CM Punk On If AJ Lee’s Return To Wrestling Was Influenced By Him

CM Punk was on a recent episode of My Mom's Basement with Robbie Fox where he talked about his time in AEW so far, and he talked about some of his wrestling influences. One person that Punk has named as an influence to his career is Eddie Guerrero, and he recalled when he invited Guerrero to his place while waiting for his flight.

"When you're talking to Eddie Guerrero, when he's sitting in your apartment, he's got a super early flight, and he doesn't got a rental car. Me and Ace lived together in Chicago at the time, and I just offered," Punk recalled. "I was like, 'Come over, whatever,' and he was like, 'I'll take a cab' and I was like, 'Don't worry about taking a cab. I'll take you to the airport, get some sleep.' And it was one of those things where it's like you can either try to put your head on the pillow and get a nap, maybe get two hours, or you just wind up staying up, and I know a lot of wrestlers wind up staying up.

"I currently do it. I fly home so early from most cities when I'm doing AEW stuff. I get done with the show and I'm so buzzing that I can't possibly sleep, and then you look at your watch and you're like, flights leaving in five hours anyway. I might as well just stay up. I just had the fortunate experience of having Eddie Guerrero in my apartment. I remember him being completely freaked out at my bookcase because it's just all books about serial killers. I just remember looking over, and he's like, kind of a weird guy, but I don't remember specifically picking his brain.

"It was literally just more relaxed, like friend kind of conversations. He was extremely grateful for the ride to the airport. It was in the middle of a really bad snowstorm too, so I'm not even sure if he would have been able to get a cab to go all the way out to O'Hare. It's just a super cool experience. I didn't do it because he was Eddie Guerrero. It could have been any one of the boys.

"You don't have a ride, you're flying out of O'Hare. Well, we live X amount of time from there. We'll just take you – but yeah, super cool, and he didn't have to write about us his book. But he I think did just because he was a good dude. It's probably something that really touched him. Why would these strangers help me, and that's the good part about the business. That's one of the reasons I'm back is to try to continue to pay stuff like that forward. Eddie Guerrero was always super good to me, so I'm just trying to be super good to the kids these days."

Punk took time during the All Out scrum to mention that Terry Funk is a wrestler that doesn't get the appreciation that he does outside of his hardcore / deathmatch legacy. Punk discussed Funk's impact on the business.

"Well, I think my first experience with Terry Funk was knowing that he was a WCW / NWA guy, but he was in Road House, and he was in Over The Top and he really has kind of had these multiple career resurgences," Punk noted. "The dude retired for the first time I think maybe I was two years old. He already had this amazing career before he wanted some health insurance, so he got a SAG card. He was doing movies and stuff like that, and then every once and a while, somebody would come to him with an idea and a bag of money and he would be like, 'Yeah, I'll do that. Sounds kind of familiar, right?' I'm not sure if there's a ton of footage of Terry Funk as World Heavyweight Champion.

"Dory was a champ for so long. Terry was the champ like early '70s NWA. They were the first, maybe still only, brothers who held the World Championship and just all those guys, the Harley Race's and all those guys. You think NWA and you think of Ric Flair. To me, whose kind of a would be, want to be wrestling historian, I think of all those guys that came before that like Dory Funk and Terry Funk, all those dudes. And I just think to be the NWA champion, you had to be so many things, and one of them was a legit badass. You had to be on the road 24/7 as well.

"A lot of the guys, after being champ for so many years, said, 'I don't want to do this no more. It's too grueling.' I think Flair was the only guy who wanted to do that constantly. Everybody else, just schedule is too too rough and too rough on families and stuff like that, but Terry was a dude who I think was such an excellent wrestler. And then just based on his age and injuries, he changed his style, and then you get the hardcore legend Terry Funk. But there's a reason why a lot of those dudes idolize Terry, you know, and it's barbed-wire matches and all that stuff. A guy like Mick Foley loved Terry Funk, so he's kind of the bridge in between all these different generations of wrestlers, myself included."

Punk then recalled wrestling Funk. He revealed Funk's reaction after he hit him with a chair during the match.

"I remember wrestling him in the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia, and I was just terrified, like he was made of porcelain," Punk said. "That was my approach was like, 'Yes, sir. No, sir.' And I hit him with a chair in the match, and I didn't want to, but he told me to do it. And he literally just stopped and turned around and he was like, 'Is that all you got you p*ssy?' And then punched me right in the face. You're excited about that. F*cking Terry Funk just punched me in the face. He has punched Patrick Swayze in the face, and now he's punching me in the face. I love Terry Funk. Hopefully he's doing well. I know there was a scare a couple months back, but apparently it was all a false alarm. He's still terrifying."

Punk's wife AJ Mendez, f.k.a. AJ Lee, was recently introduced as executive producer and color commentator for WOW: Women of Wrestling. Some fans have pointed out the timing of this news, and Punk discussed if Mendez's return to pro wrestling was influenced by his return to pro wrestling.

"I don't want to put words in her mouth, but I think that's just a happy coincidence," Punk stated. "I had somebody reach out to me saying, 'Hey, Jeanie Buss wants to talk to April,' and I was like, 'What?' And April doesn't know anything about sports. So I took the idea to her, and I was just like, 'You have to at least take this meeting. Jeannie Buss is the most powerful woman in sports.' In my mind, I was just doing cartwheels thinking of my wife talking to Jeanie Buss, and I thought that was super cool.

"And they had a great conversation, and Jeanie was just kind of kickstarting WOW. And it really just kind of fit into the stuff that April's doing, writing, producing. So it really was just an idea presented to her that I think opened her up to 'oh, sh*t. Yeah, this is actually perfect. I can help the next generation of female wrestlers with the creative side of stuff. I don't have to get concussed. It's excellent,' so it really fit what she's doing in her wheelhouse, and I'm super stoked she's doing it."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit My Mom's Basement with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.