AEW's CM Punk: Doing WWE Backstage Opened The Door For My Wrestling Return
2 years on, he's back
Fans may well have FOX to thank for CM Punk's in-ring return.
The Second City Saviour made his return to professional wrestling at AEW Rampage: The First Dance and he went one on one with Darby Allin at last night's All Out pay-per-view.
Punk initially returned to wrestling in late 2019, though, as an analyst on WWE Backstage alongside Renee Paquette and the 42-year-old remained on the show until it was largely cancelled in the summer of 2020.
Speaking about his in-ring return with Paquette on Oral Sessions, Punk revealed his stint on WWE Backstage opened him up to the idea of returning to the ring.
"Doing the FOX show with you, I hadn't spoken to you since I left, it rekindled the friendship and was the gateway to opening up the possibility in my head that wrestling could be an option. The FOX thing was too good to be true, it was great. People legitimately are like, 'Oh, you went back to WWE.' No, I went to FOX. That's what was insane to me. It was (fun)," Punk said.
"FOX flew to Milwaukee and we had a formal but informal meeting. I was very adamant of, 'guys, I don't want anything to do with [WWE]. I don't want to work for [WWE].' I didn't know if it was a trojan horse. I wanted transparency and honesty and they were like, 'We have SmackDown coming to FOX, we want an analyst show as a lead in, just like a football panel.' 'That makes sense, it's a good idea.' 'You're the guy, you're the white whale.' 'Well, I'm the white whale who probably has nothing good to say.' They were like, 'We need honesty. We're paying them a lot of money and we hope the show is good,'" he continued.
"I thought I was fair on the show. When stuff was bad I was like, 'eh.' There was stuff I liked. It was the whole start of possibly the idea (of returning). It was just an idea. Working with good people. Everyone at FOX was so great."
H/T to Fightful