Paul Heyman On CM Punk Returning To Wrestling In AEW

In an appearance on The Masked Man Show, WWE's Paul Heyman was asked about CM Punk's return to wrestling with AEW. Paul Heyman managed Punk in WWE back in 2012, and Heyman seemed to be more interested in what happens when the novelty wears off than he did what Punk had done to this point in his return.

"I think what will be interesting is, what happens when the novelty that he's back wears off?" Heyman asked. "Both for the audience and for him. I'm sure for him this is still like 'I can't believe I'm back! I'm actually walking into an arena, holy shit.'

"I think it's still very fresh for him. What happens a year from now? How's he going to feel? How will the audience look at him and accept him in a year? If he can continue to drive himself, to being a progressive, compelling, riveting character on the cutting edge that presents himself in a different manner than anyone else can present, then he's going to be a fascinating character to watch."

Paul Heyman noted that if Punk doesn't continue to drive himself, then he will pretty much be a novelty act.

"If he doesn't (continue to drive himself), then he's going to be someone that came back, rode a wave of nostalgia but didn't progress into the future when he as a rebel was always looking forward in the business and never trying to live off what the business had already accomplished or what he had already accomplished in the business," Heyman said. "So the fascinating thing for me to watch is his mindset is his vision for that character, for that persona, for himself as a performer a year from now. We're still in the honeymoon period."

Paul Heyman used the CM Punk discussion to turn the conversation back to his former client Roman Reigns and how he moved into the role of the Tribal Chief. He revealed a conversation he had with Reigns about the next step in his career.

"Where does Phil Brooks want to take CM Punk?" Heyman asked. "It's the same thing, it's the same conversation I had with Roman Reigns before we debuted in public together. It's again, it's taking the 'Big Dog' and moving him into the role of the 'Tribal Chief.' Everything that you've done only leads up till now. That was just the appetizer. And now you're going to be the main course.

"I told Roman 'you've had four WrestleMania main events and you have to look at that as just the audition to be the Tribal Chief. It's just the lead-up to it. Because everything you've done before now is just the lead to the moment you emerge as the Tribal Chief. This is where your legacy gets crafted. This is your Hall Of Fame run. This is what you will be remembered for. And everything before was just getting you here. Including four WrestleMania main events.'"

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Masked Man Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.