Among the many highlights of CM Punk’s AEW debut at AEW Rampage: The First Dance last night was that every fan in the United Center went home with a free ice cream bar. In his post show media scrum with AEW President Tony Khan, Punk revealed who came up with that idea.
“The ice cream bars were me,” Punk said. “That’s Andy Kaufman. I used to do it all the time when I’d do Q&A’s at comic-cons and stuff like that. I would bring people donuts and pizza. These ice cream bars, to me, represent an idea. An idea that was gift-wrapped to people that didn’t bother to take the time to try and understand their audience.
“This is the easiest home run I’ve ever hit and this is a legit thank you. Jon Lester came to the Chicago Cubs and won us a trophy, won us a World Series. He got traded away and he opened up a tab at a bunch of bars as a way to say thank you to the fans. This is my way of saying thank you to the fans.”
Punk also delved a bit more into why he came to AEW and why now. Several of his points echoed his legendary promo from earlier on Rampage.
“This is personal for me,” Punk said. “Timing is everything. It felt right. When I left Ring of Honor, and this is serious, I did not want to go. But I felt I couldn’t stay and you can’t really explain that to people. It’s just something you live through. And when I was sick and tired and hurt and I realized that these people wouldn’t care if I died today.
“There’d be another show tomorrow and I knew I had to remove myself from the situation. I didn’t know how long it was going to take for me to heal. And then this came along and credit to everyone involved in AEW. It reminded me of places I used to work where I loved, where it was not about, it was more about the spirit of the thing. Instead of feeling like a house, it felt like a home. That’s the best way I can possibly describe it.”
Punk was also asked if AEW needed to prove anything before he signed, which he responded in the negative. He also jokingly gave credit to a former co-worker at WWE Backstage for getting him involved in the show and giving him the wrestling bug again.
“Nobody has to prove anything to me,” Punk said. “It wasn’t about them having prove anything to me, it was about me being open to the idea and that it wasn’t going to be ‘well I’m just going to jump into the pool right away.’ I had to dip my toe in and see how things were going to be. Actually this is all Renee Paquette’s fault honestly, this is all her fault.
“She’s the one who got me to come back and do the (WWE) Backstage thing, and it opened my eyes. And it’s like ‘okay, this is fun, she’s a good person and I love working with good people.’ And that’s really all it was. Nobody had to prove anything to me. But I did have to take a wait and see approach, and I waited and I saw. And I liked what I saw.”
You can watch the full media scrum below.