Renee Paquette has opened up about why she believes CM Punk signed with AEW rather than heading back to WWE.
CM Punk left WWE in somewhat acrimonious circumstances in 2014, and as the years passed many thought that the former World Champion would never return to the ring. However, after months of speculation, the Voice of the Voiceless finally signed with AEW, debuting at Rampage: The First Dance on August 20th.
Interestingly, it emerged after Punk’s debut that he had previously been in contact with WWE about returning to the company.
Appearing on the The Wrestling Inc. Daily alongside MMA star Miesha Tate, Renee Paquette discussed why she thinks that Punk decided to sign with AEW rather than WWE. Paquette explained that the list of fresh opponents in AEW was probably a deciding factor.
“I think the thing with WWE that everyone says is, never say never,” Paquette noted. “So if Punk were to have ended up back in WWE, I don’t think I would have been so floored by it because I think no matter what, everyone’s just kind of waiting. ‘When’s he gonna put the boots back on? When are we gonna get CM Punk back in the ring?’ And honestly, as more time was passing, I was like, sh*t, are we ever gonna see this? Is it never gonna happen?
“So I think for him to be able to sit back, and I know he took the time over the pandemic and watching these no crowd shows and what was going on with AEW, to now fans are back, and he came back at obviously the perfect time in Chicago from past pay-per-view to showing up on on Rampage. I’m not surprised that it was AEW that he decided to go to. I think the thing for him, whether it’s talking money, talking dates, whatever it comes down to, it’s the storylines and the people that he wants to work with.”
Continuing on, Paquette said that there wasn’t anything new available for Punk in WWE, in contrast to a new start in AEW.
“I don’t think there was anything fresh and new in WWE that he really wanted to do. I don’t think there was anyone there that he wanted to work that he hasn’t already worked, storylines he’s not already been able to do. Whether it was at AEW, or Ring of Honor or what have you, to now looking at things being busted wide open at AEW and having Adam Cole there now. You’ve got Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, for him to be able to tag with with Bryan Danielson, that was one thing that he mentioned to me on my podcast. I think it’s just those other opportunities and different avenues that he can kind of take his career now. I think that’s what really spoke to him more so than somebody driving a truck of cash up to his house, which hopefully he got that too.”
Elsewhere during the conversation, Paquette also revealed that her own WWE non-compete clause has now expired. The former RAW announcer said that she would be open to joining her husband Jon Moxley in AEW, adding that she misses pro wrestling.
Paquette signed with WWE in 2012, remaining with the company until August 2020. During her time with WWE, Paquette, appearing under the name Renee Young, worked in a variety of on-screen roles, becoming the first woman to hold a permanent position on the Monday Night Raw commentary team in 2018.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.