CM Punk returned to Colt Cabana's Art of Wrestling Podcast this week after his highly publicized interiew had well over a million listens on YouTube alone.
Listen to the full interview below:
Cabana and Punk said from the early going that this week's episode would be nothing like last week's and would be a more traditional episode of Art of Wrestling. Punk said that there were be 347 instances of the "F word" on last week's show. The show quickly deviated from the traditional concept, and moved more towards the theme of last week's podcast.
Cabana said the Q&A email crashed quickly, getting 10,000 responses. He said that he expected 300 and was planning to read them all personally. That obviously didn't happen. CM Punk said that he got fired on his wedding day, his settlement on his birthday, and gave back to the fans on Thanksgiving. He also said it would have happened sooner, but Cabana was in Japan. "I was really antsy to get it out so I could get on with my life," Punk said.
Cabana also said he didn't realize how big this was, because the information to he and Punk was just every day. As it happened, the response was overwhelming. Punk said the whole situation was theraputeutic and has had people coming up to him on the streets saying they enjoyed the podcast. Punk said that he was expecting questions pertinent to his situation, but instead got questions about why everyone is so wet when they come out of gorilla position.
Punk say he prefers being called CM Punk in public, saying "If I'm walking down the street and somebody's like 'Yo, Phil,' unless I know you, I'm not gonna respond to you. It's weird, it's strange. Steamboat always called me CM. It's the weird, bipolar wrestling business. It is what it is."
Punk spoke about fans chanting his name after his absense as well. "It's weird, I think they do it in two cases. They do it when they see my wife, they seem to chant my name at her. I've had a couple people say they think it's a respect thing to me. But it's not me, it's her. Chant her name," said Punk. "There's people that will chant when there's just something awful." He also compared his exit to a bagboy at Whole Foods, saying that he doesn't chase a bagboy down who quits for being a traitor.
"After I re-signed, I didn't watch anything. I used to be that guy that watched everything, analyzes everything. I would watch the live shows. I used to go back and watch all my stuff, but I didn't have the stomach for it anymore. I'll watch my wife's stuff. She tells me what segment she is and I watch."
Cabana said that the e-mail received tons of questions asking if Punk would ever make a return, specificially for a WrestleMania main event. Punk compared the situation to The Doors on the Ed Sullivan show, saying "I've been there, done that. Now it's something I'm synonymous with like 'Aw shucks, he shoulda got his WrestleMania main event.' I feel like I was communicating that to them for a great many years. The window is closed."
Cabana said that all of the wrestlers he spoke to enjoyed the podcast. Punk said that he doesn't believe that, and he thinks that it's split. He said there are a lot of yes-men in the WWE, and people who wish they could say what he said but couldn't. Cabana said that a lot of wrestlers at WrestleCade were talking about it, and many thought he'd be back.
Punk said that people think he's going to blow his money, and he did use the "Never say never" line. Cabana said that he didn't want to have Punk say he'd never come back on his show and feel shoehorned into keeping that promise if he didn't want to. "It's way too f*ckin' early. I have no interest in going back. My mental stability, everything across the board is so drastically different," Punk said.
"I'll go work the Young Bucks in PWG, I don't give a f*ck," Punk said jokingly. When Cabana prodded him, Punk said "If I say it's not off the table, you'll have these people hold out hope that I'm coming back. It makes interesting conversation, right? Jericho thinks that I feel exactly how he felt when he left. So from his perspective, he felt that he was never going to come back, now he sees me say that. I can see his point of view, but in turn I (say) they didn't fire you on your wedding day."
Punk had also heard about Vince McMahon's apology, but didn't buy it. "I don't wanna hear it was a coincidence, I don't wanna hear lawyers didn't talk to talent relations. I talked to Hunter on the 11th, on the 13th FedExed overnight, I got a document that was dated the 12th. My wife asked for that time off so she could get married. The weekend after her honeymoon, she was back on TV. They knew. If the apology was sincere, you wouldn't use it as a publicity stunt on Austin's podcast. You have my phone number, you have my address. You could text, you could call, you could show up when you're a ten minute drive from my house and apologize like a f*ckin man. That's the reality of it. I was sick and hurt and burned out and I walked, and I can do that because I'm and independent contractor. I was suspended and then nobody contacted me after my suspension to be like 'you're unuspended, we need you at Raw,' I got those phone calls a day after elbow surgery, a day after knee surgery, so where was my phone call? Maybe in the two months I'm going to feel better and come to my senses, but nobody ever found out because nobody ever reached out. It was a publicity stunt, be a man and call me. It's the f*ckin way it is," Punk said he appreciated the sentiment, but didn't think it was sincere.
Punk said that contracts aren't worth the paper they're printed on, and nobody sued anybody, it was all about a settlement about what they could and couldn't do. He said his lawyers expedited the process, and made him a free man. He then referenced Alberto Del Rio. "Look at Del Rio, bless his f*ckin' heart. Love that guy, he's wrestling other places now. You know why? Because you can't put a no-compete clause on an independent contractor."
Punk said The Rock sent him a text after last week's podcast, saying that The Rock opened his Twitter and all of Punk's fans were mad at him. He explained what he said about The Rock on the podcast, and The Rock was cool about it.
They talked more about Steve Austin's podcast interview with Vince McMahon. "I guess there wouldn't have been any juicy details to talk about if not for our podcast last week," Punk said. The Cabana podcasts are more about closure for Punk.
Ryback was once again mentioned as well. "We all know I didn't like working with Ryback, I've detailed that. I was told I would never have to work with him again, then I got begged to again, then I got hurt again. Then shortly after that I was working the Wyatts, and it was awesome. It was fun and it was easy and I could learn and teach at the same time. But I was so beat up that I couldn't." said Punk. He told stories about working house shows and crouching down in the corner to rest before hot tags.
Punk said that he had requested TLC 2013 off several months in advance because a friend of his was getting married. He informed Michael Hayes, and Hayes said he'd have to talk to Vince McMahon about it. Punk said that he reminded several officials weekly that he had requested that day off. A month before, he was told that he was wrestling the Shield 3-on-1. Vince McMahon said that he needed Punk on the show, so Punk said that he'd have to go on first, then AJ second, then board a jet and fly to Long Beach from Texas. He said they barely made it the wedding and his friend was blown away that he came.
He said he was told he was going over the Shield, but to make Roman Reigns look really good every two minutes. He got sick of everybody trying to make sure, that he finally said "You know what would make him look really good, if he beat me?" But he was repeatedly told that he was going over, but he had to make them look good. "Everything's micromanaged to the point to where there's no creativity, everybody has their own agenda," Punk said.
Punk said that Wizard World wanted him to make appearances following the Pipe Bomb, which originated with him, but the company distributed it to everyone else. He said he was pulled from a Nashville Wizard World and replaced by Daniel Bryan and wasn't even told before it hit Twitter. He said it was $20,000 for four hours of work, and was pulled to do a 4-day house show loop in Mexico. He said he wanted his check for that tour to be at least $20,000 since he'd be bumping for four days, and it was $5,000. He said that he took the check to TV and told them to fix it. "Somebody out there on Twitter is going to be like 'That's a lot of money, I would love to work for Vince McMahon for five grand,' That's exactly who he wants to work for him, so go work for him. I know exactly what I'm worth because Wizard World was going to pay me $20,000 to sit in a chair for four hours," Punk said after that he got another check for $4,000.
Punk then went in depth about the head of talent relations, saying that there was a new one every six months. He said that talent relations in WWE has no idea how to relate to wrestlers, because they haven't wrestled or bumped and have a distorted perception of the pay scale for talent.
Cabana revealed that Punk was set to be sponsored by Slim Jim, and was going to be the new face of the company. There was a full advertising campaign set, and their logo would be featured on CM Punk fight shorts. Punk said he was really excited, and then WWE ended up pulling him from it and giving it to Rey Mysterio, Big Show and Eve Torres.
Punk also said that when Paul Heyman was writing storylines for WWE video games, he was told they publishers wanted Punk for the cover of the game. Punk said nobody had told him about it, but was then sent an email chain between the publishers and the office, and officials were trying to talk the publisher out of CM Punk in favor of Sheamus. He was also offered a deal with LA Ink, and instead Randy Orton was given the spot.
Punk closed the show by saying he'll will be at Challengers Comics on February 28, and will be signing issues of the Thor Annual. He also thanked all the fans who ever bought a shirt or watched him on TV or bought a ticket to see him wrestle.
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