CM Punk recently made headlines when he was announced as one of the headliners for Starrcast, marking his biggest appearance within the world of pro wrestling since he left WWE in 2014.
The former WWE Champion will host a meet-and-greet and a stage show at Starrcast III, the pro wrestling fan convention that will run adjacent to All Elite Wrestling’s All Out show in Chicago, Illinois on August 31. While Starrcast operates independently of AEW, all three Starrcast conventions to this point have run in tandem with a major event tied to either AEW or “The Elite”‘s pre-AEW independent show, All In.
Punk has insisted over the past five years that his pro wrestling career is over, but questions remain about his future and whether he’ll make a highly anticipated return to the ring. During an interview with ESPN’s Marc Raimondi, Punk reiterated he has no agreement in place with All Elite Wrestling nor desire to return to the squared circle.
Punk said he sent a congratulatory text message to AEW star Matt Jackson, who’s an executive vice president, following Double or Nothing in May. The narrative then got turned into him having “a great relationship” with AEW President Tony Khan.
“No,” Punk said when asked if he has a relationship with AEW.
“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.”
Punk said that he’s communicated with AEW star Cody Rhodes, who’s an executive vice president, but played down what that meant.
“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,” Punk said.
Rhodes addressed Punk’s remarks on Twitter and had a different take on what went down. He noted that at least one member of AEW has met with Punk face to face and denied that an actual contract offer came via text. Rhodes also said that he “wouldn’t be surprised if he (Punk) went back to WWE.”
I think he was misquoted. I know 1 of us had met with him in person, and yes I texted him plenty when we couldn’t connect on the actual phone, but not a contracted offer. I wouldn’t be surprised if he went back to wwe. Regardless, great wrestler & guy. Door is open if he wants it https://t.co/3ityuurGGy
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) July 26, 2019
Raimondi responded to Rhodes saying that Punk may have been misquoted.
I promise you he was not misquoted.
— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) July 27, 2019
When asked by Raimondi if he’ll be involved in pro wrestling in any way by the end of 2020, Punk said, “I doubt it.” Raimondi replied, “But it’s possible.” Punk responded, “Anything is possible, but I’ve been saying this for five years, man. People are mad at me. I don’t understand how a stranger can get furious at somebody else. It’s like if I was walking down the street and saw somebody cutting grass and I’d be like, “Why the f— are you cutting grass? I want you to work at that f—ing Wendy’s! Go work at that Wendy’s!”
“It’s f—ing amazing. There’s obviously a negative side to that, but I just try to focus on the positive side of that. There’s fans, there’s people’s lives I’ve touched, and to bring it full circle, that’s the biggest reason I’m doing Starrcast. I try not to whore myself out to every single signing. I literally do one a year.”