Just days after joining AEW at AEW Rampage: The First Dance in the United Center, CM Punk joined joined Kap & J. Hood on ESPN Chicago to talk about his new promotion. One thing that has already impressed Punk about AEW is the young talent in the locker room. He compared himself to a veteran baseball player being added to a young, talented squad in order to help them improve.
“It’s a very young roster and the youthful exuberance, it reminds me of another love of my life, which is punk rock,” Punk said. “It reminds me of all the kids that used to go to punk rock shows in bowling alleys and VFW halls and stuff. They really found a place where ‘man, I really fit in here.’ And they feel at home. That’s what impressed me the most. It’s great that everybody is nice, it’s great that everybody is happy to see you. I understand that maybe some of that might be honeymoon phase, but I really feel optimistic that it’s not. They are young and they’re hungry, and what they lack in experience they make up for with effort. And that’s just tremendous.
“I look at it like I’m the veteran slugger on a major league team, and I’m coming onto this team that’s just full of prospects. And a lot of people maybe count them out, but I just think they’re so eager to go out there and not only entertain the fans, but they want to have fun doing it. And I think when the performers in the ring are having a good time, I think that resonates and I think the fans can see that and it helps them enjoy the moment.”
Punk’s first match in AEW will be against one of those young stars when he takes on Darby Allin at All Out on September 5. Punk talked about how he was preparing for the match and the questions of how he will do in the ring after a seven year layoff.
“I think it’s a lot of ‘can Punk still go?’ Can Punk still wrestle in the ring? ‘Can he be entertaining?’” Punk said. “Fortunately for me, I was never a guy that did a whole bunch of crazy flips and stuff like that. So I don’t have to go back and try to do these amazing athletic feats. My goal is to tell a story. And the way I get ready for this is to watch a lot of Darby Allin matches. It’s no different than a sports team watching tape on the team that they’re playing.
“I watch him, I see what he can do, and then I get to get creative about it. And that’s how I get ready. Obviously, I’m in a television show that’s called Heels that’s on the Starz network too. I’ve been in the ring. We’re filming wrestling. I have gotten in the ring and I have been training but not super extensively because it beats your body up, so I’m trying to be smart about it. But mostly just watching tape on him and I’m impressed by what I see.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Kap & J. Hood On ESPN Chicago and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription