CM Punk has discussed his return to wrestling with All Elite Wrestling and has said that a return to his former employers at WWE was never a consideration.
The worst kept secret in professional wrestling was revealed on AEW: Rampage The First Dance in the United Center, Chicago when CM Punk made his return to wrestling after a seven-year hiatus.
Punk’s hometown crowd gave the former WWE Champion a hero’s welcome and the Straight Edge Superstar addressed his future with AEW as well as his past.
CM Punk referred to Ring Of Honor where he previously wrestled until 2005 but never referred to WWE by name, instead calling it the “place I used to work.” Some onlookers still felt that Punk referencing WWE in any way wasn’t ideal but the majority of fans were captivated by what Punk came to say.
Speaking on The Angi Taylor Show, CM Punk addressed why he didn’t mention WWE by name but why it was also impossible to ignore them:
“I understand life’s tough and not everybody can do it, but I’m just somebody that will just never compromise myself. And I say the place I used to work because I don’t feel it’s specifically necessary to mention them when I don’t have to. I am full of anxiety and stress doing press for AEW right now that I’m inadvertently going to say a whole bunch of stupid stuff. People are going to break it down and use out-of-context quotes for clickbait.”
“But the reality is you can’t talk to me, coming back after seven years, without bringing up the place I used to work. I’m just trying to do my best to not sling mud so to speak because everything I say about them is 100% the truth. I just want to focus on and highlight the positives of the new place I work, AEW. I’m trying here, I’m trying.”
CM Punk then added that a potential return to WWE was never something that was a strong possibility – despite Punk working on WWE Backstage for FOX:
“I don’t think I considered it. Three years ago, five years ago I don’t think AEW even existed. I don’t think going back to WWE was ever really, logically, on the table.”
CM Punk will have his first match in over seven and a half years when he faces former TNT Champion Darby Allin at All Out.