CM Punk has opened the lid on previous talks he had to join AEW.
The former five-time world champion in WWE is currently promoting the Starz show ‘Heels’ – which is about wrestling – and, naturally, questions about his AEW rumours have come up.
Punk admits he has held talks with AEW owner Tony Khan in the past, but he was skeptical about a new promotion launching.
“Yeah, I talked to Tony,” Punk confirmed to Saturday Night Main Event Podcast. “You know, my perception on this, and I said this to Tony, to his face at that time… I’m a guy who has constantly heard, ‘Hey I got a money guy, hey I got TV.’
“I’ve heard that at least once or twice a year for 15-20 years of my wrestling career. I’ve gotten bounced checks from those gentlemen.
“You watched it happen, especially after ECW folded, it was everybody was re-starting ECW, everybody was going to be the ECW guys.
“There was a dude named John Collins, who did time in prison for bouncing checks, and it always seems like somebody’s gonna, ‘Oh we’re going to start up and we’re going to compete with Vince [McMahon],’ and I always thought that came from a bad spot because if you want to start up a pro wrestling company, I think you should always just focus on yourself.”
AEW have certainly done that. The company is now in a position where they are regularly getting over a million viewers each week and their ratings are not too far off WWE’s Monday Night Raw.
In fact, some weeks they’re beating RAW in the key 18-49 years old demographic.
“So, I more or less took a wait-and-see approach,” Punk said of Khan and AEW. “And I wasn’t, or I am not, interested in pro wrestling, in that respect.
“We’re here, we’re talking about ‘Heels’ and it just so happened, maybe it could be luck that the next role I got is set in the world of professional wrestling, but you know, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
“I’m focused on being an actor, and just like I was when I was a wrestler, focused on being the best I could be, I’m focused on being the best actor I could be.”
Rumours are rife that Punk will debut in AEW shortly, perhaps as soon as next Friday at the United Center on the second edition of AEW Rampage.
AEW booked the arena only a couple of weeks ago and it holds almost double the amount of fans they will host at their All Out pay-per-view in the same city just two weeks later.
Many hints to Punk’s debut have transpired on TV, most notably from Darby Allin a couple of weeks ago.
“I’ll be in Chicago,” Allin said on Dynamite that night. “You know, I’ve been around a lot of men in this world that have laid claim to how they’re the greatest. There is only one place to really prove that – right here, in AEW. Even if you think you are the best in the world.”
When asked about that line, Punk said: “Um, I think Darby Allin’s great. I think everybody in the wrestling world needs to never do a dive ever again because you can’t do it better than Darby.”