WWE Hall of Famer and a current commentator for AEW, "Good ol' J.R." Jim Ross, took to his Grilling J.R. podcast recently to talk about CM Punk's rumored return to WWE. Punk has signed with FOX to be a part of FS1's WWE Backstage show, however he does not have a deal with WWE. J.R. has high praise for Punk, and he hopes that a big match involving Punk is still down the line somewhere.
"I have great respect for Phil Brooks, I surely do. I think he is a marvelous performer," J.R. said. "He is something that the business needs right now because he is real. He suspends your disbelief - amazing storyteller, but I would love to sit down and talk with him just about our friendship, not necessarily go into the mainline about what it would take to get [him] back. Any idiot can ask that question, so I think you discover those things on your own and figure out where his head is and what he wants to do.
"Look, what if he just wants to do one match? Well, I would take him to do one match. I would build him right - get him back on television and build to one-match on-pay-per-view so you can maximize your investment."
J.R. sees a deal like this coming through only if Punk is ready and willing to lean into it completely. Along with pro wrestling and WWE, J.R. made note of the various things that fill Punk's life with happiness, including his recent appearances in horror films.
"I don't know what Phil's commitment to the business right now would be. If he wanted to do it, I know he will be all in, but I am just not sure if that is where his head is right now," J.R. said. "He has a movie now, which I think is really entertaining. It's got a lot of great feedback, the horror movie. He's happily married, so that is worth a lot.
"I can tell you that for a fact. I would love to sit down and talk to him just about stuff and I think we would have a productive conversation because I think we think alike in a lot of ways. But again, if he isn't of the mindset to want to get back into the business with any type of commitment, which we know is a huge commitment especially in today's world. I would love to talk to him. I am going to be in Chicago the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving and I think I am going to stay in Chicago for 23 days, so maybe we will accidentally run into each other and have a Pepsi."
J.R. also took some time to discuss the possibility of Eric Bischoff becoming a part of AEW now that WWE has released him from the company. J.R. can see Eric fitting in somewhere with All Elite Wrestling, but perhaps something closer to a manager or agent role backstage.
"I haven't talked to Eric since he left WWE," Ross admitted. "I don't know if he has had his fill of daily, or regular wrestling where he is doing something on a regular basis. I know that he has his podcast, 83 Weeks. That is very successful and does really well, which I am really happy to say that for Eric. I don't know what his long-term goals are. Would he want to be involved with AEW? Would that be something he would enjoy doing or would that be just a payday type deal?
"He has a lot to offer, no doubt about that, but he would have to be a manager or some sort of authority figure, or somebody's agent, or something along those lines. You eliminate certain roles for him because of his skill set and his age; he's not going to come in to be your top heel. He's not taking Chris Jericho's spot, duh. Some other verbal role [maybe], but who knows. You'll have to ask him what he has interest in doing."
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Grilling J.R. with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.