CM Punk has never been one to shy away from controversy, and his recent remarks to Colin Cowherd on the Herd radio show continued to make that point.
It didn’t take a lot of prodding from Cowherd, an admitted instigator, to set CM Punk off about his former employer.
Punk (real name Phil Brooks) called WWE wrestlers “indentured servants,” citing no health insurance or benefits and a crazy travel schedule for the reasons he (probably) isn’t going to work for Vince McMahon again anytime soon.
In defense of Brooks, he didn’t confine all that blame to the WWE, stating that he “did that 10 years to get to the WWE” and then another 10 years while in their employ.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) June 30, 2016
In 2011, Brooks made the decision to re-sign when he probably shouldn’t have considering the falling out he would have with the McMahon family shortly thereafter.
In one bit of classic Colin Cowherd stirring the pot, the host asked CM Punk if he felt that his strong brand and opinionated ways both helped his career as a wrestler and ended it.
“Yeah there is definitely that aspect,” Brooks said. “I have a reputation of being a jerk or an a**hole and people have these varying stories. I don’t suffer fools. Certainly if you’ve had a bad experience with me, it’s more about you instead of me.”
With this comment, CM Punk illustrates his true narcissism.
A narcissist by definition is someone who “has a distorted self image, unstable and intense emotions, is overly preoccupied with vanity, prestige, power and personal adequacy, lacks empathy, and has an exaggerated sense of superiority,” according to Medical News Today.
His commentary indicates that he is aware of what people say about him and that it gets said a lot, but somehow he is not complicit in any of it.
Even now, Brooks feels like he has every right to be in a cage at UFC 203 in September, in spite of the fact that there are many talented fighters at the regional level who have yet to receive the same shots as he has because of what WWE did for him.
Now that’s not to say that CM Punk contributed nothing while he was working for the McMahons — everyone knows about the pipe bomb and his historic run at the top of the company — but it’s unlikely he would be known at the level he is now, nor have the opportunity to get tapped out in 10 seconds during his debut MMA bout if not for the WWE.
— PWM – WWE Coverage (@ProWrestlingMag) June 27, 2016
His UFC opportunity would not be there, in other words, if not for Vince McMahon and the opportunities he provided.
Additionally, you have to look outside the WWE-CM Punk relationship to understand what the McMahons have done for professional wrestling over the years.
While many bemoan the current product and long for the days of the regional territories, the truth is that working conditions in the regional territories were unpredictable and downright criminal.
You would have promoters routinely beating performers out of money. Most took zero steps to get their talent adequate healthcare. Barroom brawling was encouraged provided that you could handle yourself in the fight; if you lost, you would be fired immediately. Kayfabe was the law of the land, often to the detriment of performers’ health and psyches.
The WWE is not perfect and has a lot of room for improvement, but if you look at today’s Wellness Policy, the company’s focus on getting wrestlers adequate healthcare, and making sure performers understand their contracts and get their money on time, it is clear the company has been a boon for the world of professional wrestling.
It is also attempting to create more opportunities for talents through NXT, the brand split, and other WWE original programming.
If CM Punk doesn’t want to work for the company, then he should start saying in these interviews that he has said all there is to say about his time at the WWE, and his thoughts are already known.
Instead, he continues to use them in an attempt to keep himself relevant.
He should definitely not give reporters what they’re hoping for with a new diatribe against the McMahons every chance he gets. It smacks of narcissism and bitterness and reveals more about CM Punk than it does anyone at WWE.
But what do you think, readers? Does CM Punk owe his success to the WWE, and is it time for him to shut up about his feelings toward the company? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via WWE]