CM Punk has explained that he joined AEW simply because it’s more fun, rather than re-signing with WWE where he would be part of the same old boring formula.
Since returning to the squared circle, CM Punk has been open about his decision to join AEW. Mainly that AEW is new and exciting and provides the opportunity to share the ring with numerous up and coming stars he wouldn’t have faced otherwise.
It’s a point that Punk continued to expand upon in conversation with NYC Radio host Josh Martinez. Punk suggested that if he would have returned to WWE he would have been drawn into following the company’s formula. A formula he says that he was already bored of ten years ago.
“I literally want to wrestle everybody, but I’m telling a specific story here of coming back, kind of restarting, rekindling my love for pro wrestling,” Punk said. “If I went back to WWE, what would I do? There’s a formula. There’s a track record and a formula. This is what they do. Batista comes back, he wins the Royal Rumble, he main events WrestleMania. Edge comes back. He’s in the Royal Rumble. I think he was in it twice.
“He might have won, I don’t know. He goes on the main event WrestleMania. There’s a formula and I was bored of that sh*t 10 years ago, so I’m bored of it now. I understand people saying that they don’t like certain things and all that, then it’s not for you. I get it. Like I said, I’m there for the fans in the building. I’m telling the stories that I want to tell, and I’m having fun doing it. You’ll know when it’s not fun for me because I won’t do it.”
Continuing on, Punk discussed the differences in locker room culture between the present day and when he took his first steps in the industry back in late 1990’s. The former WWE Champion explained that he’s taken it upon himself to break the cycle of toxic tradition by treating people as he wishes he was treated in his younger days.
“I mean, it’s youth. There for certain is a youth movement in wrestling, and there’s a lot more cycle breakers in the locker rooms nowadays,” Punk said. “The people that never understood why they were treated a certain way, but we’re all on the same team, and instead of continuing to do that tradition, then passing that down, hazing, bullying, whatever you want to call it, there’s people like myself that are just like, we’re just tired of it.
“I’m not paying that forward. I’m going to treat people the way that I wasn’t treated, the way I thought that everybody should have been treated, with a smile and a hug rather than a ‘oh, you got to earn my respect’ or some weird macho bullsh*t. It’s just a more conducive working environment. If somebody wants to look at that and say that it’s soft, that’s fine. I know people in the locker room that are hard as nails but just because you’re a tough guy doesn’t mean you need to be mean to other people.”
Since signing with AEW in August CM Punk has remained undefeated. The star overcame Darby Allin in his first match in more than seven years at All Out before seeing off the likes of Powerhouse Hobbs and Daniel Garcia.
On the most recent episode of AEW Dynamite Punk defeated Bobby Fish with his signature GTS.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.