Former WWE Champion CM Punk was on a recent episode of Oral Sessions with Renée Paquette where Punk and Paquette reminisced about their respective times on WWE commentary. Punk said that he was placed on commentary as he was recovering from his injury, which he described how it happened at Bragging Rights 2010.
“I had just narrowly avoided surgery on my hip,” Punk recalled. “It’s two days before my birthday. I’m wrestling on the Bragging Rights PPV. We’re either in St. Paul [or] Minneapolis, the Target Center, and it’s cold as f–k in the building. And I ran six miles. That was my workout in the morning. I look back now thinking, ‘man, on days you wrestled, you really didn’t need to f–king work out,’ and I can’t get warm.
“I can’t get loose for this match, and I tear my gluteus medius muscle, which apparently is very hard to tear. Edge gave me his suplex where he dumps me on my belly. It feels like a rubber band in my hip pops, and then I’m supposed to do a leapfrog to avoid his spear. And I can’t jump. I’m just f–ked, and I get back. And Dean Malenko’s like, ‘Looks like you’re hurt you. You okay?’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t know. Something exploded in my hip’ and once I get off the trainer’s table, I can’t walk.”
It was reported at the time that Punk opted to not have surgery after a doctor told him he could simply rehab his injury. He confirmed that report on the podcast and gave details as to why he did not need surgery.
“I think I got an MRI. It was my birthday, and I think I did commentary in Green Bay, even though I could barely walk. And I limp to the ring, and I was always just like, ‘Well, I’m hurt. Why do I have to be on television? Just let me f–king go home.’ I flew to Nashville to get surgery, and the doctor was like, ‘How did you get in here?’ And I was like, ‘What do you mean? I walked,’ and he was like, ‘If you tore your gluteus medius, you’re not going to be walking as well as you are. He puts me in his MRI machine, which is way more high-tech than whichever one I got previous, and then he gets me into his office.
“And he’s got two computer screens, and he shows me both MRI’s. In the first MRI, he’s like, ‘You see this? It looks torn off the bone. You see mine this white area? It’s just torn. I’m not operating on you. You just need to do physical therapy and rehab, and you’ll be fine.’ And I was stoked because that meant I’m not getting cut, no surgery, and then I can just go home and f–k off. I needed that refresher. I needed to be off TV and relax.”
Instead of getting an extended time off, Punk said Vince McMahon called him to be part of commentary. Jim Ross spoke well of Punk on commentary during that time, but Punk recalled hearing McMahon yell at him in his headset and revealed what he asked WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler when that happened.
“So I get home, and Vince calls me, “Punk stated. “And he’s like, ‘I heard you didn’t need surgery. That’s great, sending you a plane ticket. We’re going to have you do commentary until your ring ready,’ and I was bummed because I didn’t want to fly. And I remember the first night on commentary, Vince started yelling in my headset, and I elbowed Lawler. I wrote a note to him. I was like, ‘which is the volume button?’ And he pointed to it, and I turned it all the way down. When we took the headsets off after the show, I was like, ‘Did you not know you could do that?’ He’s like, ‘I mean, I knew I could do that. We’re going to get yelled at.’ Vince never said anything to me.”
Punk explained that he found McMahon’s instructions difficult. He noted that there is a lot to focus on when doing commentary and questions why more people don’t mute McMahon.
“I just found it to be difficult,” Punk noted. “I’m trying to do a job, and trying to watch this and call what’s going on, and if you’re yelling at me to say stuff, it’s not helping. So I just turned him off, and I don’t know why more people don’t do that.”
WWE commentators are instructed to call the action on commentary as to give the TV audience an idea of what is going on. However, Punk recalled a time when John Cena and Wade Barrett destroyed the announce table and as a result, taking out the monitors. He talked about Josh Matthews’ reaction when McMahon instructed Matthews to call what’s on the monitors.
“Another funny story, I was doing commentary with Josh Mathews one time, and Cena took the monitors off the table. And they broke the table, and he chased Wade Barrett out of the thing,” Punk recalled. “And we couldn’t see because we had no monitors, and Vince yelled, ‘Call what’s on the f–king monitors! Call what’s on the monitors!’ And Josh, live on the air goes, ‘We don’t have any f–king monsters!’ Yes! Yes! Yes!”
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.