Although he spent close to a decade under WWE contract, CM Punk believes his time in the company was wasted.
Throughout the late 2000s and early 2010s, CM Punk was a name synonymous with WWE. ‘The Best in the World’ was what drew many younger wrestling fans into the product, owing to his captivating personality and outstanding in-ring ability.
During this time, Punk captured a number of WWE championships. Most notable, the two-time Money in the Bank winner held the WWE Championship for 434 days, capturing the title at Survivor Series 2011 and being dethroned by The Rock at the 2013 Royal Rumble pay-per-view. This reign is currently the sixth-longest in history.
Despite all of his successes in Vince McMahon’s sports entertainment giant, CM Punk has gone on record to say his time there was “wasted”. Speaking to ESPN’s Marc Raimondi, Punk believed he spent too much time “walking on hot coals” to maintain his position within the company.
The former five-time WWE World Champion continued (h/t ESPN):
“I feel like it was kind of wasted. It could have been so much more. It should have been so much more. And now, this is everything I dreamed pro wrestling could and should be. And I’m here and I’m f*cking in the moment. I’m not thinking about tomorrow. I’m not worried about sh*t that happened yesterday. I’m living in the moment and I’m 100% in my f*cking prime, best I’ve ever been.”
CM Punk walked out of WWE following the 2014 Royal Rumble, deemed done with professional wrestling forever. He wouldn’t again appear on a televised wrestling programme until he debuted with All Elite Wrestling on the second edition of Rampage, aptly titled ‘The First Dance’.
He’s currently scheduled to challenge ‘Hangman’ Adam Page for the AEW World Championship at the company’s fourth-annual Double or Nothing pay-per-view on Sunday, 29 May.