SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Paul Levesque said during the Survivor Series post-event media Q&A that he brought C.M. Punk back because fans wanted him back. He was otherwise somewhat guarded in his praise of Punk.
He talked about Punk being someone “who is a conversation-starter and it’s tough to look past that.” He said if fans wanted him back, “then let’s go and we’ll figure out the rest of it from there.” He did say they are “incredibly excited about it.”
He said it came together “super quick.” He said when there was speculation about a Punk return at Survivor Series, it wasn’t actually close to happening, but once the speculation died down, that’s when “all of a sudden it was happening.” He said because it came together so quickly and so recently (as in roughly a week ago), that’s why it stayed such a secret.
Levesque said the bitter break-up with Punk and WWE happened nearly ten years ago. He said if you haven’t changed or grown in ten years, “you’ve messed up.” He elaborated: “Everybody grows, everybody changes. I’m a different person, he’s a different person, we’re a different company.”
That last comment, more than anything, could be a reference to Vince McMahon no longer being involved in creative, but also perhaps a reference to the different schedule than WWE had when Punk was last a full timer in WWE and just a general improvement in management-wrestler harmony.
While many are calling Punk a hypocrite for returning to WWE, this WWE is much different than the one he left, as Vince McMahon isn’t in control of creative, ownership has changed recently, and the schedule isn’t the grind it once was for wrestlers.
Levesque said they’re all on “the same even starting ground.” He said what’s next for Punk will be interesting and it’ll be exciting and thrill ride no matter what it is. “We’re all thrilled to have him back here and have him back home in WWE where he belongs,” he said.
Levesque opened his comments to the media by saying everyone wants to talk about “the big return tonight,” and then said he was speaking of R-Truth. He went on about that for a minute as a joke before moving on to comments on other matches on the show. He eventually said that he didn’t comment during his opening statement on Punk, “the elephant in the room,” because he assumed that’d be the first question asked by the assembled media. And it was.
NOTE: Last night, I recorded a 90 minute Post-Survivor Series Roundtable Podcast for PWTorch VIP members with Todd Martin and Nick Barbati. During that podcast, I reported in real time what I was hearing about the dramatic reactions of Seth and Drew McIntyre once Punk walked into the area to his music, and shared what reactions I was getting from people within WWE to the news as the podcast progressed, with four or five different conversations with Todd and Nick reacting to the developing situation in between our analysis of the matches themselves.
Then I recorded another VIP Keller Hotline for VIP members a couple hours later with additional behind the scene details and insights including why Seth is playing along despite negative feelings about Punk in the past. I also posted a lengthy written report with all of the information in that Keller Hotline with tons of insight and details on the breaking news.
For information on becoming a PWTorch VIP member to catch up on our coverage last night and be part of our ongoing insider insights and top shelf analysis of the industry on a weekly basis, CLICK HERE.
Current VIP members can jump right to that VIP exclusive Keller Report on the Punk situation here:
OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: WWE Survivor Series WarGames results: Powell’s review of Randy Orton, Seth Rollins, Cody Rhodes, Jey Uso, and Sami Zayn vs. Drew McIntyre and The Judgment Day in a WarGames match, Women’s WarGames match