CM Punk on The MMA Hour recap: Returning to WWE, Tony Khan as a boss, Jack Perry’s “real glass” comment at AEW All In, whether he regrets returning to pro wrestling


By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

CM Punk appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani on Monday. The following are the highlights of the interview that can be viewed below or via

Punk on his health: “I feel really, really good. There’s part of me that doesn’t want everybody to know and keep everything a secret, but I feel way better than I think I should. Gives me sort of a false sense of security. And there’s very much the hockey player in my head just like, ‘You could have made Mania. You could have just tape it up.’ They’re protecting me from myself…. I’m the one who is trying to push everything based on protocols for a ruptured triceps tendon, but they’re telling me to pump the brakes and I’m just sitting back and listening to them as best I can.”

Punk on when the ball started to roll for his return at WWE Survivor Series: “The action of it started, I think the week of Thanksgiving, maybe.” Punk said he got a call from Nick Khan and estimated that it was the Monday before the Survivor Series event. Punk said WWE officials wanted him for the Royal Rumble because they assumed he had some type of non-compete clause with AEW and were floored to learn he did not. Punk said he and Paul Levesque had a FaceTime meeting at Levesque’s request. He said they buried the hatchet over past items and then got down to business. “It all got done very, very fast,” recalled Punk. “My lawyer was not stoked to be working OT on Thanksgiving, but he gets paid very handsomely.” Punk later stated that he signed his contract at Survivor Series and then walked into the Gorilla Position.

Punk on reuniting with Vince McMahon: Punk said he went to WWE Headquarters and was talking on the phone when Nick Khan in the gym when Vince’s trainer told him not to be on the phone. Vince entered the gym and hugged Punk said they would meet after his workout, but they never did and it was the last time they met. Regarding the allegations, Punk called them horrific said he can’t believe Vince was dumb enough to leave a paper trail. He said his relationship with Vince doesn’t mean anything, he cares more about the victims who have suffered trauma. “He ruined his life ruining other people’s lives,” Punk said regarding McMahon. “There’s very much apart of me that’s like, ‘You got him, good.'”

Punk on the original plan for him at WrestleMania: Punk said it changed a lot. He said he told Paul Levesque that he wasn’t there to take anyone’s main event. He said things are different with WrestleMania being two nights now. Punk said he believes the plan was for him to face Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship, but he added that he was not entirely sure. Punk said he was happy with that plan.

Punk on his relationship with Paul Heyman: “We’re good. Going into the Hall of Fame.” Punk added that he will attend the ceremony. “Oh yeah, I can’t miss that,” he said.

Punk on Jack Perry’s “Real Glass” comment at AEW All In: Punk said he was in his locker room when Perry made the comment and he felt the comment was directed at him. Punk said there are rumors about NDAs. He said there’s a big difference between not being allowed to talk about things and not wanting to do. Punk said Tony Khan’s idea was to separate everyone. Punk said he asked Khan to let him go. Punk said it wasn’t a real business predicated on selling tickets. Khan said he couldn’t let him go and he was going to do another show (AEW Collision). Punk recalled Tony Schiavone begged him at the second Collision to speak with Jack Perry, who has cussed out Schiavone, Mike Mansury, and the doctor.

Punk said Perry wanted to smash the window of a rental car with a pipe. Punk said he politely pointed out that he was told no by several people and now he was also telling Perry no. Punk said he told Perry they don’t do that on this show and he could go to Wednesday if he wanted to do it. Punk said Perry was cool about it. Punk said he wasn’t trying to throw his weight around. Punk said he didn’t raise his voice or cuss at Perry. Punk said he didn’t think there would be a problem. He said Perry took it personally and he understands because he’s done that too.

Punk said that when Perry made the comment, he went to Tony Khan and asked him to handle it. He recalled Khan asking Punk what he wanted him to do. Punk said he wanted Khan to be the boss and warned him that if he didn’t handle it, he wouldn’t like the way that Punk handled it. Punk said Khan didn’t handle it. Punk said he approached Perry and asked him why he insisted on doing “this dumb internet shit.” Punk said Perry said if he didn’t like it, he should do something about it. Punk said he didn’t punch anyone, he just “choked someone a little bit.” Punk said Samoa Joe told him to quit and he did. Punk said he told Khan that the place was a joke, Khan was a clown, and he quit. Punk said Joe and Jerry Lynn went to his dressing room and then he went out and had the match. Punk said he did the match for Joe, referee Paul Turner, Jerry Lynn, and the fans even though he quit.

Once Punk’s match concluded, he was told that Perry was asked to leave. Punk asked if he needed to do the same and was told no. He said the head of security asked him what his plans were for the night. Punk said he just wanted to watch the match. Punk said he asked the man if it was easier for him to perform his job if he left. The head of security told him that it might be, but no one was telling him to leave.

On AEW reporting that Punk was fired with cause and Tony Khan claiming he feared for his life: Punk said he has not spoken with Tony Khan since the incident. “I can’t tell you what Tony felt or he was thinking, but I never did anything that would make him fear for his life, but he is who he is.” Punk said he felt his reputation was slandered. Punk said there was a concerted effort to slander him and ruin his character. He said that was the genesis of all the drama in AEW. He said it didn’t make sense to spread rumors about the top guy in the company and those who did were only hurting themselves. Punk said he has a lot of friends who work for AEW and there are a lot of good people there and he hopes they continue to get paid.

Punk on what it’s like to work Tony Khan: “That’s a loaded question, you know, because I don’t want this to be… I don’t like the drama, but the truth is the truth. He’s not a boss. He’s a nice guy. I think ultimately it’s a detriment to the company, but it’s not my company. I’m an outsider. I thought I was brought in to sell merchandise and tickets and draw numbers for pay-per-views and stuff and I clearly did that, but that’s not what the place is about and some people didn’t like that.”

Punk on Hangman Page’s unscripted lines during their verbal exchange: Punk said what Page said didn’t bother him. He said one of the biggest criticisms about WWE was that it was overly scripted that there are writers. Punk said some people need them and some people don’t and some people prefer them. In this case, he said he sat down with Page and was gracious in terms of how they hammered out the promo. Punk said Page went on live television and didn’t say what they spoke about. Punk said he couldn’t hear him well and he couldn’t say what they had planned because it wouldn’t mesh with what Page was saying. Punk questioned why Page would do it. He said he knew the promo ended with Page punching him. Punk said he was professional. He said he spoke with Page afterward and asked him why he did that. Punk said Page thought that Punk got one of his friends (Colt Cabana) fired even though that person was not fired.

Punk on whether he knew he was going to unload during the All Out press conference: “No, getting out there and seeing ‘reporters’ that report shit about you like it’s fact without ever checking with you to see if stuff happened, who are openly friends with other wrestlers, it’s just f—ing high school. It’s high school, cliquey, Mean Girls drama bullshit. And I get there and I see these goofs and I just lose my temper. Top three CM Punk promo there.”

Punk on the differences between having surgery in WWE compared to AEW: “It’s almost a comparison between places, where there’s structure and there’s protocols and there’s professional people in charge of things and I’m not having to research and find a PT spot. I had no help. Nothing. And that’s insane to me. Is that how they treat the (Jacksonville) Jaguars players? I don’t know. But I don’t think anybody should be treated like that when you’re a professional athlete. I had no help, nobody would speak to me.”

Whether he regrets returning to pro wrestling: Punk said no and cited the friendships he made with numerous people in AEW. Punk also spoke about how he enjoys asking questions and learning from people who have been in the business longer than he has. Punk said his body won’t last longer than his brain and he feels he has a lot more left to give pro wrestling.

Whether his wife AJ Lee will return to TV: Punk said probably not. He thinks there’s an open door and he would love it. When Helawani noted that Punk mentioned her during his return promo and said some people wondered it was setting the table for her return, Punk said maybe he was.

Powell’s POV: At one point, Punk questioned whether he and AEW are in the same business. He pointed out that he’s about selling tickets, merchandise, etc. When he was asked what AEW is in it for, he wondered if it’s about having great matches. Let’s just say that Punk is far from the only person who has wondered that. I will be surprised if there’s not some type of receipt or rebuttal coming from the AEW side, but only time will tell.

It was a lengthy interview that is definitely worth watching. Some of the other topics included Punk visiting backstage at a WWE show while working for AEW He also spoke about the All Out media scrum, Brawl Out, and the nondisclosure agreements, why he chose to return to AEW after Brawl Out, the positives of his run with the company, and working with MJF. On the WWE side, Punk spoke about his relationship with Roman Reigns, the return of The Rock, whether it was the right call for Roman to beat Cody last year, Nick Khan’s attempts to get Punk back to WWE before Khan even worked for the company, and much more. Rhea Ripley appears on the same episode after Punk.


Readers Comments (2)

  1. Well, he was professional about it. Ah man, AEW doesnt respond…ill be surprised.

  2. Original Jabroni April 2, 2024 @ 12:28 am

    Oh, I can’t wait to read about (because i sure as shit won’t be watching) the “receipt from Dixie Khan.

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