Interview Highlights: C.M. Punk talks live at Starrcast III about WWE departure, any wrestlers today he’d like to wrestle, says it’ll be taken out of context but he is open to taking offer from WWE

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

C.M. Punk ROH (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

The following are rough notes I’m taking live on C.M. Punk’s interview at Starrcast III available live right now on FITE TV. This will be replaced with a more refined version after the live interview ends.


Interviewer: Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com.

They warmed up with about 15 minutes of movie talk.

“I don’t pine for it every day, but I’ve been fortunate enough to do it all. I’m not the kind to guy to wake up and wish I could have done it differently. The hard answer is no. I think I did alright and I think I had a pretty good career. I think if you watch it back, my stuff holds up pretty well. I don’t miss it because I did enough of it and I had a pretty good career, in my opinion.”

Does he wish he wrestled anyone, like Kenny Omega, and if the constellations were lined up, you’d do it.

-I’ll give you guys a deep dive here.

Punk tells story in Steve Austin’s voice, cracking up the crowd, how he asked Steve to give him a Stunner to send the crowd home happy. He wondered why no one else asked him. Truth, Miz, it turned into a fun goofy thing. “I think Steve took a liking to me there. If you never ask, the answer is always no.”

He said Marty Scurl is a really nice guy.

I know who Will Ospreay is, but because I don’t watch wrestling, I haven’t seen his matches. I have seen clips of his moves on Twitter. Wow. I could do something with that, but I can’t do that. (laughs)

I look at guys like Kenny Omega and he’s the big match guy now and I look at him and I know if I could keep up with these people now. But I overtrain and I try to bike 35 miles a day and I overdo it all the time. There’s no one person that jumps out at me and I do “oh, that one guy.”

Q: The term indy wrestling was a black eye on you and you rose up in the ranks at the time. But eventually you ended up in a top position. Opened door for guys like Daniel Bryan. Every indy wrestler is now being chased down for an indy contract. Guys are being told to go make a name for themselves so they can sign in NXT. Mike said guys can just ask for time off. Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch got engaged. That’s in part due to you. Even though you’re not there, how do you feel about that being your legacy even though they don’t talk about you.

“Wait, what?” (Crowd laughs at Punk’s reaction of shock.

MJ: “I think they dropped the pipe bomb on C.M. Punk.”

Punk: “Is it true you can ask for time off?”

MJ: “Balor just took time to get married, too. You take time off and come home to legal papers. It’s excuse you broke down the system.”

Punk: “I’m going to need some time off. Holy shit, I don’t know if I have anything to do with that. If I do, it’s because I eventually said peace out. I asked for time off ad nauseam. Wow. Well, good for them. Maybe they won’t burn out and fucking split, then. I can’t fault anybody. I think that’s fucking great if that’s true and you don’t get punished. That’s the other thing. They could still be getting punished, you never know.”

MJ: Was there anything WWE could have done to change your trajectory? What could they have done to keep you happy?

Punk: Nobody talked to me. (He says he asked for time off over and over. He said it sounds dramatic, but he was going to die if he didn’t.) So I went home. I got a text four days later. Vince asked if I was ready to come back to work. Then he told me he was suspending me for two months. I said cool. I busted out my calendar and looked. And of course the suspension ends exactly the day after WrestleMaia. Oh, I’m being punished, I can’t do WrestleMnaia. Nobody ever dialed me up and told me my suspension was up. I found an uncashed royalty check. My bank wouldn’t cash it. I asked if I could get it reissued. Nobody called me back. Two days before I was getting married, somebody gets ahold of me and says this and that, blah blah blah. I asked if I could talk to them when I get back from my honeymoon, which sounds now like a reasonable thing to ask for. Then two days later a special FedEx shows up at my door and I was fired. What are you going to do? I can’t deal with it now.

Could they have done something? Yeah, they could have fucking talked to me.

MJ: Would he take a call from WWE’s Vince McMahon or Paul Leveseque?

Punk: At first he joked he’d take a call to tell them that he’ll need some time off. He said it’d be great to sign a full time contract, then he’d immediately ask for time off and say he has a vacation planned. “That would be funny.”

He said this will be taken out of context, then said: “I wouldn’t not talk to them. In what business does somebody suspend somebody else and then not come get them after the suspension. Why was it up to me? It’s just a weird situation. That said, I’ve over it. I’ve been over it a very long time. It’s in the past. I’m 40 years old and I try to be as zen and wise as I  possibly can be. My life has taught me a lot of times I’d be confrontational when there was no need to be confrontational. Somebody cuts you off in traffic, who gives a shit? You’re going to see them at the red light. I’m not racing to the red light anymore. This will be taken out of context and lesser websites click bate for the next week, but I’ll have a conversation with anybody. But it’s nothing I’m reaching. I’m not calling them. I’ll talk to ya’ and see what you’ve got to say. But it better be good… I think I had a pretty good career, I don’t think there’s anything left I need to accomplish. There was stuff done under the guise of business that was absolutely personal that I’ve let go. I know who they are and if they didn’t talk to me, why would they talk to me now. It’s not an issue in my life, so whatever.

MJ: Five years later, are you at peace not having the WrestleMania main event?

Punk: He talked about the pressure WWE puts on wrestlers to make all towns and miss no dates. He said in wrestling culture there’s a lot of toxic garbage. He thinks it’s like that in sports across the board, too. He said there’s a “toxic masculinity” in sports and pro wrestling. He said there should be an off-season or they should rotate people. He said every sports organization should have a neurologist on staff for concussions and “better doctors.” He said the WrestleMania main event topic was a mechanism in his head that doesn’t exist. “To me that last WrestleMania I worked, it was evident I was never going to get that last match, and at that point I didn’t care, I just wanted to be paid the most. It was to some people ridiculous. Given the top of the card and where I was, pay me. Give me what I want or pay me. That’s kind of where I was. Now I look at that I think I should’ve been asking for more money all along.”

MJ: Asks about the urban legend that you were mad you were wrestling Undertaker at WrestleMania.

Punk: He said he had ideas to actually build himself up and make him look like a threat, but he never was. He was never mad he was wrestling the Undertaker. He just didn’t want to look like a guy who was being fed to him to beat.

MJ: Talk about Harley Race’s influence and how Punk would often say, “What would Harley do?”

Punk: “I wish the guy was still around. This might sound really, really cruel. The last couple years weren’t kind to Harley. Now that he’s passed on, it’s more a relief. He’s watched everybody go and I know the last time I spent a little bit of time with him, he was in and out and he didn’t know who I was. One second he’d know who I was, the next second he wouldn’t. That’s life, right? Harley was the kind of guy who I never thought I would ever wrestle. He would take a bump for me. My buddy Ace moved back to Kansas City and he started working for Harley and he ended up running Harley’s gym. Harley would bring me in anytime he could.” He told several stories about Harley, while imitating him, including his philosophy on two counts, Harley throwing up in his car and not wanting him to pull over, and the grossest hug he’s ever had. He said there’s a story about Harley Race and Ultimate Warrior he can’t say and he said if you’ve seen Dave Chappell’s new stand-up, “you know why I can’t tell the story.”

MJ: He asked about Ring of Honor and a time when the company was about to fall apart, but then he and Samoa Joe had a 60 minute draw and it changed the narrative about ROH. He said they went on to have a trilogy and it doesn’t get talked about enough.

Punk: “I don’t know if we approached it like that.” He said he they just wanted to tell a great story. “It’s kind of a next man up thing. There were a group of guys who worked for TNA. I was one of them. We worked for ROH. I remember we all had a bit of meeting and we couldn’t let TNA tell us who we can and cannot work for… The next day, so-and-so cancels off Ring of Honor and so-and-so cancels off Ring of Honor… Gabe looked at me and said I was cancelling on him, but I said no. I don’t work that way…. A bunch of other guys said they were going to stay, and they left. It was a next man up thing. To me, I was the next guy up. I don’t know if Gabe ever looked at me like that… I was the guy who floated the idea of a 60 minute draw. If Joe beat me, who is he going to work next? That led to the idea of the trilogy.” He said maybe they were two naive to realize that if they didn’t succeed, there wouldn’t be an ROH after that.

MJ: Talk about rivalry and friendship with Joe…

Punk: The rivalry had success because of ideas. He said he’d look around locker rooms and see what people were doing and try to do the opposite of that. He said he doesn’t take credit for anything. He said those who were there know who did what. He said his fingerprints were all over the place. He said there were a ton of 60 minute draws after that. “I apologize for that,” he said. He said the matches with Joe “were easy, but the guy would beat the shit out of you. Not that that was a bad thing. That was the style we worked. He was a bigger dude. I’m not the biggest guy, but I felt I could get away with doing more because he was a bigger base. It was believable I could stand up to Joe because he wasn’t 390 pounds, but there wasn’t a Rey Mysterio size difference.” He said whatever he is doing now, he hopes it’s good and he’s happy.

MJ: He asked if it was hard to leave ROH when he did.

Punk: He said it was. “I was going into the unknown, I really really was. There wasn’t a whole lot of hope.” He said people told him he wasn’t going to be used well. “I was always trying to go there, and WWE in my career was ever the final final. I don’t think I ever aspired to be a WWE guy. I wanted to wrestle in Japan because all my heroes wrestled in Japan. All Japan in ’93 was the best wrestling of all time. I got to go there. I went to Japan and I thought I made it. Then Hashimoto told me too big light-weight, not big enough heavyweights. Next thing I know my tour was cancelled. So I call up Gabe and asked [meekly] if I could have that booking back. Gabe said yes.” He said Gabe was always losing guys to Japan tours. He said he realized it was time to make something happen in ROH then. “I’m super proud of Ring of Honor at that time. We made it a destination. It’s still going today. At that time it was a destination for guys to go to not just work and get paid well, but also learn.” He said it was very hard to leave, but it felt like it was time to go.

MJ: A story was passed around that when he was in ECW regarding him and Tony Atlas in OVW, so would he like to tell the story now.

Punk: He said it was a funny story, but not funny for him. He said he was told he doesn’t have to live in Louisville anymore and he was done with OVW and became ECW Champion. He said Joey Mercury came up to him and told him he was going to sign a TNA contract, so this is the last time they can wrestle. He went to Danny Davis and asked to wrestle a dark match. Davis said yes, but it spiraled out of control into a four-on-four tag. Suddenly Seth and Spears were in it, too. “Just trying to have fun,” he said. He said he was alone in the locker room and they’re all going over the match. He said Cody might have been in it, too. He was taping up and getting ready, and he was thinking it’d be friends goofing off and having a good time. “Tony Atlas walks in,” he said. He said Tony asked him what was going on, so he told him. He said Tony told him it looks like he had two broken arms. “I have no idea where he’s going with this,” he said. Then there was awkwardness. Tony repeated himself that with all that tape, it looks like he has two broken arms. “It’s not registering, I’m not getting through to him,” he said. Tony said if he doesn’t listen to his coach, he won’t get called up to the big show. I look down in my bag and the ECW Title belt is there. Then he left and I thought that was so weird. “This is the guy I saw on MTV hiding money from himself and having women step on his face, so I figure this is how he operates.” Punk says they went on to have a fun match that night. He noted he wasn’t supposed to be there. He talked about the Major Brothers and Joey Mercury being with him, among others. They’re all getting critiqued. He said he is zoning out. He imitated Tony Atlas saying he thinks most everyone was nice. He said one personal in particular was an asshole. “Fuck, man, that’s brutal,” he said he thought to himself. “Some people listen to what the coaches have to say.” He started talking about beating Hulk Hogan for real one time. He went off on weird tangents. “But some of you are an asshole.” He said, “That’s when Joey Mercury elbowed me and I looked and realized that he was staring right at me. This is fucking weird. Then he did it again.” He said the Major Brothers were texting him, telling him it was him. I asked if he was talking to me. He said yes. I told him, “Well, fuck you.” [Applause] I didn’t say “do you know who I am,” but I told him he didn’t know my name nor other people’s names. He said he then went on to tell Tony that he was brought there to tell people to save their money because that’s something he didn’t do. He said he has since hugged it out with Tony and this was over ten years ago. Tony told him to take the wrist tape off and he didn’t listen, so he’ll never make it to TV. Punk explained to Tony he was on TV and that he was there to just help. He said that was the last time he went to OVW. He said people who didn’t like him thought that would get him fired.

MJ: What was the fallout?

Punk: He said people told him to go talk to Taker. He said Nova was excited to tell the office. “Fucking stooge!” he said. He said he had to explain to John Laurinatis what happened because Tony told him he didn’t want to go to FCW to get yelled at by somebody. He said he explained it to John “and we ironed it all out.” He said somebody ran and told the Undertaker “because they were so excited because they thought Undertaker would get mad and get him fired.” He said it wasn’t Nova, but it was somebody on the main roster who didn’t like him and tried to get him fired a lot. He said Taker just brushed it off and told him they were good.

MJ: The narrative about Punk is that he was an unhappy grumpy person, but was it more that he aspired to make to it to the top. He said wrestlers today don’t talk about the crowd size anymore. He said Punk was the last guy obsessed with how he could be better to improve attendance.

Punk: “The reason I loved wrestling so much is that bell to bell I didn’t have a boss.” He said he didn’t have to run anything by people at house shows. “I would do stupid shit off the cuff,” he said. He said he remembered criticizing having a Fatal Four-Way to determine who wrestles the Undertaker. Everybody in the match agreed it was weird, including Randy Orton and the Big Show. He said the next week he was wrestling Kane in Indianapolis and they asked him to job to Kane four weeks before facing Undertaker. He took it up with Michael Hayes and Hayes told him to talk to Vince. So I went and talked to Vince. “I’ve been doing this a lot longer than you pal. You’ll be more over as a heel after you lose.” He said he just shrugged and said it’s not his company. “But it’s still me,” he said. “It’s an uphill battle to try to give reasonable doubt that this guy could beat The Streak.” He said he did that angle where he dumped cat litter over himself that was supposed to be Paul Bearer’s ash. There was a disappointing groan in the crowd that it wasn’t Bearer’s ashes. Punk said it sucked to do things that way. He said it wasn’t that he wanted to beat Kane necessarily, but maybe losing clean was a bad idea if they’re building him up as threat.

MJ: Did Vince McMahon ever get him and did he ever feel Vince was on his side?

Punk: He said no. He said Vince always wanted that personal relationship with talent, “but Vince never got me. Triple H never got me, either. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I did what I could.”

MJ: What about losing to Triple H?

Punk: “That objectively was still garbage. He came and told me the finish.” He said he tried to talk to Vince. He said he didn’t believe Hunter tried to talk Vince out of beating Punk, but maybe it was true. He said if Hunter couldn’t talk Vince out of it, why would he be able to.

MJ: What are good memories of that era, including the match with John Cena in Chicago and the Pipe Bomb promo? There’s a lot of focus on the negative because of how it ended and the frustrations, but what about the positives looking back on it five years removed besides meeting his wife there.

Punk: “I think I always loved the old school guys and I tried to model myself after them. So that was always fun.” He said he romanticized different downs he was in and their history. He said he’d suggest changing up house shows. He said Michael Hayes told him they couldn’t figure out how to put a clock on the TitanTron to do 30 minute Iron Man matches when he suggested those matches against Dolph Ziggler or Jack Swagger. He said he suggested he take a look because maybe he would be able to figure it out, which drew laughs. He said traveling with Kofi was blast. Same with Bryan.

MJ: What about John Cena moving on from WWE and doing more gigs in Hollywood now and what was it like working with him?

Punk: He said he liked working with John. He said he liked that someone else came in and tried to forcibly take the reins. He said Cena’s rep was doing five things and that’s it, so if you can’t figure that out, you’re in trouble. He said he took Cena over with a headlock, and Cena then started calling various sequences. I remember looking over at Mike Chioda and asked who is calling this match. He was laughing so hard. Then John said, “Oh, okay. I think John was stoked he didn’t have to be the guy directing traffic. He let me do whatever the hell I wanted. I think that’s why we worked well together.” He said he doesn’t like to take credit for shit. He said he was the first guy to ask why everyone takes his shoulder tackle. “Why don’t people kick you in the head?” he said. I broke down the Cena comeback in a logical way. He said Cena said it made sense and why didn’t anyone else say that. “He wasn’t worried about his spot,” he said. “And everyone else up until that point was worried about his spot.” He said JBL didn’t care, either, which made it better. He said wrestling other guys was often like pulling teeth because they were worried about their spots.

MJ: Was that his best moment in WWE?

Punk: He said he was always stoked when he got to help someone else have a happy moment. “I feel like in my career, parallels with my life, if I find myself on higher ground, it’s trying to bring my friends with me. As a kid I never had that, so I’m empathetic with that. I always want to try to get my friends job and work with my friends and bring them up if I’m up a level. I’ve kicked this door in, let’s all go. If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”

MJ: When did he realize his promos were special?

Punk: “I don’t know. Again, I hate talking about myself or praising myself. I don’t know if I have that. If you do, that’s awesome. That’s something I think was always there. It was about being a Punk kid and getting beat up all the time. I couldn’t beat anybody up. Have fun with that, Internet. But I would always talk shit I’d take a beating and keep talking. It stems from that.” He said it makes people mad that he would do things his way and tell them he wasn’t going to do things their way. “It was always something that was there,” he said. Ring of Honor was formatted for television. “It wasn’t an indy show at a dog park. I had to reel myself in and I had time constraints. But it was almost filmed for television, so that helped me out a lot.” He said being open to different music and moves and everything in general broadened his mind, so cutting promos based on where he was at regionally was easier and made the whole process a lot better. “I always felt I could be better, so I was always striving to be better,” he said.

MJ: Has he thought of writing a book?

Punk: He said he’s tired of being sued and he’d have to write three books to cover everything and that sounds like a lot of work. He said he saw the hell his wife went through writing a book and he doesn’t want that. He also said his wife would be over his shoulder telling him what to do.

MJ: Crowd chanting his name.

Punk: He said people are chanting his name so long that people who never saw him wrestle hate his guts because of it. He said he’s not sure what it’s a testament to.

MJ: What about the time The Rock called live on Raw. Why didn’t he pick up?

Punk: “I was in an elevator with my dog, Larry. No reception in the elevator. My phone. No messages. It’s a really slow elevator. By the time it gets down and I walk out the front door, I have 87 messages on my phone. I think somebody is dead… Who’s dead? This sucks! He said he’s trying to control Larry as this weird number goes up. I tried to answer it and it’s not going through. I had no idea what was going on. Then I’m done with the walk and Rock was calling me live from the Staples Center. I started texting him immediately after that. I told him I tried to answer it but I was in an elevator.”

MJ: What was the backstage reaction?

Punk: “He recognized that these people aren’t going to shut up and aren’t going to stop chanting for C.M. Punk, so he went along with it… So he made a hell of moment. It was brilliant. It shows you what a smart guy that he is. Yes people backstage texted me that it was crazy back here right now, there’s a couple broken headsets, shit flying everywhere… It was great, too, because me and him the next couple days traded texts back and forth.” I told him that I might have been a dick to him when he was there, but it was politics. He said they ended up having a great moment based on that, so it was positive all around.

MJ: Asked why he was a dick to him.

Punk: “When I was supposed to wrestle him – mind you, I wrestle until my knee locks up and I needed surgery. I literally get on the jet with Vince and Hunter, we fly to Pensacola, they drop me off, and then next morning I have surgery on my knee. As I’m getting wheeled off. I was dating Lita at the time and Vince called me. I asked her to answer it. She answered it. She handed me the phone.” He said Vince asked how the surgery went, then immediately Vince told him they’ve booked him to wrestle Ryback in two weeks.” To announce it on the website before they talked to him was a little much. “I choked it down, was a good solider, that toxic shit, it has to keep going, just fucking wild. I should have asked for a vacation.”

[At this point, 90 minutes in, Scott Hudson and Mark Madden said the 90 minute PPV window was over, but people could continue to watch on FITE TV. That’s going to anger a lot of people who paid a la carte for this interview, which ran longer than planned. FITE TV had a pause in audio because of that message, but then picked up Punk’s continued talk about The Rock.]

Punk said it was requested before he wrestled Rock, he was told to talk to Rock in his suite at a hotel. He said his assistant and Brian Gewirtz were in the room with them. He said he felt outnumbered. He said someone from his team handed him a script for his promo. “We started talking and I felt that maybe it was a very Hollywood kind of setting, like a table read. This is how this dude operates. This is me, this is how I operate. It was kind of a crash course of me and Rock getting in front of each other for the first time. It wasn’t negative, so to speak, but it was this isn’t how I do things, then he’d say this is how I do things. Let’s figure it out. If you say this about me, I’m going to say this about you. No offense, but why are they writing material for me when I don’t know them. Then we had a one-on-one conversation in a crowded room. It was awkward, but I think he respected me for pushing back.” So he said when we texted that any awkwardness back then was water under the bridge. “That’s a lot, I know I’m sorry.”

Punk: He said WWE does a lot of things that he once suggested. He said he suggested people get time off now and he said he’s not mad, but it’s crazy because things could be so different if he had been given time off. He talked about ice cream bars, and noted that New Day have cereal.

MJ: What about Kofi, a guy Punk travelled with, being WWE Champion now?

Punk: He said some of his broadcasting duties now include doing Stadium Network stuff. He said he’s working on trying to get his own show. He said he was filling in for a host and someone brought up Kofi to him. He said it’d great it’s happening now, but his first thought is it should have happened ten years ago. He said it might be better his kids get to see it and enjoy it now, though. Regarding wrestling Randy Orton, Punk said, “Bless your heart, Kofi Kingston.”

(They talked about comic book movies, such as John Cena and The Rock’s involvement in some and whether he has interest in that. As they talked about D.C. vs Marvel, Punk turned it back to wrestling: “Don’t let either company trick you into thinking it’s an us vs. them thing, you guys don’t have to choose, you can fucking watch it all. That’s rad.”)

MJ: How does Punk define his happiness in 2019? What is advice to people who life has down and are frustrated and don’t have a way out?

Punk: “Life right now is a little complicated, isn’t it ladies and gentlemen? I think it’s interesting when our party political system is almost racially divided to where I’m at the point – and everyone’s gonna love this, call me a liberal or whatever – I’m just a human being that thinks if you think somebody is not as good as you because of where they come from or the color of your skin, I’ve had it with you.” [applause] “I’ve always felt this way. But my wife is brown. And I never, never ever looked at her like that. I never thought I married a brown lady. I married a human being. We’re talking down the street the other day in Milwaukee and a car drives by and a lady sticks her head out and yells, ‘Go home, go back to where you came from!’ I thought I was wearing Cubs gear and this was a Brewers fan. I looked at my wife and she didn’t think it was as funny as I did. That’s my privilege. Nobody’s ever used the color of my skin to make me feel bad, so it doesn’t exist in my head. That was some funny shit. My wife wasn’t so fucking pleased. She was kind of fucking bummed. I’m not a fucking tough guy, but I told my wife if we’re ever in a situation like that again in public, I’ll hand you my keys and wallet and we’ll deal with the fallout. My happiness is my wife and my dog, not necessarily in that order sometimes. But I wake up every day and try not to start my day every day by grabbing my phone. I try to sit there. I woke up today, that’s pretty fuckning cool. I don’t have a set schedule, I don’t have anyone to answer to other than my dog and y wife, and I try to do shit every day that makes me happy and can make somebody else happy. I don’t need to brag about charity, I don’t like when people do. What I do is to try to help people. I try to reach back and help people. If you folks don’t like horror movies, but like wrestling, come watch this horror movie and come with me. When my wife is bummed, I’m bummed. When shit’s and in the world, I’m emphatietic to that, I’m bummed. it sucks we’re in this spot in this country where we don’t know what’s real and what’s true. But being nice to the person next to you on the subway is going to be real and going to be true, and more people need to do that. It’ll be a better, happier place. AEW and NXT are going head to head, that’s a plus for everybody in here. If you’re watching one, you’re not going to not watch the other. You’re going to watch everything. Let them pretend there’s a war going on and you get to reap the benefits. Don’t fight other people because somebody with more oney than you tells you you have to. It doesn’t have to be like that.

MJ: Is there anything people don’t understand about the life you’ve lived or choices you’ve made you’d like to clear up?

Punk: “Everybody in here, walking down the street, you have your own version of Phil in your head. It’s not up to me live up to who that is supposed to be. I try to be nice and kind to everybody. I can’t prevent people having a negative view of me… As long as your’e doing something you enjoy that doesn’t hurt anybody else, more power to you. Don’t worry about explaining yourself to anyone, especially people n the Internet. If I can make a suggestion, Twitter has become an infinitely better place since I realized you can add notifications. It’s such a better place. So people are screaming into the voice. I don’t even block people anymore because I don’t see it. If they don’t have a picture, I don’t see them. Why didn’t I do this sooner? Twitter’s not real life, unless there’s an egg in here that wants to say vile stuff to me.

(When Punk was told they ran over the window of time, he joked he needed a vacation.)

Punk said he and Mike Johnson go way back. He said he suggested Mike do this. He said he knew Mike when he’d do Q&A on bus trips.

“Hey thanks everybody,” he said, “This is real life. I was completely anxious and nervous coming out here. How do I fill 90 minutes. I kept telling people that.” He said friends told him to just be real. “I hope people aren’t mad there wasn’t a big announcement. The reason I did this was to feel like I was hanging out with friends and sign stuff with you. I hope you get some memories you can bring home.” Fans chanted “Thank you, Punk.”

-They went to Scott Hudson and Mark Madden for a wrap-up. Hudson said, “News made by C.M. Punk.” Madden said Mike did a great job as conductor. He said he doesn’t feel they’re any closer to him making a return to wrestling, but he seems happy. “I’d rather see him happy than see him in the ring again,” said Madden. Hudson said the takeaway is Punk isn’t coming back at all, not tonight or anytime, because he’s happy doing his broadcast career, movies, comics, and being with his wife and dog.

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