By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
CM Punk was interviewed by Scott Fishmam regarding his role on the pro wrestling drama “Heels” that premieres Sunday night on Starz. The following are the highlights of the interview, which can be read in full at TVInsider.com.
Punk on whether he had any trepidation when it came to playing a pro wrestler: “I looked at it like I had this wealth of experience and knowledge to draw from. So why wouldn’t I play this role? Ricky Rabies is your perennial Southern mid-card journeyman. The guy has been everywhere with a cup of coffee in the big time. A little bit older, a little bit banged up. This is kind of my love letter to a lot of people who helped me out in the business. The biggest one is Tracy Smothers. It was all second nature. I did a couple of nuanced things to the character that everyone loved, but it was really about drawing from my wealth of experience in a past life. I jumped at the chance.”
Punk on returning to the ring for the show: “I think I did that stuff for so long that it’s cliche, but it was like riding a bike. I was a little bit worried about how I would feel the next morning, especially running the ropes. Bumps I think are easier because I have built calluses in my body to a point where I can. I haven’t taken a bump in seven or eight years. Then also the other training I do is akin to throwing yourself to the ground. When I’m doing jujitsu, any kind of grappling and MMA training. It’s super physical. It’s similar but different. I hit the ground running. I was like, ‘You’re good here. You still got it.’ [Wrestling coordinator] Luke Hawx was a big help and a great dude to have around.”
Punk on today’s pro wrestling landscape: “I think the older the stuff is the better. I think it’s partly unfortunate that WWE owns the super good libraries in pro wrestling. I think that stuff is classic and they don’t even put it on their network. They are sitting on it. I want to watch Austin Idol versus Jerry Lawler in Memphis. I do think the landscape of pro wrestling in general really needs a kick in the dick. I think we are about there. I think there are people out there stirring the pot and causing trouble in a good way. It’s a fun world. There is nothing like it. Pro wrestling gets crapped on by a number of people. But when it’s done on a high level and it’s really good, there is nothing better.”
Powell’s POV: No, Punk did not confirm that he will be returning to pro wrestling one week from today on AEW Rampage, but there’s plenty of good material in the interview. Punk spoke about his relationship with actor Stephen Amell, sporting a mullet for the show and what his wife AJ Lee thinks of it, his growth as an actor, and more. By the way, with nine reviews in, Heels is at a 100 percent favorable rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of this update.