When CM Punk left the WWE for good in 2014, not many knew how to react. This writer learned of his walk-out the morning after Monday Night Raw. Personal bias aside for the Voice of the Voiceless, it was a weird feeling seeing Punk not employed by the WWE anymore. It’s still odd, but since his time away from the company, he’s written comics for Marvel and began training for a UFC debut.
It was finally confirmed for UFC 203 against Mickey Gall, which means he is finally going to debut in the mixed martial arts world. It’s been a long-time coming for Punk, who announced his contract signing with Dana White over a year ago. Injuries delayed the Chicago native, but now his new dream is a reality. Since that time, wrestling fans still speculate if he’ll ever return to the WWE.
Realistic fans are on the negative side of the fence, but some still remain hopeful. Despite multiple shots at the company in the last year or so, fans still believe he’ll return. The latest comment by the former WWE champion took place Tuesday when he spoke with Fox Sports 1, promoting his fight with Gall at UFC 203.
CM Punk spoke with Colin Cowherd about the WWE and claimed that they treat their wrestlers like “indentured servants.”
“Back in 2011, my contract was up and they [WWE] were trying to re-sign me. They were trying to re-sign me for low-ball figures. That’s what they do to the guys. They’re indentured servants. They try to pay them the smallest amount of money possible you can pay them.
“There’s no health insurance. You’re responsible for your own travel, your own hotels, your own food on the road. I did that for 10 years to get to the WWE and I did it 10 years there. My gas tank was empty, in that regard.
“In 2011, it was kind of hanging in the balance and I made the decision to re-sign. It’s not that I regret that decision, it’s just that if I didn’t re-sign, I would’ve dedicated my life 100-percent to this. So, I re-signed and that story unfolded. That chapter of my book is over with. I’m 100-percent dedicated to this [MMA] now.”
This wasn’t the first time Punk spoke about that process in WWE negatively. They are indirectly independent contractors. That’s when the WWE Network bonuses came into play and he was asking questions about PPV bonuses going down. It’s unknown if other WWE stars were talking about it as well, but Punk made it public months later.
Punk also talked about the only reason that he would return to wrestling again with ESPN Radio.
“No, I don’t think so. It is one of those ‘never say never’ things. I just like to cover all of my bases so some Internet dweeb says, ‘You said you would never wrestle again.’
“With the WWE? Absolutely not. You never know, I could pop up here and there. Let me explain that to you even better. It won’t be anything televised. It’ll be me wrestling one of my buddies and nobody will ever know. It’ll be very ‘Monty Python.'”
His return isn’t imminent and likely won’t ever be again. On Colt Cabana’s podcast, he said that money isn’t everything, which was an important part of the story. Even if Triple H or Vince McMahon throw a big amount of money at him, Punk may stay away.
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