AEW superstar CM Punk recently appeared on the Rasslin With Brandon Walker program to discuss a wide range of topics, including the promotion’s partnership with the Owen Hart Foundation and what he thinks about a potential feud with Bryan Danielson somewhere down the line. Highlights from the interview are below.
Says he was watching AEW “off and on” prior to signing:
“Yeah, off and on. There’s shows I missed, but obviously, I watched enough to get to a point where I was like, yes, I want to work there. I think there’s two schools of thought. You can watch something and you can harp on all the bad things or the wrong things, or, oh, I wouldn’t do it that way. But I immediately peeled away from that and I started to focus on the positive stuff, and a lot of that is just the talent. You think, well maybe they don’t have not one singular person, but they don’t have enough people back there that guys will listen to. And again, I say this to young guys backstage all the time, there’s not one perfect one way to do something. There are ways, and things, and situations that are tested. It comes with experience, but a lot of the times, you got to let some of these kids just fail and let them figure it out themselves. That’s 100% the truth. And I would rather have them experience that instead of just listening to me. I want them to all have their own ‘aha’ moments.”
Talks AEW’s deal with the Owen Hart Foundation:
“That’s about 90% of it. It’s really what it is, because I think everybody has potential and everybody’s so good that I could work with anybody back there. Nobody’s talked to me about this Owen Hart deal that they bridged with Martha Hart. I’m still overwhelmed at that news as a wrestling fan. It blows me away, and I just think it’s another eye opening aspect of AEW. For 20 years, there was one place, and if you didn’t want to deal with them, then you’re kind of out of sight out of mind. Point in case, Owen Hart Foundation, Martha Hart and CM Punk, and what AEW has done is got me back after seven years. And then they did what I categorize as the unthinkable. We’re gonna get Owen toys, Owen shirts, Owen in a video game, and that’s amazing for his legacy.”
On competition between himself and Bryan Danielson:
“I don’t think there’s competition. I think there’s just a great will and a desire to not only wrestle each other eventually, but just f*cking have fun with all these new toys. We got all these all these new f**king kids, and I keep talking about wanting to tag with him. There’s just so many options. You know, for the first time in I think a long time, the waters as muddy as it has been. I remember in 2002 – 2003, I was like, Eddie Guerrero is the best wrestler in the world, easily. I remember in 2004, Samoa Joe is the best wrestler in the world. It’s kind of the whole animus for the best in the world thing. There’s a couple years it was Bryan Danielson, and I think if you have your finger on the pulse of wrestling, there always feels like there was a guy that was ‘oh this guy’s the best, and that’s kind of how the evolution of ‘chip on his shoulder’ CM Punk happened is because I was in a company that would never position me as anything, really. I had to fight for everything, and to me, it was obvious. Come on guys, this is pretty obvious. That attitude helped develop that character, and now, I think it’s so subjective too. You could say it’s Bryan Danielson. You could say it’s Kenny Omega. There’s an argument for Roman Reigns. I think now, in 2021, like I said, I think this has been the murkiest it’s been in a very long time. There’s guys in New Japan too. Where else can you see AEW talent wrestle New Japan talent or New Japan talent wrestle guys on the indies? There’s that whole ‘forbidden door’ aspect of AEW that should be very appealing if anybody out there wants to find out who in fact is the best wrestler in the world. If New York City is the center of the wrestling world and you’re so up your ass about ratings, and buy rates, and ticket sales and all that other stuff, well, AEW is the best wrestler in the world because we just packed 20,000 people in Arthur Ashe Stadium.”
(H/T and transcribed by Wrestling Inc.)