Wrestler turned MMA fighter turned actor CM Punk sat down with TV Insider to discuss the premiere of the Starz show Heels, where he plays wrestler Randy Rabies. Heels represents the first time Punk has stepped into a wrestling ring and years, but according to him he picked back up on things very quickly.
“I think I did that stuff for so long that it’s cliche, but it was like riding a bike,” Punk said. “I was a little bit worried about how I would feel the next morning, especially running the ropes. Bumps I think are easier because I have built calluses in my body to a point where I can. I haven’t taken a bump in seven or eight years. Then also the other training I do is akin to throwing yourself to the ground. When I’m doing jujitsu, any kind of grappling and MMA training, it’s super physical. It’s similar but different. I hit the ground running. I was like ‘you’re good here. You still got it.’ Luke Hawx was a big help and a great dude to have around.”
The debut of Heels takes place in the backdrop of rumors Punk is making a return to pro wrestling for AEW. Punk was asked if Heels gave him the wrestling bug again and, like he has been in other interviews, he was evasive with his answer.
“Well, I’ve gotten the bug to act,” Punk said. “Really, it makes me realize through a show heavily involved in the world of pro wrestling I can draw from my experiences and be a better actor because of it. There are other experiences in my life, whether it’s triumph or tragedy, and realizing how I can use it in future roles to be a better actor to make characters come to life. I’m chomping at the bit to get back to work in front of the camera. I got a couple of irons in the fire, but I never talk about it until it’s done. You’ll just have to wait and see.”
Punk was also asked about the current landscape of pro wrestling. He believes wrestling needs a bit of a kick, and that there are people out there who are on their way to doing so.
“I think the older the stuff is the better,” Punk said. “I think it’s partly unfortunate that WWE owns the super good libraries in pro wrestling. That stuff is classic and they don’t even put it on their network. They are sitting on it. I want to watch Austin Idol versus Jerry Lawler in Memphis. I do think the landscape of pro wrestling in general really needs a kick in the d**k. I think we are about there and I think there are people out there stirring the pot and causing trouble in a good way. It’s a fun world. There is nothing like it. Pro wrestling gets crapped on by a number of people. But when it’s done on a high level and it’s really good, there is nothing better.”