CM Punk finally speaks out about his time away after that one press conference that everyone remembers.
Nine months after the infamous BRAWL OUT, CM Punk is set to make his return to an AEW ring. On Saturday, AEW’s third show, Collision, will air live from 8 PM-10 PM ET. Punk is set to have a live mic to get some things off his chest.
Before he gets in front of a live audience, the former AEW World Champion talked with ESPN’s Marc Raimondi. It is the only interview he’s given since ALL OUT. He discussed what led up to his actions at the media scrum, but stopped short of saying exactly what happened when things escalated physically (there is reportedly a non-disclosure agreement in place).
During the ALL OUT main event with Jon Moxley, Punk tore his left tricep tendon completely off the bone. He seems to think he would’ve been back on television sooner if he had not been injured.
CM Punk addresses his issues
Punk addressed his issue with Hangman Page and confirmed reports that it stemmed from an unplanned comment about workers’ rights. It was in reference to Punk’s former friend and Page’s friend, Colt Cabana. Punk says he addressed Page after the segment. Page believed that Punk had Cabana fired, something Punk and Tony Khan have been adamant about not being true. Cabana was still employed with the company and had been moved to ROH.
One thing we’ve learned in this interview is that during the match with Page at Double or Nothing, Punk says that he was chopped in the mouth. It caught Punk off guard and he wondered if he was going to have to give him a “receipt.” His paranoia also led to him having “a garbage match.”
"You chip my tooth, and I’m like, ‘All right, should I give him a receipt?’ It changes the dynamic. It poisoned everything for me, and it made it all really, really ugly, and that was what set all of this off, and here we are over a year later and ain’t s— been done about it.”"
Since that night in September, Punk has been remorseful and has tried to make amends. He confirmed reports that he has tried to apologize to The Elite, but has been rebuffed. Through lawyers, he has been advised not to contact them. Punk has been able to apologize to Khan and says their relationship is “great.” He apologized for putting Khan “in that position.”
"But when you’ve watched that scrum, you’re looking at a very, very frustrated guy who had told people. That’s not the first time he heard all that. It’s not the first time lawyers were told all that. And I was just looking for something to be done and nothing got done. So, if you want something done right, you got to do it yourself. And I just didn’t approach it in the right manner, but tension was high. I was very, very pissed. I pretty much knew that I had just injured myself again. I was hurt, and I was disappointed. Yeah, it’s very easy for me to say I regret that and I handled it the wrong way, 100%.”"
Where does Punk go from here?
“The Second City Saint” did try to downplay what happened. He pointed out how altercations happen all the time in other sports. It’s reported on and then everyone quickly moves on. Punk believes this issue lingered because he was recovering from surgery. He also blames things getting leaked to the wrestling media that he believes paint him in a bad light. Punk says he was defending himself, something he will always do.
"I’m open to have a full-blown f—ing sit-down powwow discussion with everybody about it. But it hasn’t happened yet, and it’s not because of my lack of trying.”"
As for using what has happened behind the scenes for storyline purposes, Punk has been told that will not happen. He will be addressing the fans for the first time since last September but with limits on what can be said about his time away.
"“I certainly had some low moments, and I won’t rule out in those fleeting moments where I just say, ‘Ah, f— this, whatever,'” Punk said. “But I don’t ever think it was a serious intention to say that I’m done."
We’ll have to tune in to see exactly what Punk has to say to the fans. There are a lot of questions about how Punk will rewrite his next chapter in wrestling, including any other blow-ups or altercations.