As a guest on the Wrestling Perspective Podcast, CM Punk talked about his main takeaways from the professional wrestling business.
Punk is famously known for his 434 day reign as WWE Champion in the early 2010s, winning WWE’s top title five times and also being a two-time Money in the Bank winner. The former WWE Champion mentioned how much he thoroughly enjoyed the wrestling business when he first got started and how if it wasn’t for the industry, he would’ve never met his wife, AJ Lee.
“[The business] paid me a lot of money and I met my wife because of my job,” Punk said. “Those are the two big takeaways, they did try to take a lot of my money but they were very unsuccessful in that. I think I’ve always been a big believer, and Dave Batista is the same way, calls himself the dream chaser. I just figured it out at an early age, probably because my parents forced me to go to church and stuff and immediately started to realize a lot of stuff was just b------t and life is short.
“You need to figure out what you love and just try to do that for a living. I was floored when somebody paid me, the first time I ever made money wrestling, I was like well f***, I don’t have to have a real job ever again. I was all in. It let me follow my dreams. I’ve been everywhere twice because of wrestling. I met my wife, all the fans bought my house, so I appreciate that.”
As previously reported, Punk also talked about Roman Reigns and how he is currently far and away the best WWE has right now but that “in typical WWE fashion” his heel turn was 5-10 years too late. Talking about how he views the wrestling business today, Punk explained the key differences between pro wrestling and acting.
“I very much look at wrestling nowadays as theatre,” Punk said. “There was probably a time where I might have been offended if somebody said that, it’s like calling it fake. There was probably a time where I’d get mad if somebody called it fake, now I call it fake all the time. People will use the argument ‘Oh, well so are movies,’ and my argument is yeah, but Al Pacino didn’t go do pressers dressed as Scarface with his bullsh** accent trying to get you to really believe he was a Cuban immigrant that built a cocaine empire, yada yada yada.
“Pro wrestling is its own thing. If you view it as its own thing, it’s all things. You have to be in front of a camera, a lot of times it’s live television. There’s no higher pressure situation than live television, everybody watches you, your dick falls out, you sh** your pants, that all lives forever.”
Punk mentioned the similarities he experiences when filming a movie to showing up to television for a WWE show. The former WWE Champion said he doesn’t get frustrated on set when they have to do several re-shoots because it reminds him of his time in wrestling spending hours preparing for a show.
“When you cross over to do film, it makes doing film a lot easier because you’re given a script and you get to work on your lines and if you f*** up you get to do it again,” Punk said. “I’ve been on television shows where there’s been 20 takes. It’s not because anybody sucks, it’s because you’ve got to find your rhythm.
“Wrestling really prepared me for all that. The days at television make even the longest most gruley days on a set pale in comparison. I’ve already done it, so when people are like ‘We’re very sorry, we didn’t get the light, we got to shoot it again,’ I’m always like that’s cool, do it again. Where some actors will flip out and I’ve seen it.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Wrestling Perspective Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.