On a recent episode of Oral Sessions with Renée Paquette, CM Punk was on to reconnect with Paquette as they discussed Punk’s career. Punk has said before about his plans for The Shield, and on the podcast, he discussed the original plans the head writer at the time had.
“The whole Shield thing was I needed guys to work. That was it, super selfish honestly,” Punk admitted. “I don’t know if you remember Eric Pankowski. Eric Pankowski was somebody that was hired to be a head writer, and that is a job that has an expiration date. He wasn’t there for a long time at least, and one of his ideas was, ‘we want to have some guys with you, some bad guys to protect you, be a chicken s–t heel.’ And I was like, great, and he said Daniel Bryan and Big Show.
“And I was just like, ‘why don’t we use guys that nobody’s seen before instead of all these guys that I’ve already had this on-screen history that, for better or for worse, have been beat by everybody, probably me included at that point. Why don’t we get some new blood in there,’ and I went right to Vince and Triple H. And I was like, ‘we got to use some young guys,’ and there’s guys that are ready and nobody else was watching FCW and saying, hey, we need these guys up. These guys are ready. They’re not getting any better down there.
“They’re at the point where they need to be on the road at least. Let’s get them up. Let’s get them up. They obviously, for whatever reason, didn’t want Chris Hero as a part of it, and they are high on Roman Reigns. So they came back with that. I was like, yeah, great. Let’s do it because we needed new blood.”
Paquette and Punk also discussed today’s wrestling scene including the ThunderDome. Punk threw in that if WWE wanted to create a realistic experience, then they should pipe in “CM Punk” chants.
“They should pump those in if they wanted to make the show realistic,” Punk suggested sarcastically. “If they were really interested in giving the fans a true WWE experience, give the universe what they want. Pipe in the ‘CM Punk’ chants.”
Punk has said before that today’s wrestling isn’t for him, but that hasn’t stopped people from wondering what it would take for Punk to return to wrestling including Paquette who asked that same question expressing that it was something that has to happen. First, Punk noted that wrestling has changed so much since he left, and he addressed the idea of “what if AEW was around when you left WWE?”
“Well, I think the landscape is currently much different than when I left,” Punk noted. “You could play the game where you’re like, ‘oh, if AEW was an option, would you have gone right after you left WWE?’ If you’re going to play that game, there’s no way they would have handled it the way they handled it with suspending me for two months, and then nobody contacting me and then the next thing I know, I get release papers on my wedding day.
“That wouldn’t have happened if there was an AEW because then they probably would have approached me and been like, ‘hey, your suspension’s up. Ready to come back to work? Let’s work this out.'”
Punk answered the question by stating that he would need a fun story to tell and “the stupidest amount of money” to return. He admitted that AEW would be more enticing only because there are more wrestlers that he hasn’t faced in AEW than in WWE.
“What would it take?,” Punk pondered. “Oh gosh, without wanting to insult anybody on either side of the fence, any WWE talent or AEW talent, it would take, above all, an interesting scenario, a story that would be fun to tell [and] also just the stupidest amount of money, but they could save themselves a whole lot of money if they just presented just a fun storyline.
“What that is I don’t know. I’m a pretty picky guy, especially at this point. I think there’s more interesting people on the AEW side of things for me to wrestle but that’s just because I’ve never wrestled them before. Young Bucks [and] Kenny Omega. Talking about your husband (Jon Moxley), I look at that and I go, ‘well, I wrestled him already,’ so it’s just less interesting than something new. And on the WWE side of things, I don’t know that there’s anybody there currently that I haven’t wrestled that I would be interested in wrestling.”
Paquette brought up Samoa Joe as an opponent that Punk could wrestle. Punk and Joe had an iconic feud in ROH but have never wrestled in WWE.
“Yeah, but what are we doing? Are we just having a wrestling match?,” Punk answered. “The Ring of Honor stuff we did was a labor of love because you had all the creative input in coming up with that, and it was really just we’re backed against the wall and Joe had beat everybody already.
“So it was like, ‘well, what do you do?’ Well, I’m the next opponent, and if he just beats me, what do we do? At that time, I was obsessed with 60-minute draws. It just turned into ‘well, why don’t we go 60 and then you’re still the champ, and you haven’t beat me. So maybe that’s something we can play off in the future.’ And we did.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Oral Sessions with Renée Paquette with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.