Paul Wight recently spoke with the Brandon Kravitz podcast where he touched on CM Punk returning to professional wrestling with AEW. The former WWE and WCW star discussed the incredible reaction that Punk received on his debut with the company, admitting it was in the top three loudest he has ever heard in wrestling.
“Oh, definitely top five, probably top three in my lifetime. I mean, you think of Stone Cold Steve Austin with the breaking glass and the Austin 3:16 promo, wow, that was the start of something huge. When Hulk Hogan turned heel and joined the nWo and the trash was thrown in the ring, wow, that was a huge moment. CM Punk coming back was so unreal because people had waited so long and there were so many teases. Any time any wrestling organization went to Chicago, is this the time we are going to see CM Punk? Then you see CM Punk come back, who is still in great shape and is still excellent at what he does.”
Punk cut a memorable promo during his first night back in the ring, and Wight believes that it is one of the greatest examples of storytelling in the history of the industry. He believes it is so good that he urged young, upcoming wrestlers to watch it as an example.
“I love CM Punk’s matches because he starts slower and builds toward the end. By the end, you’re going nuts because he pulls you right in with his work and his ability to tell that story in the ring, and he’s great on the microphone. His timing on the promo when he came back in Chicago– if you are a younger talent and are looking at cadence, and meaning, and telling a story, and how to cut a promo, that promo is one of the best promos that I have ever heard for storytelling. CM Punk told a story, he didn’t knock anybody or bury anything. He spoke from his heart about how things affected him and he took you on that journey and made you understand why he was gone so long, but then he made you understand what brought him back. That’s what you want to do in a promo, you want to have a beginning, middle, and end, and tell a story, and Punk is a great storyteller on the microphone and in the ring. To have him back, it was a great shot in the arm.”
Punk isn’t the only big name that AEW has brought in, with Wight giving a lot of praise to Kenny Omega. The current AEW World Champion has put together some brilliant encounters for the company, and Wight admits that he has become a huge fan of his work.
“Then to have Bryan Danielson come over and have these guys shake it up, and give guys like Kenny Omega a chance to really run. I honestly never understood how good Kenny Omega was until I got to watch him work because I was in a different company. I knew who Kenny Omega was and I knew he was a big deal in Japan and a lot of people talked about him, but I had no idea how good this guy was until I got around him and watched him. I was like “holy s**t,” he’s one of the best I have seen at the little things he does. He’s such a great heel. He enjoys being a heel, he’s not afraid to make fun of himself. The stuff that he does is on point, it’s impressive to watch. I’ve become a huge fan of him since I’ve come to AEW. Plus, he’s a good dude backstage. He’s not that arrogant S.O.B. that he is on TV, he is a really kind person backstage which I always respect. Some guys live their gimmick 24/7 and some guys understand it’s a work, and a guy like Kenny understands it’s a work.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit the Brandon Kravitz podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.