For starters, your Crash Holly/Undertaker comparison is... inaccurate and that's putting it delicately. That's implying that Undertaker is viewed in the same negative light and disdain as Punk is in AEW - which couldn't be further from the truth. By all accounts Undertaker is revered, respected, and admired by just about everyone who has ever worked w/ him and everyone who went through that WWE/WWF locker room while he was there damn near unanimously sings his praises and views him as THE leader, the voice of reason, a Man among men, and the Heart and Soul of that company. If Crash had done something like Perry did, he'd have been blasted, ribbed, and kicked out of that locker room and fired from the company on the spot. There's a reason he was always the judge in their "Wrestler's Court." When Taker said something, they ALL listened. And if someone messed him, they messed w/ ALL the boys. Because he earned that respect and admiration for who he is and how he conducted himself. Ironically enough, it was CM Punk of all people that actually DID throw some shade at Undertaker back when they both worked there. The story goes that while Punk was World Champion, Undertaker approached him about how he was dressed so casually, saying that he should dress more professionally since he's the champion and thus is representing the company and Punk basically brushed him off or retorted by using John Cena as an example. Gee, funny how life can come full circle like that.
CM Punk is NO Undertaker. Not even close.
Punk CLEARLY is not viewed in that same light in AEW. Or anywhere for that matter since I seriously doubt he'd be viewed much different, if at all, if he does go back to WWE. Vince, Triple H, Stephanie, Seth Rollins (and if Rollins wants nothing to do w/ him, chances are Becky doesn't either), Roman Reigns, and Kevin Owens all have beef with him, and that's just off the top of my head. And how about when he flew off the handle at The Miz over a tongue-and-cheek comment he made over "changing the culture" and he responded w/ "Go suck a blood money covered dick in Saudi Arabia, you fucking dork." And the reason for that? Because he was still butthurt over the fact that Miz main evented WrestleMania and he didn't.
Like, holy shit, dude! Let it go! Enough is enough! The dude holds on to grudges like he's dangling from a cliffside!
CM Punk has nobody to blame but himself for how this all went down. If you view yourself as a locker room leader, you should know better than to fly off the handle and throw a tantrum like a child over something that is ultimately insignificant. And what makes it worse is that this is a repeated occurrence. Before Jack Perry, there was Ryan Neymeth and the "softest man alive" tweet. Before Ryan Neymeth, there was Moxley and "fragile ego, fragile mind, fragile body" line. Before there was Moxley, there was Jericho and his "cancer to the Locker Room" line. Before there was Jericho, there was Kenny and the Bucks. Before there was Kenny and the Bucks, there was Hangman. And when he came back this year, on a random night after Collision went off the air - the show that was made FOR him and where Tony bent over backwards to give him creative control and divide the roster so he wouldn't have to see the Elite. Out of the blue, he has to take ANOTHER shot at Hangman over something off-script Hangman said in a shoot promo a year and a half ago. Like, FFS man, it's over and done with! Move on!
Whether or not Perry deserved it is irrelevant, like I said if you view yourself as a locker room leader, you simply cannot react like that and you CERTAINLY cannot put your hands on them and MOST DEFINITELY cannot attempt to assault your boss. And Perry's comments weren't just addressed to Punk, it was also Tony Schiavane, Tony Khan himself, and others who told him not to use real glass. And he should be punished if he went against orders, but you don't go up to the dude's face and sucker punch him. None of the others reacted that way, he has no excuse to do so.
The man is unhinged. For a guy who made a career and legacy off of shooting and going off script on people, the moment someone else does the same to him, all Hell breaks loose and he throws a fit. He can dish it, but he can't take it.
That is not a leader, that is a bully.
And if anyone think he's going to just magically change going back to WWE, the very place where, by his own words, "got him sick in the first place." (And that ain't the only shot he has taken at them since he came back two years ago), then I've got a bridge in San Francisco to sell them. At 44 years old, Phil Brooks is who he is. A narcissistic, want-to-be martyr who NEEDS to be right about everything and it's always Him vs. the World. Sure, it may be great for the first couple of months during the Honeymoon phase where he's back in the Fed, he's going to all the events and autograph signings, smiling for the camera, and Michael Cole is putting him over like the good ole days. But the man is a ticking time bomb. As soon as that Honeymoon phase is over. All it's going to take is ONE thing, just ONE little inconvenience to set him off and we'll be right back here talking about him and his attitude and ego all over again. Tony Khan should have cut ties with him last year, but didn't, and look what happened. He brought him back at his own peril, and if WWE/Endeavor does the same, they do so at THEIR own peril too.
We can talk about how people like The Elite, Tony Khan, Jack Perry, etc. share blame in how this whole thing unfolded, which they do. But at the end of the day, one man is the common denominator in ALL of it.
CM Punk is his own worst enemy. And everything that has happened to him, he has nobody to blame but himself.
Point of the analogy was to choose a lower level guy and a top veteran. We can change the analogy to JBL and and a young Miz if that suits you better. Still the same concept. Back in the days, if you were new you didn't fuck with the veterans. Even small slights were taken very seriously. Maybe that's not the way things should have been (and Punk has indeed been critical of that culture), but I think it provides some context.
Your story about Punk and the Undertaker is something that happened backstage, not something done on TV. Regarding Taker's relationship with Punk, he said "I had no beef with Punk. He was always business with me. Hopefully, I was with him [too].”
Most of the comments you're citing come from the same clique of people. A lot of people have had positive things to say about Punk.
Danhausen- "One more note, this man has checked on me literally every single day since I got injured and since the loss of my cousin to make sure I’m okay aside from normal friend talk."
For a guy of CM Punk’s magnitude who was the top guy in the business at that time to take the time to say to two greenhorns ‘let me show you what you did right, what you did wrong and what you can improve on’ was really cool.
There's also Andrade, FTR, Ricky Starks, Powerhouse Hobbs, Max Caster, Rey Mysterio, Bret Hart, Kofi Kingston, Sting, and so on. The opinion on Punk definitely seems to vary based on party lines. I'm not there, I have no idea whose right or wrong, but just saying it's not unanimous.
I don't really recall Punk going off script and shooting on people on TV? He was given the leeway on the pipe bomb promo. Don't recall him taking shots at people aside from management, and they controlled his mic. Aside from that it was just with Page, but that was retaliatory. The second one was definitely uncalled for. But, this seems to be a thing that started in AEW unless there's something I'm unaware of.
As for a return to WWE, I don't think his comments about them are going to matter. Brock came back. Bret came back, Warrior came back, Hogan came back, Sable came back, Nash, Hall, etc. They brought in Bischoff FFS. Doesn't really matter if you trashed them publicly, sued them, walked out, punched Vince McMahon, they'll take you back if they think you can make money... unless you're Randy Savage. So, I don't think the heat he may have is going to matter, if they think they can make money, and they can.
CM Punk was in WWE for about 8 years I think? The relationship wasn't all candy and roses, but I don't recall any physical altercations. Maybe it's that the WWE is structured differently, or maybe it's that Punk got too big for his britches in AEW. Either way, sometimes certain arrangements aren't a good fit but others are. Personally if I was the head of WWE, I'd take that chance. The potential upside is huge. And if they have to fire him in a year, then it won't really harm them as much. AEW seemed to want Punk to be a John Cena "the guy" type. In WWE he wouldn't be that. He'd likely be more of a Brock Lesnar role, and maybe that would suit him better. And WWE has a reasonably good track record of managing personality clashes. They got Riddle and Rollins working together, hell they got a program out of Edge and Matt Hardy right after Edge fucked his girlfriend. So, I think there's a pretty good chance it could work out.
Ultimately, I don't disagree that Punk is responsible for being fired. Nobody forced him to punch/choke/ or whatever he actually did to Perry and you just can't do that. Question is who does this hurt? We all have our priorities. If his pride was more important to him than whatever he got out of being in AEW, then it is what it is. Reportedly when he "lunged" at Tony, he was saying that he quit, so if that was a sincere desire that had been building and not a heat of the moment thing, then he got what he wanted. I think at this point AEW needed Punk more than Punk needed them. So, even if he was an unreasonable prick, trying to make it work was kind of part of the job. We'll see in the aftermath how things work out.Last edited by JWeinCom - on 04 September 2023