CM Punk’s wrestling future remains a hot topic of conversation and decidedly uncertain. Punk hasn’t featured for AEW since the infamous press conference and brawl, which saw suspensions handed down to all involved.
Punk’s arrival was a huge moment for All Elite Wrestling as the star had been absent from the ring for seven years. During this period he had been adamant that he was retired after his acrimonious from WWE in 2014. However, a little over a year later, Punk’s status within the company remains up in the air. The star was crowned AEW World Champion at All Out, before his press conference tirade, but was stripped of the gold just days later. During the match he also suffered a triceps injury which required surgery.
“CM Punk Has Sh*t The Bed” – Eric Bischoff
With Punk away from AEW it has been reported that he’s been negotiating a buyout of his contract, while WWE are said to be open to trying to bring him back in the right circumstances. Speaking to Steve Fall, Eric Bischoff has given his thoughts on the speculation and Punk’s wrestling future.
When asked about Punk returning to WWE, Bischoff said that he wouldn’t like to make a prediction either way.
“I’ve been around the business long enough not to make a prediction like that because anything can happen.”
Bischoff was then asked whether Punk going back to WWE would be a smart business move, to which he said that it wouldn’t. The former WCW President citing how television ratings failed to grow while the star was in AEW.
“I don’t think it would be. I think CM Punk sh*t the bed. When Tony Khan brought CM Punk into AEW, he still had that mystique, the Pipe bomb mystique. He was this character that stood up to the man and walked away. There’s a rebel, rebellious quality in that character that I think the average American admires.
So Punk had this mystique and still had his fanbase, and Tony Khan was able to take advantage of that. Over a very short period of time, that mystique began to just dissipate, it was like letting the air out of the balloon a little bit more each and every week. CM Punk came in and great ratings, and then, literally, the next week, started in a free fall back down to pre-Punk levels.
You look at where AEW is in terms of week-to-week ratings, which is the only thing that we can have to measure that’s public because the financial information is all private, and we don’t really hear anything about the real financial information. We just get the top line stuff. But ratings is the data that we have that we can go, ‘Oh, okay. This is where this product is going.’ Flat-lined shortly after CM Punk got there. Flat-lined to pre-Punk levels,”
The former Raw General Manager then pointed to Punk’s recent conduct, questioning why anyone would work with a star who had acted in that way.
“I think that a lot of that has to do with people came, they were excited because of the aura and the mystique, they saw, and they went, ‘Eh. Not so much. Little bit, but eh. Nothing special.’ Then for Punk to conduct himself in the manner in which he did I think left a bad taste in not only the fans’ mouths, but why would anybody wanna hire a guy that’s willing to publicly disparage the guy that’s writing him a check every week when he’s right next to you? Why would anybody want to be in business with that guy?”
Turning his attention to Tony Khan, Eric Bischoff said that it was “mind-boggling” that the AEW President didn’t call a halt to the press conference despite being sat just feet away.
“Tony had a mic. He had his own mic. He could have grabbed that mic, stood up and said, ‘This conference is over. Thank you all very much. Shut down the audio.’ Boom, it’s over. Then sort it out. But to sit there and be thrashed and flayed like a fish by a guy that you’re writing a check to for more money, five times more money than he’s really worth, is mine-boggling to me.
Again, I’m stubborn in some respects. I think the most important quality that anybody has in life is loyalty and integrity above talent, and if someone would be that disloyal and show that lack of integrity, I would never want to be in business with him. I don’t care how much money I could make because it’s gonna be a short-term win. You’re gonna win for a minute, and you’re gonna be sort. That’s been the pattern, hasn’t it? It’s a well-established pattern. So no, I wouldn’t hire him back,”
H/t to Fightful