CM Punk has spoken out about the night he turned down Vince McMahon‘s voice while serving as colour commentator.
Speaking to Renee Young on her Oral Sessions Podcast, the former WWE Champion delved into an amusing story in which a pay-per-view injury lead to him being yelled at through a headset by his then boss.
To begin the tale, CM Punk took us all the way back to WWE Bragging Rights 2010 on October 24, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he was part of Team Raw and Edge was a member of Team SmackDown:
“It’s like 2 days before my birthday and I’m wrestling on the Bragging Rights pay-per-view where we’re either in St. Paul or Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Target Center, I don’t know. And its cold as f**k in the building and I ran six miles, that was my workout in the morning. I can’t get warm and I can’t get loose for this match and I tear my gluteus medius muscle which apparently is very very hard to tear.
Edge gave me his suplex where he bumps me on my belly, it feels like a rubber band in my hip pops, and then I’m supposed to do a leap frog to avoid his spear and I cant jump. I’m just f****d. I get to the back and Dean Malenko goes, “it looks like you’re hurt, you ok?”, and I’m like, “I don’t know, something exploded in my hip”, and once I get off the trainer’s table I can’t walk.”
In the lead up to the story in question, Punk continued the tale of the build-up with him getting assessed in the hospital:
“I think I got an MRI, it was my birthday and I think I did commentary in Green Bay [Wisconsin] even though I can barely walk. I limped to the ring and I was like, ‘I’m hurt, why do I even have to be on television, just let me f*****g go home.’ I flew to Nashville to get surgery and the doctor was like, ‘how did you get in here?’ I was like, ‘what do you mean? I walked’, and he was like, ‘if you tore your gluteus medius you’re not going to be walking as well as you are.’
He puts me in his MRI machine which is way more high tech than whichever one I got previous and then he gets me into his office and he’s got 2 computer screen and shows me both MRIs. The first he’s like, ‘you see this, it looks tore off the bone. And you see [mine], this white area, it’s just torn. I’m not operating on you. You just need to do physical therapy and rehab and you’ll be fine.’ I was stoked because that meant I’m not getting cut, no surgeries, I can just go home and f**k off until…I needed that refresher, I needed to be off tv, I needed to relax.”
However, things were not as simple as CM Punk hoped they would been. He barely touched down on home soil before the phone rang again, leading him to mute arguably wrestling’s greatest mastermind:
“So I get home and Vince calls me and he goes, ‘I hear you didn’t need surgery, that’s great. Sending you a plane ticket, we’re going to have you do commentary so you’re ring ready.’ I was bummed because I didn’t want to fly.
I remember the first night on commentary, Vince was yelling in my head set and I elbowed [Jerry] Lawler. I wrote a note to him and I was like, ‘which is the volume button?’ He pointed to it and I turned it all the way down. When we took the headsets off after the show I was like, ‘did you not know you could do that?’ He was like, ‘I knew I could do that but we’re going to get yelled at’. Vince never said anything to me.”
From there, CM Punk would go on to be the main player in one of the biggest stories of the last decade, leaving the company with the WWE Championship when his contract expired in 2011. The sight of him sat on the barricade, title in tow, blowing a kiss to Vince McMahon as he departs is still one of the most famous sights in the last twenty years.
Credit for the interview: Oral Sessions Podcast