Exclusive: Paul London Shares His Thoughts On “Self-Hype Machine” CM Punk

CM Punk - Paul London

Paul London is a big of CM Punk the wrestler, but much less impressed by the man behind the performer.

CM Punk is one of the most polarising figures in all of professional wrestling, seemingly beloved and despised in equal measure. Not only is that the opinion of fans, but it’s also a feeling that seems to extend to his fellow professionals.

While Punk is popular with and close to the likes of Dax Harwood, he’s had well-publicised issues with Hangman Adam Page and the Young Bucks among others.

Speaking in an exclusive new interview with Nick Hausman for Inside The Ropes, former WWE Superstar Paul London gave his thoughts on the star as well as recalling his own interactions with the former World Champion.

London said that he first met Punk briefly while the pair worked for TNA/IMPACT Wrestling in the early 2000s. The former Tag Team Champion recalled an incident he was told about during this period, that involved Punk getting into a fight with Teddy Hart who was said to have got the better of the exchange.

“But on one of these weeks that I wasn’t there, I remember because Michael Shane was there and he told me. I think Punk had said some smart comments or something, and Teddy Hart, took him down, basically just took him down to the ground and was pummeling him. And I think maybe Sabu pulled him off or something.

But yeah, any version of that story you hear, it’s never ‘Yeah, Punk took Teddy down and got on top of him,’ that’s not at all how any of the versions are.”

Although London went on to describe Punk as a “self-hype machine,” a “mark for himself” and suggested he should have been humbled by his experience in UFC, he praised his work as a wrestler and performer.

“I think Phil’s another one of those guys who you know, is like a self-hype machine. And he’s done great for himself, right? I mean, he’s a huge, huge pro wrestling star. You would think his experience in UFC would have humbled him some. But needless to say, he definitely understands the platform that he’s on and he uses it to the best of his capabilities. Not taking anything away of his stardom or his ability or his talent. He’s certainly one of the best talkers in the business. And he’s great at what he does.”

The former WWE Cruiserweight Champion also recalled one of his own interactions with Punk when he went to visit a Ring of Honor show while with WWE.

London said that during his visit multiple ROH stars asked when he was coming back, calling Punk “The worst” and the “Triple H of the locker room” due to him being political and difficult to work with.

While backstage talking with Samoa Joe, Punk came over and shook his hand, although he seemed less than happy to do so.

“I remember going back to the bigger area of the backstage and I ran into Joe and I started talking to Samoa Joe, because we had known each other since Southern California UPW. So we’re talking and I noticed out of the corner of my eye this this kind of shadowy figure paced back and forth, am like ‘What the hell’s going on here?’

I look and it’s Phil and he just walks up to me he goes ‘Hi, [big sigh]’ and gives me the most insincere handshake. I’m like, ‘Hi…’ you know he just walks off, stormed off. What the f*ck was that? It was like he was obligated to say hi to me, but he was not happy that I was there for some reason. I don’t know what was up his ass.”

CM Punk And Samoa Joe Recently Renewed Their Rivalry

After being out of action since September 2022, CM Punk returned to AEW in June on the debut episode of Collision. Shortly after he returned he was added to the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament and his progress landed him a match with Samoa Joe.

The pair have a rivalry going back to their days in Ring of Honor where they competed in a trio of acclaimed matches. However, in 2023, it was Punk who got the win to advance, although he was beaten by Ricky Starks in the final.

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