While CM Punk’s first match in over seven years will be against Darby Allin at AEW All Out, another performer he’s interacted a ton with since his return to pro wrestling has been pro wrestling Sting. In an appearance on Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette, the new AEW star talked about working with “The Icon”, something he never saw happening.
“That’s a situation that I never, ever thought was a possibility,” Punk said. “You’re talking about a guy who’s been on top everywhere he’s ever gone. And I kind of really don’t know if he gets the credit for his wrestling mind. It’s kind of hard for him not to have a different perspective based on everybody he’s worked with and everywhere he’s been. I don’t know if he was ever positioned as the top guy, but I feel like he was the heart and soul of WCW, especially towards the end. Dude was on the first Nitro, dude was on the last Nitro. He’s been in main events with Ric Flair, he’s worked everybody. He’s been around for so long and I just don’t think he gets the credit for that. I don’t think he gets the credit for being a top guy because maybe he always played second fiddle to Flair or Hogan or whatever. But they always had to rely on him. Sting was always there.
“I look at it like this and I haven’t seen anyone make this comparison; it’s like when Harley managed Vader in WCW. There might’ve been a generation of people that watched and they’re like ‘Vader is a bad ass and he’s got that guy as his manager.’ But Harley was a bad ass and he moved into the position where he was managing. I feel that’s babyface Sting right now, as like the manager that occasionally works. It’s a delight to see as a guy who narrowly avoided being paralyzed and now he’s still doing it. And I think it’s great. He doesn’t have to work Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. He’s used sparingly and to me it’s a delight. Because you get these really weird situations where it’s me, it’s Sting and it’s Darby in the ring. I’m putting an age on myself but that’s three generations right there and it’s wild. I was pinching myself being in the ring with Sting. Afterwards he was like ‘hey I meant everything I said.’ And I was like super cool. I had to act like tough guy out there but inside I was like ‘YEEEEEE!'”
Punk was also asked about much input AEW President Tony Khan gives regarding what Punk has to say for a segment. He revealed that Khan trusts him, and other performers, to figure it out themselves, go out there and do what they do best. Punk pointed to a segment between him, Allin, Sting, Daniel Garcia and 2Point0 on Dynamite recently as an example.
“I mean close to nothing,” Punk said. “I think I was the one who was like ‘hey, just so you know, here’s what I’m going to say.’ And Tony was like ‘I trust you.’ And I was like ‘okay, well I’m not going to swear. You don’t have to worry about anything like that.’ I think that’s the youthful exuberance of AEW. Tony trusts people to go out there, and going forward we’ll all learn from our mistakes. If somebody gets on a microphone and goes out there, and Tony has trust in them and they blow it, then that person probably won’t have that freedom anymore or it’ll at least it’ll get limited.
“But right now I think that’s the magic of it is ‘hey Phil, you and Sting. What do you think of you and Sting being in the ring? How would you guys do it?’ And me sitting down with Sting and being like ‘Sting?’ And Sting looking at me going ‘you’re the promo guy’ and I’m going ‘you’re Sting.’ But there’s a synergy and there’s discussion and it’s not writers in a room that don’t even watch wrestling writing stuff for characters they don’t understand, so you don’t have individual voices. Me and Sting have an individual voice. I can’t tell Sting what he’s going to say, Sting can’t tell me what he’s going to say, I don’t know what Darby’s going to say. You’ve got three different generations who talk three different ways, and Tony trusts us to come up with the best possible stuff. And just talking about that segment that we did, I don’t think it could’ve gone any better. It could not have gone better.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription