Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from WWE and AEW.
CM Punk Says WWE Return Would Have Been Formulaic
CM Punk has already talked about AEW reviving his love of pro wrestling, along with his long list of grievances about his time in WWE. None of this is particularly new information.
However, Punk recently said one of the reasons he had little interest in returning to WWE is the formulaic way they book returns.
“If I went back to WWE, what would I do? There’s a formula," Punk told radio host Josh Martinez. "There’s a track record and a formula. This is what they do. Batista comes back, he wins the Royal Rumble, he main events WrestleMania. Edge comes back. He’s in the Royal Rumble. I think he was in it twice.
“He might have won, I don’t know. He goes on the main event WrestleMania. There’s a formula and I was bored of that s--t 10 years ago, so I’m bored of it now."
No matter which way you fall on the AEW vs. WWE war, it's hard to argue Punk is wrong here. That is precisely the formula. There was a reason Punk return rumors would begin cropping up every year around the Royal Rumble. Fans notice the patterns just as wrestlers do, and it leads to mass speculation.
For two successive years, Edge made his return at the Royal Rumble. It's just facts. Those returns help build hype for WWE's top pay-per-views, so the formula works, but it's clear Punk didn't want to return in that type of environment.
Foley Says He Hated Mankind Character
Mankind may have been Mick Foley's most famous character, but the WWE Hall of Famer didn't exactly love playing him. Foley said the constrictive mask made it difficult for him to breathe during an appearance on Talking Tough.
“I hated that character because the mask was so … it really constricted my breathing, you know? With the leather underneath the nose. I needed as much oxygen as I could suck in anyway. But it came about because Jim Ross was a big advocate of mine, and Mr. McMahon was never interested in me. He thought I didn’t look like a star. And finally, my name came up in 1995, in the fall, he slammed it on the table, and he said, ‘Alright, I’ll bring him in, but I’m covering up his face.’ And that’s how I got my foot in the door, and luckily, as time went by, he kind of found out I had an interesting real-life story to tell.
“So, I was able to inject a lot more realism into that character and it really was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The stuff that Mankind did with Dwayne Johnson, when he was my opponent and when he was my partner, was really fun and memorable stuff. Luckily, we were taking peoples’ minds off their problems and they still remember some of the stuff 22 years after the fact.”
Mankind was some of WWE's best character work of the Attitude Era and Foley played him perfectly, so it all worked out from a fan perspective. That said, it's easy to see why having a constrictive leather mask could lead to some issues.
Like he did for much of his career, Foley sacrificed himself in service to the wrestling business and we're all better for it.
Danielson Was Last-Minute Addition to WrestleMania Main Event
Now that time has passed since Bryan Danielson's departure from WWE, we're getting more information on the latter part of his time with the company.
Fightful Select reported Danielson was actually a last-minute addition to the Universal championship match between Roman Reigns and Edge. Danielson was also praised for his professionalism during his final weeks with the company.
“Bryan handled things so well that a lot of people didn’t think he was actually leaving or taking any time off. We couldn’t have asked for more," one source told Fightful.
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