WWE Hall of Famer and AEW star, Billy Gunn, recently sat down to speak with Sportskeeda. Arguably one of the biggest stories of the year was CM Punk’s return to pro wrestling on “The First Dance” episode of AEW Rampage. Billy Gunn made sure to be close to the crowd when they first saw Punk’s return, explaining how real emotion heightens everything in wrestling.
“I was there in the United Center when he came out, and this was one of the things where, like, I literally went out in the arena. I like to experience things like that naturally and with people. I don’t want to see it on TV. Like, if I’m there, why would I not go out? Because, dude, when he came out, there was an energy in that building and it literally took your breath away. It’s just like the thing that went viral with the guy that started crying because it’s emotional. People don’t associate emotions with wrestling, but that’s when you get your best stuff. Like, if you’re emotionally invested in wrestling, which is hard to do these days, but if you can do that, that’s a whole ‘nother level.”
Gunn compared the reception to how it was when Stone Cold Steve Austin would enter an arena, something he believes modern fans may be missing out on. He believes the only superstar in WWE that may be nearing such interest from the crowd may be WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns.
“A lot of kids, they don’t understand that because they only saw it on TV. They never experienced what it’s like to walk out, to wrestle with Stone Cold Steve Austin and the place go absolutely insane. Like, insane, and I’ve been in with them all,” Gunn explained. “I can literally say I’ve been in the ring with them, against them, and it’s so emotional that it’s super cool. And it’s nothing against our talent in any company, like, I don’t think WWE — Roman Reigns might be close to it. But you don’t have any people that are that over. I’m talking, like, over over.
“So, when CM Punk made his debut, the place went insane because it’s emotional, and when things are emotional, you get a whole different feeling. And I went out there and I got goosebumps. I mean, I’ve got goosebumps now just talking about it because it was so cool to see that people are still that invested in him after seven years,” Billy Gunn said. “He finally came back and it was a great moment for wrestling. And it was something that this younger generation — and I hope they just understand the gravity of what that was, and how he came out like that.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Sportskeeda with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.