While CM Punk has already made an impact in the ring since joining AEW, he’s also found himself calling the action on a semi-regular basis.
Ahead of his first match for the company against Darby Allin, Punk appeared on commentary in order to scout his new rival. This one off appearance has since expanded into more of a regular feature, with Punk commentating on more than one full episode of AEW programming.
Appearing on a recent episode of the AEW Unrestricted podcast, Punk explained how the move came about. The former WWE Champion initially revealed that he started doing commentary earlier in his career while he was out injured.
“The commentary thing always started off as a joke,” he said. “I remember doing commentary, it always seemed like when I was hurt. I remember the first time I ever did commentary, it was for Ian Rotten’s IWA and I had fractured my skull, but I would still go to shows because I was a loser and I had nothing else to do. I remember being there and Dave Prazak and me did commentary and I think we did a whole deathmatch tournament commentary and it was fun and I think we were really good at it. That grew into when I was injured in WWE one time, I would sit in and do commentary.”
Expanding further, Punk said that commentary came naturally to him, adding that it was his idea to begin calling entire AEW shows.
“It was something that came naturally to me and everybody is always like, ‘Wow, you’re really good at this.’ We had an idea of me doing commentary on one of Darby’s match and we did that, but I was legit backstage going, ‘I want to do the whole show.’ I’m not trying to take anybody’s job, I just think it’s a cool way to get CM Punk on the show without doing the same things over and over. It’s just a different look. Selfishly, I want to work with Tony, JR, and Excalibur. I got to have a lot of fun and do an angle out of it and made it look different. Doing commentary with those guys is a blast.”
Elsewhere on the episode, Punk recalled the backstage reaction to his now legendary “pipe bomb” promo from 2011.
Heading into WWE Money In The Bank in July 2011, CM Punk stood as the number one contender to John Cena’s WWE Championship. After revealing that his WWE contract was expiring on July 17th, the same day Money In The Bank, Punk took to the stage on the June 27th edition of Monday Night RAW to get a few things off his chest.
Sat cross-legged at the top of the ramp, Punk delivered a scathing monologue taking aim at WWE Superstars such as John Cena, WWE management and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
The promo resulted in a storyline suspension for Punk, while the segment instantly claimed a place in wrestling folklore for ‘shattering the 4th wall’ and blurring the lines between story and reality.
Reflecting on the aftermath of the segment, Punk recalled the “weird” atmosphere he encountered backstage, and when he realised he’d done something that had made an impact.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.