WWE Backstage Recap: CM Punk Returns, Bret Hart Joins The Show

Welcome to Wrestling Inc.'s live coverage of tonight's WWE Backstage on FS1, featuring CM Punk returning to the panel.

WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart is this week's special guest. As noted, WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman was scheduled for tonight, but wasn't able to appear.


- Tonight starts out with Renee Young and CM Punk talking with special guest WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart.

- In relation to the 1996 Survivor Series being show, Hart talks about taking on Steve Austin, said he was anxious and intense during their matches. Thought his Survivor Series match was on par with their WrestleMania 13 match, said it was tough to find ways to top that previous match. Says he felt like he got run over by a train in the months following the match, says you never feel it during the match.


- Punk says he and Hart are friends, and Punk admits even he's nervous talking with Bret (then shows off his Bret Hart shirt). Punk asks about Bret telling Vince McMahon that he needs to get Steve Austin. Hart said he felt like Austin had a Rick Rude vibe, same intensity and always wanted to get better. He felt Austin was climbing the ladder in his performances in WCW. Then he went to ECW and Hart told Vince he couldn't believe WWE let him go there. Shortly after WWE brought him after, Hart felt like he "shook the tree" a bit.

Punk brings up how Hart called Austin the "best wrestler in the world" far before his popularity peaked and most fans knew about his skills. Punk asks if Austin was his best dance partner in the ring. Hart talks about having great chemistry with a couple guys: Mr. Perfect, Shawn Michaels, and Austin. Hart felt like Austin really found his voice and style after their Survivor Series match. Hart talks about Randy Orton vs. Edge, didn't think it was the greatest match ever because there was no audience and that's a crucial part to wrestling. Says it's tough to pick the greatest because it changes from era to era. Thought the match was great, beautiful match, reminded him of a tennis match where it just went back-and-forth.


Renee brings up Bret talking with Edge before his match with Orton. Bret says he brought up imagining he was in the front row and watching himself wrestler, so what would he enjoy seeing if he put himself in the front row. Edge texted him after and said that helped him against Orton. Punk talks 1994 SummerSlam PPV and Bret vs. Owen Hart in a Steel Cage. Felt like the big blue cage provided a similar limitation, like not having an live audience, but the best wrestlers will "make chicken salad out of chicken s—." Punk noted he was live in the crowd and thanked Bret for such a powerful match as he made his way into a wrestling career. Bret said the bars were dangerous and awkward to work with, could split the back of your head just running the ropes.

- WWE Hall of Famers Booker T and Mark Henry join Punk and Young.

- Clips shown from this week's WWE TV. The panel talks about Christian on RAW. Henry says he was worried about Christian blowing up and having a heart attack. Booker said he's finished, says Christian had a good gig, and it was stupid to go against Orton. Punk jokes he wasn't supposed to be on the show, but Christian went and got himself kicked in the head.


- "Greatest Wrestling Match Ever" was up next. Mark Henry says he enjoyed them putting on the greatest hits as far as moves goes, but wouldn't have minded a ref bump and a few more "bells and whistles." Booker says they went out there and did a great job. Punk says Edge and Orton have to ignore the billing for their match, it's way too subjective. Felt like they had a great match, but he's seen better matches from both guys. Felt it was unnecessary pressure, especially on Edge. Young mentions Edge suffered a torn triceps during the match.

- The panel talks about Dominick taking down Seth Rollins on this week's RAW. Punk says him being "green" actually helps with the storyline, but he needs to lay his stuff in a little more when he's going after someone. Booker and Henry mention how they remember him running around catering and how he's out there on WWE TV.

- Booker T and Renee continue talking with Hart about their WCW days. Bret says Booker was one of the first guys he really wanted to work with in the ring, but WCW never knew how to handle that storyline, despite having a couple matches together. Hart talks about having so much momentum leaving WWE and going to WCW, but they just didn't capitalize on that. Hart says he went to Eric Bischoff a bunch of times with guys he wanted to face, but he was always given lame reasons why he couldn't face someone. As he's done in the past, he called WCW a "s— show." Hart mentions Goldberg kicking him in the head that led to the end of his career, also Hogan calling a lot of the shots in WCW. Booker says how much of a pleasure it was to step in the ring with Hart.


- Clips shown of AJ Styles beating Daniel Bryan to win the WWE IC Title. Punk says on paper was excited to watch it, but couldn't fully get into the match as it took place. He felt not having the people in the crowd hurt the match, so the wrestlers could feed off the electricity in the building. Structurally/fundamentally, he couldn't say a bad thing about it. Henry was really into the toughness of the match, said they whooped each other and will feel it in the coming days. Was really impressed with what they did in the ring.

- Next week: 7 pm ET - Royal Rumble 2008 on FS1 before Backstage at 11 pm ET.