During an interview with ESPN’s Marc Raimondi, CM Punk discussed his upcoming appearance at Starrcast and whether or not he has a relationship with AEW.
It was announced last week that Punk would be appearing at Starrcast III in Schaumburg, Illinois on Saturday, August 31, which is the same day as AEW’s All Out pay-per-view. Punk will be taking part in a one-on-one interview at Starrcast, along with doing meet-and-greets.
Though Starrcast has only taken place during All In, Double or Nothing, and All Out weekends, it’s put on by Conrad Thompson and isn’t officially an AEW event. Punk also did an autograph signing at Pro Wrestling Tees’ store in Chicago the day before All In last year.
Punk told Raimondi about why he agreed to the Starrcast appearance:
Punk: 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 spoke about whether or not there’s a relationship between him and AEW:
Punk: 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.
ESPN: When you decided to do Starrcast, did you go over in your mind, like, ‘I’m going to get a thousand questions about AEW.’
Punk: Oh yeah, you’ve gotta brace yourself for it. It’s not even AEW. I’m gonna get a thousand questions about WWE. It comes with the territory.
ESPN: Do you feel like there’s an expectation from fans that you’re going to show up at AEW’s show, at All Out?
Punk: 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.
ESPN: When you say they’ve teased you, what do you mean by that?
Punk: They do videos where they talk about me. They’re constantly talking about me in the media. And again, maybe this sounds like I’m badgering them, but I’m not. It’s just something that happens. I’m a popular guy to talk about. But I’m not doing interviews talking about them. If people ask me about it, I say no, I won’t be there.
ESPN: Just to be completely clear, there’s nothing imminent?
Punk: 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.
ESPN: Was it an offer via text?
Punk: It was texted through three people and an offer came in through text. This is like a month ago, maybe.
ESPN: An offer for All Out?
Punk: I think it was just a general offer. I never could have done the last one in Vegas [Double or Nothing], because I was in California for [Cage Fury Fighting Championships].
When asked if he’ll be involved with professional wrestling in any way by the end of 2020, Punk said he doubts it. Punk said he’s a different person than he was in 2011 and a different person than he was when he left WWE five years ago.
Punk said that he’s still under contract with the UFC but hasn’t been offered another fight by them. Raimondi asked Punk (who is a commentator for Cage Fury Fighting Championships) if he thinks his future in MMA might be more on the commentary side of things:
Punk: Yeah, maybe. It definitely feels like that. There’s a gray area, obviously. Man, I would love to get a W, but I’m f—ing old. Training camps aren’t easy when you’re old and you have as many miles on your body as I do. I break everything down into, ‘Do I love this? No, I don’t love it? Then I’m not gonna do it anymore.’ And training and CFFC are things that I very much love to do, so I’m gonna continue to do them.
I’ve said a long time ago, you never say never, and I think it’s kind of a billionaire’s mindset — if somebody offers you something, you say yes to it and then you figure out how to do it.
ESPN: You’re still training at Roufusport with the intention of fighting again, though, right?
Punk: I don’t have any date. I don’t even know what I’m gonna do. I love the s— out of it, so I still do it.