The big highlight of Starrcast III weekend was CM Punk in front of a pro wrestling crowd for the first time since leaving WWE.
Here are highlights of what was covered during his interview:
– Punk said every environment for him is a pro wrestling environment. He talked about doing Comic Con conventions and he always gets questions about wrestling because pro wrestling is part of pop culture.
– Punk was asked about his wrestling future. He says it’s not weird to be asked about a return and thinks it’s pretty cool that he left his mark on the business.
– Punk talked about being able to sleep in his own bed these days and he feels pretty fortunate. He thanked the fans for buying a shirt or going to see him at a show. He said he gets to do what he wants and feels fortunate that he can hang out with his wife and dog.
– He discussed his upcoming movies and what it’s like to play a different role other than being CM Punk. He said he’s not a fan of his own voice and he critiques himself. He joked that “Girl on the Third Floor” is a nightmare because 85 percent of the movie has his face on it.
– Punk was asked if he misses performing as a pro wrestler. Punk said he doesn’t “pine” for it every day because he was fortunate enough to do it all. He said he doesn’t wake up thinking about things he wished he could have done. His short answer is “no” he doesn’t miss getting in the ring. He said he knows some things that are going on but he’s out of the loop on things going on in wrestling. He said he doesn’t miss the business because he’s had such a good career.
– Punk was asked if there’s someone in wrestling these days that he might want to step in the ring with. Punk said before he signed sometime around 2010 he remembered walking up to Steve Austin and asking if he could take a stunner from him. Austin was up for it. Punk said Austin took a liking to him and that is when he tried to convince Austin to work a match. “There was a sliver in time when that was gonna happen and then next moment it didn’t.” Punk put over Marty Scurll as a super nice guy. He said he knows who Will Ospreay is but he’s only seen clips of him on Twitter. He mentioned Kenny Omega as being a big match guy and said he doesn’t know if he could keep up with someone like Omega. Punk said there’s on one person who jumps out at him that he thinks about stepping in the ring with.
– Punk was surprised to hear that wrestlers in WWE are now taking time off. He was shocked to hear that Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins took time off after getting engaged. Punk said “good for them” and “I think that’s f**king great” if wrestlers can take time off and not get punished.
– Punk was asked if there was something that could have kept him from leaving WWE. Punk said yes. He said that nobody talked to him and he was asking to go home because of his health. He said that he would ask to go home and WWE would keep telling him that he was needed. He finally went home and 4 days later Vince McMahon texted him to ask him to return to work. Then he was suspended for two months and the suspension ended on the day after WrestleMania. He said he found an uncashed royalty check and he asked to have it reissued because the bank wouldn’t cash it and he didn’t hear back from WWE. He talked about getting a FedEx and he was fired on the day of his wedding.
– Punk was asked if he would return to WWE and if he’s had conversations with them since leaving. He joked that he could sign a contract with them and then take time off. Punk said he would not talk to people in WWE management about trying to return. He feels it’s not up to him to reach out and “I’m over it, I’ve been over it for a very long time. It’s in the past. I’m 40 years old and I try to be as zen as I can possibly can be.” Punk said his wife would tell him that sometimes he’s confrontational when he doesn’t need to be. Punk said, “I’ll have a conversation with anybody but I’m not calling them but if they are like ‘hey’ then I’ll talk to ya.” Punk said he’s had a pretty good career and doesn’t think there’s anything left to accomplish. He said there were things that were done to him that he’s let go of but he doesn’t see them talking to him.
– On not getting to check off “WrestleMania main event” on his career list of things. He talked about toxic masculinity in wrestling and it gets people hurt and killed. He thinks it’s great that people can get time off but he feels there should be an offseason with wrestlers being rotated. He thinks every sports organization should have a professional neurologist and “they should have better doctors.” Punk said his last WrestleMania, it was evident that he wasn’t going to get the main event spot so he didn’t care and started to just care about being paid. His last WrestleMania was in New Jersey against The Undertaker.
– On the rumors that Punk was mad about wrestling The Undertaker at WrestleMania…Punk said he doesn’t remember being mad about wrestling Taker and the streak was a big deal at the time but he was probably mad about the way the match was presented. Punk said he had ideas to build the match up so he could come across like a threat but his ideas were shot down. Punk said he thought he and Taker had a good match.
– Punk talked about Harley Race. He said the last couple of years weren’t kind to Harley. He said Harley watched everyone from his generation pass on and Harley was in and out so sometimes he didn’t recognize Punk. Punk mentioned that Harley once took a bump for him. Punk said Harley would bring him into his promotion whenever he could in the early 2000s. He talked about Harley throwing up in his car once after a night at the bar but Harley “was hardcore about it” because he told Punk not to pull over because it would alert the authorities. Punk said Harley apologized and then hugged Punk with vomit on him. Punk talked about how Harley used to walk around with an old school taser and he would shock people.
– Punk talked about his matches in ROH with Samoa Joe. He doesn’t know if Gabe Sapolsky looked at him as a main guy but he kind of had to at that point. He and Joe didn’t approach their matches as if they were saving ROH. He said he loved working with Joe because it was easy but the “dude would beat the sh** out of you.” He hopes Joe is happy these days.
– Punk said his biggest wrestling aspirations were not WWE. The biggest thing for him was wrestling in Japan.
– Punk talked about the stories about a backstage confrontation at OVW with Tony Atlas around 2007 when he was ECW Champion. He talked about getting ready for a dark match and Tony Atlas walks in the locker room. Punk is taping up his wrists and Atlas tells him that it looks like he has two broken arms. Punk tried to explain why he was taping up his arms but Atlas told him that if he doesn’t listen to his coach then he will never be called to “the big show.” Punk didn’t know what to make of Atlas but he thanked him and Atlas walked off. After his match, there was a post-show meeting and Atlas says “most everybody here was nice but you know one person, in particular, was an assh*le.” Atlas then started talking about how he could benchpress more than Hulk Hogan and how he beat Hogan for real one time. Punk realized Atlas was staring at him when he talked about Punk being an “assh*le.” Punk finally stood up and said “f*ck you” and said “you don’t even know who the f*ck I am. You don’t even know his name.” Punk said he eventually buried the hatchet with Atlas. He talked about Mike Bucci being a stooge and trying to get people fired.
– Punk talked about the buildup for his match with The Undertaker and how it didn’t make sense for him to lose during the weeks before his match with Taker. He said it was an uphill battle to try to make his match with Taker not feel so lopsided. He said it was cat litter and not really Paul Bearer’s ashes that he poured on himself during the storyline.
– Punk doesn’t think Vince McMahon ever got him because there was always a fight. “I don’t think he ever understood me,” Punk said.
– Punk was asked about the positives about his time in WWE. He talked about meeting the old school guys like Harley Race. He talked about always pitching 30 minute Iron Man matches with guys like Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger but Michael Hayes said they couldn’t figure out how to put a clock on the titan tron. He liked traveling with Kofi Kingston and working house show matches with Daniel Bryan.
– He said he liked working with John Cena because it was easy. They worked together really well. Punk he didn’t sign a new WWE contract until the day of his match with John Cena in Chicago. Punk liked helping others have happy moments and he always like helping out friends.
– Punk was asked if he’s ever thought about writing a book. He said yes about writing a book but he wouldn’t want to write more than one. He said he saw the hell his wife went through to write her book so he doesn’t know if it’s something he wants to do.
– Punk was asked about the time fans chanted for him when The Rock was filming a scene for “Fighting With My Family” after Monday Night Raw. The Rock called him while he was in the ring but Punk says he didn’t know because he was in an elevator at the time. Punk said he texted Rock when he got outside. Punk said a couple of people backstage told him that people were freaking out when Rock tried to call him.
– Punk and Rock are on good terms but that wasn’t always the case around the time they were going to wrestle each other. Punk said it was around the time he had surgery on his knee and he wasn’t happy about being announced for a match with Ryback while he was recovering. After that feud is when he was booked to wrestle The Rock and the night before the match with Rock, Punk was told to go meet Rock at the hotel he was staying in. Someone on Rock’s team handed Punk a promo. He said things weren’t necessarily negative. They eventually had a one-on-one conversation in a crowded room and he thinks Rock respected him for not backing down on his thoughts on what he needed to say to Rock in his promos.
– Punk had a lot of good things to say about WWE Champion Kofi Kingston. He thinks it’s cool to see how far Kingston has come but feels it should have happened 10 years ago. He thinks it’s probably better that it happened now because his kids get to see what he is doing.
– Punk was asked about maybe playing a role in a Marvel movie. He thought being a 2019 version of Kraven in a Spider-Man movie would be cool. He would want to do something that is fun and makes sense.
– Punk told the fans to enjoy all wrestling and they can watch it all. He said fans don’t have to choose if they don’t want to.
– He said life is complicated. He said it is interesting to see a racially divided political system. He has had it with people who don’t think someone is good because of the color of their skin and he’s always felt this way. He said some woman yelled “go home, go back to where you came from” and he realized that it was directed at his wife and she wasn’t happy about it. He said next time it happens they will deal with it on the 9 o’clock news because everybody needs to be held accountable. He says it sucks that we’re in a spot in this country where we don’t know what is real or not.
– Punk was asked if there are misconceptions that he wants to clear up. He said that is not for him to decide and people have their own version of him. He tries to be nice and kind to everybody and he can’t prevent people from having a negative view on him and he doesn’t care to explain himself.
– Punk said he was anxious before doing Starrcast. He said his purpose for doing this was to feel like he’s hanging out with friends and he hopes the fans in attendance get some cool memories out of his appearance. He thanked everyone.