Speaking in a new interview, CM Punk has given an insight into why he chose to sign with AEW.
On August 20th, CM Punk returned to professional wrestling after seven long years away. During that time he embraced more acting work and embarked on a short-lived Mixed Martial Arts career.
For years Punk said that he wasn’t interested in returning to wrestling after ending his tenure with WWE with a host of well publicised bad feeling. However, that all changed when AEW came calling and now the Chicago native is preparing for his first match since January 2014.
Appearing on Busted Open Radio, Punk explained why joining AEW was something of a no-brainer. The former WWE Champion said that he was drawn in by the wide range of potential opponents and the opportunities for numerous big-money matches.
“The lame answer is everybody,” When asked who he’d like to work with.
“I’ve never worked with The Young Bucks or Kenny Omega. I’ve worked with Cody in 2009. Those are the guys I never mention when I’m doing media because I always feel the need to put the spotlight on other young guys; Darby Allin, Brian Pillman Jr, (Powerhouse) Hobbs, Ricky Starks. There are people that have potential and if you know anything about wrestling and watch the program, you see those guys and you go, ‘that guy right there. That guy has something.’ I love how they are rough around the edges and that’s so great. It reminds me of watching an old wrestling studio show and not everything is super polished and an LED screen. These guys have different gear, different looks, personalities, they are all different. You can tell they come from different spots and have trained in different ways and have different styles. That’s what 100% attracted me to the AEW locker room. Why wouldn’t I want to wrestle these guys and go there? You talk about big money matches. There are way more in AEW than anywhere else for me.”
One of the more notable things from Punk’s big return promo on Rampage was that he made a real distinction between ‘professional wrestling’ and his time in WWE. The former are of course famous for describing their product as ‘sports entertainment.’
Punk went on to discuss his love of wrestling and why he made that distinction.
“It’s why I made a very important distinction in my first promo of, ‘here’s when I left pro wrestling’ and now I’m back. There is a distinction. The other place will tell you, they’ll beat you over the head with ‘we’re not pro wrestling.’ Why do you want to go to bat for that company and say that it is? Some people just pick their weird hills to die on. I don’t hate wrestling. I’ve never hated wrestling.”
At AEW All Out on September 5th CM Punk will step into the ring against Darby Allin. The bout will be Punk’s first singles match since January 20th 2014.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.