AEW star CM Punk recently spoke with Sport1 about the numerous arrivals to AEW in past months, including Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole, and Punk himself. While comparing the nWo arriving in WCW to the 3 former WWE stars arriving in AEW, Punk explained that it will take multiple years to see how much AEW benefits from the signings.
“How much the change from Adam Cole, Bryan Danielson and me really effects wrestling, you will only see it fully in many years, at least five. When Scott Hall and Kevin Nash went to WCW, it was big. The formation of the New World Order (nWo) with Hulk Hogan was huge, but if you look at the long-term effects, it burned out relatively quickly,” Punk explained. “Five years later, WCW came to an end. So ask me in five years where will AEW be. As for the comparison, I never said Adam, Bryan, and I were bigger than the nWo, I said the change felt bigger for us than the changes back then. This is my opinion. Others may disagree, that’s cool too. In five years, you will be able to judge it correctly. ”
The “Straight Edge Star” thinks the ability to have an influence on you character and storylines is a major reason pro wrestlers are attracted to the company. He’s surprised to have found a place where you can maintain the fun, make money, and grow with the roster.
“It’s the perfect storm. For 20 years, fans have only been able to see one product at a certain level, so something new is good from the outset. As a wrestler, you want to be with AEW because you have a lot of creative freedom there. That doesn’t mean that you can do what you want there. But everyone can bring in ideas, nobody is afraid of getting a negative echo.
“You can work here, have fun, and earn good money with it. I still have in my head how many people have been criticized for not going together, including me. ‘Do you want to have fun here or do you want to make money?’ That was the question and I always answered, ‘Why shouldn’t it actually be possible to bring both under one roof? We can make a lot of money and have fun, and the fact that this is happening at AEW attracts many wrestlers. ”
Punk also discussed AEW’s approach to their fanbase, noting how there’s a focus on giving them a satisfying product instead of “ignoring them”.
“I believe that it is crucial to look at, the fans in the halls, and ask yourself, ‘What can we do to make these fans happy?’ These are the fans who will be doing word of mouth and drawing the attention of others to us. I don’t believe in chasing after casual viewers who just happen to tune in to us. I think we should focus on the real fans. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it’s the worse business model, but I think people who love wrestling have been ignored for too long. We do not ignore them. We want these very people to come to us and then we grow because they bring their friends with them, their brothers, sisters, cousins, mothers, fathers, grandparents. “