At this weekend's Starrcast III, CM Punk did a near two hour interview on a wide array of topics from his past, present, and future, including if he'd ever return to WWE. During the interview Punk spoke about his time with Steve Austin, working with The Rock, and the time The Rock called Punk at a WWE event after Punk had been released by the company.
Punk was asked if there are any wrestlers out there, where if the stars aligned, he like to work with. Punk told a story about how Steve Austin took a liking to him after Punk approached him backstage at a 2010 WWE event and asked if Austin would stun him after a dark match. He also noted Marty Scurll and Kenny Omega as others who have piqued his interest, but at the same time he wondered if he could keep up with the stars of today.
"2010, maybe, I remember being in, I think, San Diego, and [Steve] Austin was in San Diego and he was just strictly there—I can't remember why he was there," Punk said. "I just remember looking at him and being like, 'Well, f--- it' and I walked up to him and said, 'Hey, what are you doing?' He's like, 'What do you mean?' I go, 'Well, you're here, I gotta work a dark match after this. Do you mind coming out and giving me a stunner? How else are we going to send these people home? You know what I mean?" He's like, 'Goddamn, yeah, alright kid!' He's like, 'I've been back here, I don't know how many times, ain't nobody ever asked me that before.' I was like, 'Well, why the f--- hasn't anybody asked this guy?'
"I grabbed all the heels involved, me, R-Truth and said, 'Hey, he's going to come out and stun everybody' and they were just like, 'Whaaaat?' I think maybe Miz was involved and it just turned into a fun, goofy thing where we got to do it. Think that's where Steve kind of took a liking to me, ya know what I mean? ... So that's when I started prodding him, like 'Let's work this match motherf---er, let's go.' I think there was a sliver in time where it was going to happen, then the next minute, it didn't.
"I'll see people like Marty Scurll, but he's a super nice guy. I did the C2E2 signing and me and him were right next to each other. He's great. I saw that he would like to wrestle me, and I always was like 'Oh, that's neat.' ... so, a guy like him, only because he put the foot forward. I look at guys like Kenny Omega, and I know he's like the big match guy now, and I kind of look at him and I don't even know if I'd be able to keep up with these people now, but then again I over train. ... I don't know, but there's no one person that jumps out at me, where I go 'Oh, that guy.'"
In February of 2017, The Rock was at a WWE RAW in Los Angeles to film scenes for his Seven Bucks Production film, Fighting With My Family. Rock cut a post-RAW promo and noted that the scene being filmed was based on Paige defeating AJ Lee for the WWE Divas Title. This led to fans chanting for CM Punk. Rock said Punk wasn't in the movie, but if fans wanted Punk, he was going to call the former WWE Champion and let him hear it. Rock then brought out his cell and called Punk, but ended up only being able to leave a voicemail.
Punk talked about how he missed the call because he was in the elevator at the time about to walk his dog, Larry.
"I was in the elevator, going to the bottom floor to walk Larry," Punk said. "I was in the elevator, no reception in the elevator. My phone, no messages, I get in the elevator, it's really slow, by the time it gets down and I walk out and I have 87 messages on my phone. I think somebody is dead! I just get number after number, like 'Answer your phone!' I'm like, 'F---, who's dead? This sucks.'
"I'm trying to figure out what's going on and that weird number comes up again and I'm trying to answer it, but it's not going through. I had no idea what was going on until I'm done with the walk, 'Oh, Rock is calling me, live from the Staples Center, okay. This is f---in' weird.' I started texting him immediately after that, he got right back to me like, I'm like, 'Oh, brother! I was trying to answer, I was outside, I was in an elevator.' It just didn't work out."
Punk was asked if he heard about any fallout from Rock doing that at a WWE event when Punk was long gone from the company, released years prior.
"Yes, I did hear, it was part of the text messages I was getting," Punk revealed. "A couple people backstage were like, 'It's crazy back here right now. Couple broken headsets, s--- is flying everywhere.'"
Punk then noted that because of what happened, he and Rock later traded texts and Punk apologized for being a "d--k" to Rock when he came back for a short period of time in 2013. Rock defeated Punk for the WWE Championship at that year's Royal Rumble, then later dropped the title to John Cena at WrestleMania 29. Recalling when he first worked with Rock, Punk had to meet up with Rock and his team to plan out how things would go in their feud. The way Rock did things were quite a bit different than how Punk liked to prepare.
"When I wrestled Rock, I remember—I don't know if I had met him, but he'd been around," Punk said. "The night before it was requested I go to his hotel room and he's got the entire suite. It's him, Brian Gewirtz, it's his assistant, there's like two other people in the room and I'm immediately like, 'F---, I'm out numbered.' I remember somebody I didn't know from his team walking up to me and handing me my promo, and I'm like 'Wooo, buddy!' We start talking and I feel like it was a Hollywood kind of setting, like they were doing a table read. This is how this dude operates, but this is me, and this is how I operate.
"This was a crash course of me and Rock getting in front of each other for the first time. It wasn't negative so to speak, but it was very much like, 'No, this isn't how I do things,' and him being like, 'Oh okay, well, cool, this is how I do things.' I said, 'Okay, we'll try and figure it out because if you say this, this, and this about me, then I'm going to say this, this, and this about you.' And he was like, 'Well, alright!' I was like, 'No offense, I don't know who these guys are and they're writing material for me when I think this is the way we should go.'
"So, I think we kind of pushed all that aside, and me and him had kind of a one-on-one conversation in a crowded room, which is f---in' uncomfortable. I think he respected the fact that I wasn't backing down, I wasn't refusing to do anything, but just like, 'Hey, could we maybe do this a different way?' He was great and he was fun to work with, and I liked working with him."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit FITE with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.