AEW's CM Punk: Casual Wrestling Fans Don't Exist Anymore
Punk feels AEW caters to a niche hardcore fanbase, and does it well
CM Punk arriving in AEW was a huge moment for AEW, with the promotion getting a ton of press for coaxing Punk back into a wrestling ring after seven years away.
Punk returning was sure to have brought some lapsed fans back to wrestling, but when asked about the differences between WWE fans and AEW fans, Punk remarked that there’s not much between the two, and the ‘casual’ wrestling fan no longer exists:
“I definitely think there’s overlap, right, I don’t know if everybody who is a WWE fan specifically just to watch me,” said Punk in the post-Full Gear media scrum. “But what I recognise in front an AEW audience is an audience that I used to wrestle in front of, prior to me going to the WWF [sic]. They’re wrestling fans, and I will never understand the criticism of appealing to your fan base. If this is our fan base, we give them what they want. Everybody’s happy.
“Now I understand building a business, and people talk about trying to get casual viewers. I don’t think there’s casual wrestling fans anymore. My opinion, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe somebody in TNT’s gonna get mad that I’m saying this or I am of this opinion. But our fans are wrestling fans and we give them wrestling. Man, what a novel concept.”