CM Punk: Pro Wrestling Landscape Needs a 'Kick in the D--k' amid AEW Return RumorsAugust 13, 2021
CM Punk believes now is the time for the professional wrestling business to get shaken to its core.
In an interview with Scott Fishman of TVInsider.com on Thursday, Punk gave his opinion on what needs to be done to breathe new life into pro wrestling:
"I think the older the stuff is the better. I think it's partly unfortunate that WWE owns the super good libraries in pro wrestling. I think that stuff is classic and they don't even put it on their network. They are sitting on it. I want to watch Austin Idol versus Jerry Lawler in Memphis. I do think the landscape of pro wrestling in general really needs a kick in the d--k. I think we are about there. I think there are people out there stirring the pot and causing trouble in a good way. It's a fun world. There is nothing like it. Pro wrestling gets crapped on by a number of people. But when it's done on a high level and it’s really good, there is nothing better."
Punk did the interview to promote his involvement with the Starz series Heels, which is based on the world of small-town pro wrestling, but his comments also came amid rumors that he may be the one to turn the wrestling world as a whole on its head.
Rumors are running rampant that Punk has signed with AEW and is set to debut for the company soon. It would mark his first appearance on a major pro wrestling show in more than seven years since leaving WWE after the 2014 Royal Rumble.
Punk's AEW debut could come as soon as next week on the Aug. 20 episode of Rampage, which will emanate from the United Center in Punk's hometown of Chicago.
That show is being branded as "The First Dance," which has led to speculation on a Punk appearance. The mere possibility of Punk debuting played a big role in the show selling out in short order.
For the past seven years, Punk has been viewed as one of the biggest--if not the biggest--free agents in wrestling. While Punk undoubtedly received his fair share of offers during that time, he resisted the urge to come back.
The fact that Punk left WWE on bad terms likely meant he wanted to wrestle somewhere other than WWE, although no company had established itself as a strong No. 2.
AEW undoubtedly has, and it seems to be on an upward trajectory to the point that it could rival WWE's television viewership numbers in the near future.
Given his popularity, Punk's arrival would give AEW a significant boost and even more momentum than it already has.
WWE is firmly established and has likely entered "too big to fail" territory thanks largely to multiple billion-dollar television deals, but if Punk believes a legitimate and serious alternative is needed, he can play a big role in AEW being that alternative.
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