AEW superstar CM Punk recently appeared on Renee Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast to discuss his return to the wrestling industry and reflect on his stint with the FOX program WWE Backstage, a show he says helped rekindled his friendship with Renee, and open up the possibility of coming back.
How his return on WWE Backstage on FOX was the gateway to him returning to wrestling:
Doing the FOX show with you, I hadn’t spoken to you since I left, it rekindled the friendship and was the gateway to opening up the possibility in my head that wrestling could be an option. The FOX thing was too good to be true, it was great. People legitimately are like, ‘Oh, you went back to WWE.’ No, I went to FOX. That’s what was insane to me. It was (fun). FOX flew to Milwaukee and we had a formal but informal meeting. I was very adamant of, ‘guys, I don’t want anything to do with [WWE]. I don’t want to work for [WWE].’ I didn’t know if it was a trojan horse.
How the contract was with FOX, not WWE, and how they talked him into it:
I wanted transparency and honesty and they were like, ‘We have SmackDown coming to FOX, we want an analyst show as a lead in, just like a football panel.’ ‘That makes sense, it’s a good idea.’ ‘You’re the guy, you’re the white whale.’ ‘Well, I’m the white whale who probably has nothing good to say.’ They were like, ‘We need honesty. We’re paying them a lot of money and we hope the show is good.’ I thought I was fair on the show. When stuff was bad I was like, ‘eh.’ There was stuff I liked. It was the whole start of possibly the idea (of returning). It was just an idea. Working with good people. Everyone at FOX was so great.
(H/T and transcribed by Fightful)