In an appearance on Busted Open Radio, AEW star CM Punk talked about how some fans have criticized AEW President Tony Khan for being too much of a fan. It’s a criticism that Punk finds to be silly.
“I see a lot of criticisms and I’m like, if the number one criticism is, ‘he’s a fan! He’s a mark!’ well s**t, aren’t we all?” Punk said. “I would rather have a guy who’s a fan of it with a headset on, directing the show than somebody who doesn’t like it. There’s good and there’s bad, and the good far outweighs the bad.”
Talk then turned back to Punk’s unforgettable debut at AEW Rampage: The First Dance at the United Center. Punk explained that his love for pro wrestling was creeping out prior to his debut, but that it fully emerged as he made his entrance that night.
“It came out when I came out,” Punk said. “Cause I almost didn’t know what to expect. They could’ve thrown rotten cabbages at me and I would’ve been like, ‘yeah, okay. Alright.’ To hear that ovation and to feel that love, and yeah, I guess we’re cheating a little bit because it’s my hometown. But I don’t know that many people who are that liked in their hometown. So, I think the love was creeping out and it was coming back based on stuff I was watching and stuff I was seeing. There’s this groundswell of buzz, right? And then I came out and I was just like, ‘yes.’
“It was such a great moment, mostly because I was like, ‘I made the right decision. And this 100% right here, this reaction alone proves it.’ You weren’t going to get that for me or anyone else in any other situation in any other company. So, perfect storm where everything comes together. There’s been maybe three times in my life where I’m like, ‘I’m right where I need to be, right in the moment.’ And that was one of them.”
Punk was also asked who he would like to work with in AEW. He listed off several names, big stars and younger talent, and ultimately concluded he would like to work with everyone in AEW. Punk also believes there’s more big money matches for him in AEW than anywhere else, a big factor in why he has joined the promotion.
“The lame answer is everybody,” Punk said. “I’ve never worked with the Young Bucks, I’ve never worked with Kenny Omega. I worked with Cody in, what, 2009? And those are the guys that I never mention when I’m doing media because I always feel the need to put the spotlight on other young guys. Darby Allin, (Brian) Pillman Jr., (Powerhouse) Hobbs, Ricky Starks. There’s people that have potential, and if you know anything about wrestling and you watch the program, you see those guys and go, ‘that guy right there. That guy’s got something.’
“And I love how they’re rough around the edges. That’s so great. It reminds me of watching an old wrestling television show, studio wrestling, and seeing guys and not everything is super polished, not everything is an LED screen. These guys have different gear, different looks, personalities that are all different. And you can tell that they all come from different spots. They trained in different ways and they have different styles. That’s what, 100% attracted me to the AEW locker room. Why wouldn’t I want to wrestle these guys? Why wouldn’t I want to go there. You can talk about big money matches and there’s way more in AEW than there is anywhere else for me.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open Radio and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription