CM Punk was recently on The Rich Eisen Show where he discussed his return to pro wrestling as well as the Chicago sports scene. Punk has admitted before that he “feels like trash” physically since his return, and he spoke more on what his return to pro wrestling has felt like.
“It feels great. It really does,” Punk stated. “I think I missed it without realizing I missed it, just actually throwing on some boots and some knee pads and getting in front of a live audience. There was a point, I think, where I had done everything I could possibly do, and there was really kind of no avenue for me to enjoy something I used to really, really love. And then AEW came around and the spark grew from there, the idea, the possibility that I could come back and kind of re-engage with my love of pro wrestling again, and that’s exactly where I’m at right now. So, it feels great.”
Punk then later talked about what specifically he has enjoyed after being away from pro wrestling for seven years. He also described what his role in AEW is like.
“Well, it’s definitely the selfish stuff, the roar of the crowd, the adrenaline rush you get feeding off the people, performing in front of crazy, rabid, sold out crowds, like 20,000 people at Arthur Ashe Stadium or just walking out onto the ramp in front of 15,000 people at the United Center,” Punk said, “Those things I haven’t done in so long, so it’s almost like they’re new again.
“Engaging in pro wrestling with guys who maybe grew up watching me is kind of a trip, but it’s exciting too because there’s just this whole new generation of young, hungry wrestlers that, I guess, look up to me as kind of a role model. I feel like I’m in this very Reggie Dunlop Slapshot position of player/coach, old gnarly guy who has got a couple of tricks up his sleeve and wants the team to succeed and win, but along the way, help some guys out.”
“The Forbidden Door” has allowed wrestlers from other companies to make appearances in AEW. Punk discussed if his plans are solely on AEW or if he is interested in wrestling talents like Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tetsuya Naito.
“I’m, for sure, both feet in on AEW, but I know a lot of the New Japan guys wind up coming over and wrestling on AEW Dynamite and Rampage, and I’m not adverse to the idea,” Punk noted. “But I know they’re in the throes of their G1 tournament and stuff like that. So I don’t know if they can spare the guys, and I think because of the pandemic, you still don’t see a whole lot of travel from America to Japan. I definitely think you’d have to do a hard two-week quarantine once you get to Japan, and I just don’t think that’s a viable option at this point.
“I got to do that when I take acting gigs, and that’s hard enough, so then to be in Japan for two weeks to sit in a hotel, I’d probably lose my mind. I’m for sure interested. You said Okada, and I think that’s a guy I would definitely be interested in getting in the ring with because again, gone for seven years, the rise of everybody who has become a superstar in my absence. I definitely want to get back in the ring with him. He’s probably the number one guy over there.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit The Rich Eisen Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.