More On The Punk Interview

Now that I’ve actually listened to the whole thing, here are some far more detailed thoughts.  I basically just jotted down notes while listening so I’m skipping over a lot of stuff when he went into detail.

Punk talked about having offers for sponsorships but WWE said no, then gave them to Lesnar.  Brock having sponsorships ties back into the UFC character.  Punk having them would look like when they put Spider-Man 2 logos on the bases at ball games.  It wouldn’t have worked.

Vince freaking out over UFC is ridiculous.  Do “Lion’s Den”, “Brawl For All” or “Ken SHamrock” ring any bells?

Punk talked about Vince being out of touch.  That’s been known for 20 years and he’s been fine.

He said Cena gets mainstream stuff that Punk doesn’t get.  Could this have anything to do with Cena being the All-American boy while Punk is a loudmouth covered in tattoos?

Punk talked about fans never being happy no matter what he says.  As someone with a VERY small presence online, he’s 100% right.  You’re NEVER going to please everyone and that’s all there is to it.

He talked about making money off merchandise and WWE making far more.  Here’s something that I’ll be saying a lot: that’s standard business.

Like here for instance: Punk thinks he’s worth X, WWE thinks he’s worth Y. Punk signed for Y and worked for Y. Now if he thinks he should get more that’s fine, but he agreed to that salary and that’s all he’s entitled to.  THis will be another recurring theme.

Mentioned having a concussion and the concussion tests being bogus.  If that’s true then….I’m not sure what to do about it.

I agree on wanting a three way main event at Wrestlemania XXIX. Punk vs. Undertaker for the title could have worked as well, but Rock vs. Cena II made a FORTUNE so there was something to it.

Punk says he made himself work through it but then complains about the outcomes? Yeah he wants to be the best, but there are consequences to that.

I have no issue with him wanting to be cleared by a doctor after elbow surgery when WWE cleared him anyway. It’s his body and he deserves to have that peace of mind.

The Straight Edge Society was good, not great. Big Show shouldn’t have destroyed him that fast though.

Shouldn’t they be trying to make money with everyone?” Indeed they should.

Yes Punk beat Cena in merchandise sales and it’s impressive. Now make it last longer than a few months.

He says the Shield was his idea. Wanting to keep him, Punk wanted Hero as the third guy which I’ve heard before. Hero would have bombed in the stable.

Ryback stuff is interesting but nothing shocking really. Calling him steroid guy is interesting but he doesn’t say he saw it or anything so it’s speculation.

As for the TLC with Ryback, yeah that’s a bit nuts but again Punk probably could have shot it down (Punk had knee surgery and they were rushing him back for the TLC match then the Rock feud/rematch/Mania when he wanted time off after dropping the belt).

Wanting time off after losing the belt after holding it that long is more than reasonable. No one needed the rematch at Elimination Chamber. Saying he wasn’t going to get a rub off the Undertaker match is bogus given its history. It was better than Brock vs. HHH and about the same as Cena vs. Rock. It didn’t blow either away though. Saying he should have gone on last and saying pay him more for it being great is nonsense. He signed the contract for it and knew what he was getting paid for it.

Talking about asking questions etc., again, that’s fine but sometimes there are consequences for speaking your mind. The part timers thing still doesn’t hold up due to financial reasons.  They get those spots because they’ve earned them at the box office.  There are a lot of people that work a lot of dates and they’re not getting those spots.  WHy shouldn’t, say, Sheamus get that spot?  He works most dates but you don’t hear him complaining about part timers.

He said the casual fans are going to stop caring if he’s always losing the major show matches. As for the stock in the eyes of the casual viewer, if you only have a few chances to showcase your talents, it’s going to go up. Brock vs. Punk was Match of the Year and in matches like those, the winner is an afterthought.

Punk vs. Ryback again didn’t need to happen again after Punk vs. Lesnar. I’m with Punk on that one. He’s right on HHH vs. Axel too as that was ALL about HHH like it always was.

Punk blocking WWE on Twitter is hilarious.

He talked about no one remembering the best match at Wrestlemania because it’s all about the main event.  I present Wrestlemania 24 and 25 to say that that’s nonsense.

As for Wrestlemania XXIX pay (Punk says he should have made as much as the other top names because his match was best), that’s his opinion and it’s all he’s basing it on. He also said that Wrestlemania draws instead of the stars.  Wrestlemania isn’t the entirety of the draw and look at Wrestlemania XXIII and XXVIII if you want proof.

Not knowing where pay is coming from with the new Network stuff is indeed ridiculous.

The doctor not cutting the thing out of his back: again, it’s his body and if there are all those issues, he should yell about it.  Or, go find a non-WWE doctor to cut it out if that’s all he needed.

Hoping to channel Foley’s run in 2000 in order to get a Wrestlemania main event slot is pretty freaking stupid. He’s done all this before but it didn’t work so why would he think it would now?

It was clear that Punk was hurt in the Rumble. He said he had a concussion, they gave him a way out, he kept going. Same problem as before.

As someone who takes pride in never taking drugs/drinking/smoking etc, I’d be glad to take whatever drug test they give me.  I get that it’s not the point, but just do it and move on.  That takes ten seconds.  He’s right about fixing his injuries now but he put a lot of that on himself.

Big meeting with Vince/HHH: they’re above Punk, as they’re bosses. HHH does NOT need to wrestle Punk. He’s right about three years ago though. There’s one main event at Wrestlemania….most of the time.

So the WWE doctor was right about antibiotics but the wrong ones.

Firing him on wedding day…..yeah that’s lame. The no compete clause for UFC is laughable.

Finally, Punk says he’ll never have a working relationship with them again.  I would point you to Bret Hart as United States Champion for WWE in 2010.  Imagine that say, ten years ago.

So yeah, WWE did some stupid stuff, but at the end of the day, so many of these problems come down to Punk being hard headed and trying to get their attention with his hard work. Yeah he worked hard, but if they haven’t reacted to it yet, why in the world would he think they were going to again later?

At the end of the day, Punk sounds like Jim Cornette (and remember that he’s basically my idol in wrestling): he thinks he’s right on everything (and he is on a lot of them) but if you want to be in the big wrestling company, you have to go along with some of the corporate stuff. They all have to go along with things they don’t want to because they have thousands of stockholders to please. Much like with not being paid what he thinks he’s worth, that’s life in business.

One thing I want to emphasize: this was NOT him bashing WWE for two hours. This is him saying his version of what happened (make sure you keep that in mind. This is all from Punk’s point of view and perspective. The company has its reasons for doing things and their side should be heard as well) and voicing some of his complaints. He doesn’t rip on the talent, he doesn’t rip on the wrestling. Instead it’s him criticizing a lot of their decisions in terms that make sense.

However, all that being said, I’ll go back to the Cornette point: if you want to work for a major company and get major checks, you have to give up stuff. Punk wanted to prove he was the best at everything and he did to a degree. WWE didn’t reward him directly for that, but there was never any guarantee on their part. Assuming they paid him what they promised to in his contract, they owe him nothing from a business standpoint.

Some of the medical stuff I’ll completely go with Punk on, but if his back is that messed up, he should have gone to another doctor on his own if WWE wouldn’t do it. That’s more common sense than anything else. If WWE was pushing him too hard though, Punk should have asked for the time off. WWE gave him chances to take it off but Punk soldiered on. That’s on him.

Overall it’s a VERY interesting interview and well worth listening to in full (it’s readily available on Youtube) but don’t immediately agree with everything Punk says, because a lot of it needs to be taken with some major grains of salt. Either that or saying “Punk, that’s not how business works so quit thinking you’re more valuable than everyone else.” Punk was indeed a top star and white hot, but Cena and Rock are bigger stars no matter how you look at it. He has a point in some of the booking criticisms, but some of them come off as Punk having a swelled head. This is going to be talked about for a LONG time though and I’d heavily recommend that you listen to it yourself.  It flies by.

14 comments

  1. ted says:

    Interesting interview I agree with some of what punk says. Other parts sound like sour grapes. Hopefully he can be happy in whatever he chooses to do now.

  2. Killjoy says:

    I gotta agree with Punk on the while WM 29 money thing. Rock/Cena, Lesnar/HHH and him vs Taker. Those were the 3 main matches of the show, all built as headlining matches. But out of those 6, he, the one with the biggest workload, ended up with the short end of the stick.

    From a money making point of view, being put with those top guys should be a call to move up, not stay the same or get less.

  3. Jay H (the real one) says:

    The injuries remind me of Kurt Angle in 2006 and them trying to give him time off but he wouldn’t take it. I agree that he should have taken the time off if he was that hurt but he was stubborn. I just find it funny and call BS on him it not being about the money. Thats like saying anyone with a job isn’t there for making a paycheck.

  4. M.R. says:

    Just feels like a calculated move to regurgitate everything the IWC believes and wants to hear. He’s nowhere near the big deal he seems to believe he was.

    Killjoy Reply:

    Its not just about him. It about everyone and he believes they aren’t rewarded properly.

    M.R. Reply:

    Oh please, if he was in Cena’s position and paid accordingly he wouldn’t give two shits about the rest of the roster. It’s easy to defend the little man until you become the big man.

    Ted Reply:

    You don’t actually believe that do you?

    M.R. Reply:

    Absolutely.

    FauladKaAulad Reply:

    M.R. – really? because he gains what exactly from this?

  5. deanerandterry says:

    I agree with a lot of what Punk says here, I think he could have made a decent run as a top guy when he was white hot but at the same time from a business stand point you can’t blame WWE for sticking with Cena, especially since he was still drawing strong and had been for years. Could WWE have afforded a shot to Punk as the top guy? Sure but at the same time you can’t blame WWE going the safe route.

    Punk should expect a lower payday than Taker, Cena, Rock and Lesnar for WM29, that’s just common sense. Triple H, although he didn’t deserve more money for his match at WM29 I’m sure he had a lot more duties during that week which would warrant him making more than Punk. He’s pretty high up on the WWE corporate ladder, that extra work accounts for A LOT.

    WWE should have allotted the time off Punk was asking for and should have laid off a bit when it came to constantly pressuring Punk to come back early, at the same time Punk had every right to tell Vince to shove it.

    His frustration with constantly doing favors for Vince and not getting a return even when Vince kept saying “I owe you one” is justified but it also shows his business ignorance. If you do the boss a favor its fairly common for them to keep asking until you put your foot down.

    As much as I understand how upset Punk is (I know what its like working hard, doing the best work, being a good soldier and not getting compensated the way you feel you should) but at the same time sometimes you got to push back hard and although Punk often stirred shit and made his issues vocal it seemed like he ultimately just did what WWE wanted him to for the most part and it got to a point where he exploded and left in a very unprofessional way. I don’t blame Punk for leaving as he needs to take care of himself but if he put his foot down more and was a little more of an asshole (he wasn’t an asshole in WWE, he was difficult at points but all Vince needed to do was push a little bit and Punk would usually fold) he would probably have a much better relationship with WWE right now, maybe he would still be wrestling (or at least left in a better way).

    Ultimately WWE could have done better by Punk but its not like they did bad by him, Punk has reasons to be upset no question but for some things he should have been more reasonable about.

  6. Jay H (the real one) says:

    Also the fact that he takes credit for Daniel Bryan and The Shield. Im sorry but wasn’t it us the Fans and Bryan that got him over? I am pretty sure it was.

    Pickle Reply:

    Got him over, yes. Got him into the Mania main event, no. The plan for Bryan before Punk quit was Bryan/Sheamus in a nothing midcard match. No triple threat, no double duty, no title win.

    Bryan, like Punk said numerous times, totally deserved the main event, but he probably wouldn’t have gotten it if Punk stuck around.

  7. Heyo says:

    It’s amazing how true Punk’s points became over time. Back when he said what he said, he sounded whiny because there were legit reasons why he didn’t get what he wanted(Rock vs. Cena II was a huge draw and the Rock drew a ton of money to WWE with his 2011-2013 run).

    Now? Holy hell did things fall apart. Vince’s head is firmly up his own ass, and whenever or not you get the top spot or get buried is decided “because reasons”. Does it matter that ratings have largely tanked under Reigns’ title reign? No, because Vince decided that he’s the champion and screw you if you disagree. Try to get over on your own? You’ll just go under 50-50 booking or be a jobber and that’s that. Hell, you could argue that just about anyone getting over was buried or they tried to bury them at this year’s Wrestlemania(seriously, there was no reason for Styles and New Day to lose clean like that).

    It doesn’t help that Meltzer has reported MANY times that Vince and HHH are butting heads over the direction of the product, and that’s just the cherry on top.

    Greg Reply:

    New Day losing was to setup the legend thing (which they could have had New Day win and then have the LON beat them up and then have the legends come down). I’m guessing the reason for Styles losing was they thought everyone would forget when he won the fatal four way on Raw. Don’t agree with that.

    Ratings are not Roman’s fault.

    Vince owns the damn thing. Of course he decides what he wants because he can.

    WWE set a revenue record in 2015 (their profit is a different story). So technically WWE had their most successful year in history with Roman being heavily featured.