Punk brings up the political environment today, talks about how he's done with people who judge others by the color of the skin or where they come from. Mentions the story about AJ Lee getting told to "go home" and feels everyone should be held accountable for what they say. The original question was how he defines his happiness and he says it's his wife and his dog. Says AEW vs. NXT is a plus for the fans, let the companies pretend a war is going on, but the fans should enjoy the ride.
* Talks about Twitter, says he found new filters to block out a lot of talk/notifications and has found it much more enjoyable now.
* Punk thanks the fans and says he hoped the fans enjoyed him being himself, he was just here to hang out with a roomful of friends. "Thank you, Punk" chant breaks out. Punk jokes he's going on vacation as his music hits.