CM Punk was a hot topic for wrestling legend Jim Ross when he sat down with USA Today to discuss his take on the wrestling business — among other things — on December 19.
And most of what the voice of pro wrestling/BBQ connoisseur had to say probably won’t be embraced by the Straight-Edge Superstar.
Particularly “hard to believe” for Jim Ross were the comments that CM Punk (aka Phil Brooks) made regarding Vince McMahon and the expectations that he work hurt.
This statement did not seem right to the man who managed talent for McMahon for a number of years.
“I was very surprised to hear that because I know from experience that WWE has invested untold sums of money on their medical staff,” Ross said. “Full-time doctors, full-time certified trainers, CTE testing and things that are actually being followed by some of the other leagues.”
Ross said that he knew the “health of their performers is a high priority, and that anytime I ever had an issue that was job-related or in-the-ring, I always got excellent care and I communicated with the medical staff on a regular basis. They’d call me when I was home.”
Ross did his best not to call CM Punk a liar, but he did say he was “surprised” to hear that from the former WWE Champ.
“I’m not disputing his claim because I wasn’t there and haven’t seen the medical records, but the issue is that it seems like it comes back down to communication,” said Ross.
“If I was in Punk’s place – and maybe he did this, I don’t know – and I was displeased by the doctor’s feedback, I would have gone to Vince after that, and said I believed the diagnosis to be incorrect. I don’t know if that ever happened.”
Ross called Vince McMahon a “very bright” man and found it hard to believe that he would ever “jeopardize” his company “by figuratively holding the gun to a head of a talent.”
“I have a hard time understanding that. I really do. I booked guys and was in charge of talent rosters for many years. We’d have a guy who was rehabbing, and we’d fly him in for a promo, but not a physical role. That’s a different ballgame.”
Ross admitted that it would truly “shock” him if McMahon required a talent to return when he wasn’t ready or cleared by a doctor “on the record or off.”
“I just think there was a big breakdown in communication,” Ross added.
Something else CM Punk may not like about Ross’ comments, Cageside Seats notes, is that JR sounded “skeptical” when it came to Punk’s chances of making it in the UFC.
Of course, if he were to be upset with JR over that, he’d have to pretty much be at odds with the whole internet.
What do you think, readers? Is CM Punk lying about how the WWE treated his medical status, and do you think he’ll make it in the UFC?