Steve Austin Gives His Take On CM Punk And WWE Backstage, NXT Competing With AEW

During a recent episode of the State of Combat podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin spoke about former WWE Champion CM Punk working for WWE Backstage – a move which surprised everyone and certainly got the wrestling world talking.

While Punk was quick to stress that his deal is just with FOX, many have speculated this could lead to more and Austin was asked his thoughts.

"I don't know if it leads to anything more," Austin said. "I guess, speculation to be determined, we will find out.

"Just the fact that he returned to be doing business with WWE I love because I know they split up on bad terms and now they are back in business together, CM Punk was a lights-out pro wrestler; great promos, great work, great talent, so to have him back into the fold obviously they ironed whatever they needed to iron out and both sides are happy.

"It's great to have CM Punk back in the pro wrestling/sports entertainment business. I think it's a breath of fresh air because the guy brings in a great perspective, great insights, great opinion on all things sports entertainment."

With the "Wednesday Night Wars" in full effect, last week saw for the first time in eight weeks, NXT beat AEW in total viewers. Wednesday's NXT drew 916,000 viewers on the USA Network while AEW Dynamite on TNT drew 893,000 viewers, according to Showbuzz Daily. NXT topped Dynamite by 2.6%.

During the interview, Austin was asked about whether, with the introduction of All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite on TNT, there will be another "boom" period in wrestling such as what took place during the "Monday Night Wars" between WWF and WCW.

"I believe in competition," Austin said. "I think competition is outstanding and I loved it when we were competing in WCW. AEW is doing their own thing, so I'm not sure if you have turned on YouTube lately and checked out NWA 'Powerrr' with that studio-style wrestling. That is pretty fresh and entertaining to see, but I love competition. I love the fact that NXT is on USA Network and not just WWE Network.

"They have their head to head thing going on which is cool. AEW is doing their thing and WWE is doing their thing and when you see kind of when the business was down a bit a few years ago and to see where it is right now with so many different shows and Tuesday's show on Fox and the Friday Night SmackDown on Fox, I just think more guys and gals in the business getting paid than a few years ago so the fact that everybody is making money, I love it."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit State of Combat with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

Peter Bahi contributed to this article.