By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
The following are the highlights CM Punk’s interview with ESPN’s Marc Raimondi, which can be read in its entirety at ESPN.com.
-On why he agreed to take part in Starrcast III: “They asked if I wanted to do Starrcast. That’s basically it. There’s no mad scientist formula to it. I hate traveling. I’ve turned down offers to do signings in other places. It turns into a mission to leave town just to do a signing and stuff. I like to take time with everybody and make sure everybody has a good experience. I try not to just shuffle people through a line. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s not just somebody shoves something in front of me, I sign it and it’s on to the next. I really try to make sure everybody has a story to tell or an experience. Sometimes it can be exhausting. The biggest thing was it’s in my hometown. I get to go for one day, I get to have fun, I get to give back to the fans, so to speak. And I get to go home and rest afterward.”
-Punk on whether doing Starrcast means he has a relationship with AEW: “No. I know they like to talk about me a lot. If I text Matt Jackson, ‘Hey, have a great show tonight,’ which I did when they had their big show in Vegas, that somehow turns into Tony Khan telling people he has a great relationship with me. I’ve said in the past I’ve talked to them, but nothing ever came of anything.”
-Punk on fan expectations for him to show up at AEW All Out: “I think if there’s an expectation, it’s purely been built by them. My silence to some fans means something. They’re trying to read the tea leaves, but there’s nothing to read. I even feel like talking about it may feel like I’m putting some sort of negative slant on it, but I’m really not. The fact is I know they’ve teased me ad nauseam, and if anybody is gonna get mad it’s at me because I don’t show up. Well then, I don’t know what to tell you. That’s one of those things that’s none of my business.”
-Punk on whether AEW has offered him a deal: “The last thing I got — I got a text from Cody [Rhodes]. And again, I almost don’t even know how to reply to them sometimes, because if I reply, they do interviews and are like, ‘Oh yeah, I just talked to Punk.’ I’m kind of damned if I do, damned if I don’t. I always think if somebody wants to do business with me, they can come talk to me. Texting offers isn’t really a way to do good business, at least… It was texted through three people and an offer came in through text. This is like a month ago, maybe.”
Powell’s POV: Punk has been so blunt with his comments in the past and this seems like more of the same. And, yes, it could be a smoke screen. The main thing I took from it is that Punk at least seems open to listening to a real offer. It doesn’t mean he’d accept it, but the fact that he’s open to listening is more encouraging than him simply stating that he has zero interest to the extent that he wouldn’t even have a conversation about it. Punk also spoke about his UFC status, why he’s not training at the moment, calling MMA fights for CFFC, and much more.