AEW superstar CM Punk recently appeared on the Dropping Character podcast to discuss a wide range of topics, including how he auditioned for the lead role in the Starz series “Heels” years ago, and how there were certain people in WWE who felt threatened by him because he didn’t drink alcohol or do drugs. Highlights from the interview are below.
Says he originally auditioned to be the lead character in Heels years ago:
I first heard about Heels years ago. I wanna say it was — I’m not gonna get the year right. Two thousand, I don’t know, 17? They had the show in development and I was flown to California to audition for the role of Jack [Spade]. Yeah, I don’t even know if Stephen [Amell] knows this. I know [Mike] O’Malley knows it. Well he says he’s seen my — because I brought it up to him and he says he’s seen my original audition. ‘Oh man, I saw it. You were great.’ Heck yeah. I was so good that they shut down the entire production. That’s how good I was. But no, it was an opportunity so I was, man, I had a busy run in California at that time.
Talks being pressured to drink or do drugs during his run in WWE:
There’s a lot of bullies in professional wrestling and a lot of it comes down to people being taught by the previous generation to hold onto your spot. ‘Somebody’s gonna take your spot, the young guys are coming up. They’re gonna take your spot.’ So me coming in, I was a threat to a lot of guys and me being straight-edge, not drinking, not doing drugs, I was a threat to other guys. They didn’t get that. They would try to bully me into — like weird peer pressure like, ‘Have a beer!’ I’m like, ‘I don’t drink.’ ‘Well why? Why don’t you?’ Just weird stuff that grown ass men should not be participating in. But I got thick skin. What can I say? And a lot of it translates to people — you get punished in their own special way. I don’t know if that stuff goes on anymore. It’s a different company [WWE] from what people tell me but yeah, the pro wrestling culture definitely a lot of the time sucked and you know, lesser people could break, quit or whatever. I just always kind of looked at it like, ‘Well, if I get fired, I get fired. I have a back-up plan and that is just to go back seamlessly into the life I had.’ I could always do that.
(H/T and transcribed by Post Wrestling)