AEW star CM Punk joined Busted Open Radio to talk about his arrival to AEW and to promote AEW All Out this Sunday on PPV. In regards to joining AEW, Punk pointed to his debut promo and the important distinction he made between AEW and WWE. Or as Punk mostly rereferred to them as, “the other place.”

“I made a very important distinction in my first promo,” Punk revealed. “‘Here’s when I left pro wrestling, and now I’m back.’ And there is a distinction. The other place will tell you and they’ll beat you over the head with ‘we’re not pro wrestling.’ So why would do you want to go to bat for that company and say that it is? Some people just pick their weird hills to die on. I don’t hate wrestling. I don’t think I ever hated wrestling. There’s a lot of funny rumor about me, and there will continue to be rumors a lot of great rumors about me. I figure if everybody likes you, you’re probably doing something wrong, because somewhere along the way you’re going to piss somebody off.”

Later Punk went back to the WWE subject and didn’t mince words with what he felt he went through during his stint with the promotion. He ultimately concluded that if he hadn’t left WWE when he did in 2014, he wouldn’t be in the position he was in now and possibly could even be dead.

“There’s what people like to call WWE drones out there that aren’t going to like anything I have to say about that company,” Punk said. “So I try to limit what I do say, but everything I do say is the truth. I was going to die, you know what I mean? Because in my head I was always like ‘what would Harley Race do? He would keep going.’ There’s only so many times you can get hurt and keep going. I was never given time off after an elbow surgery, a knee surgery, narrowly avoided a hip surgery. It was always ‘no we need you.’ And it’s nice to be needed, but they will run you dry. I was on that path. And I watched too many friends get swallowed up by this business, and drugs, and everything else they thought they had to do to keep going. I was a cycle breaker, I took myself out of it. I’ve never really been proud of myself about a lot of things, but that’s just a real life thing that I was proud of myself about.

“I took a step back and I was like ‘they’re not listening to me. I’m sick, I’m hurt. They’re not going to take care of me.’ I had to take care of myself. It caused a lot of drama, lot’s of silly baggage, but I’m alive. I woke up this morning. It sounds dramatic but it’s not bulls**t. I would’ve kept going until I literally could not go anymore. And then what? Then I get posthumously inducted into a Fugazi Hall of Fame? I don’t want that, I want to kiss my wife and walk my dog and enjoy things. And like I said, I know that there’s people out there that will be like ‘this is bulls**t’ or dramatic. It’s not, and I implore anybody out there that if you’re unhappy with anything, you have to do what’s best for you. That was 100% the bottom line. I wish there was a support system, but I was mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally just in pain. And if I didn’t get out of there, I wouldn’t be here right now.”

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