Samoa Joe: I Knew CM Punk Would Wrestle Again After WWE Backstage
“I think he was just looking for the right place at the right time and he wanted to be happy with it.”
CM Punk’s return to a wrestling ring with AEW sent massive shockwaves through the wrestling world, with fans and peers alike convinced the Second City Saint would never lace up a pair of wrestling boots again.
But during Punk’s long sabbatical from the ring he did shockingly return to the business in some form when he joined the team for WWE Backstage on FS1 in 2020, and according to historic rival Samoa Joe, Punk’s work on Backstage convinced him he’d wrestle again at some point.
"No, no. If I know one thing about Punk: if he's out on something, he's out on it,” said Joe on the Kurt Angle Show Podcast, “You won't see him being around it, you won't see him looking at it, you won't see him staring at it, it's out of his life and the minute I saw him on the FOX set, I knew his eyes were turning back towards it, and I think he was just looking for the right place at the right time and he wanted to be happy with it and I think he is. From what I've seen, I would gather that he is, so I'm stoked for him and I'm and I'm happy to see him back."
The two famously clashed over the ROH World Title in a trilogy of matches in 2004, a series that truly put ROH on the map, and Joe could not gloss over their importance:
"Tremendously important for a lot of reasons, both from a career standpoint and from a business standpoint,” said Joe “It was an opportunity to kind of explore bounds that, personally, I'd never really explored before, doing the longer format matches doing the 60-minute matches and got me acquainted to what I was able to do and if I push myself and go out there. It was a great creative effort, you know, anytime you're in there with Punk, he's got a tremendously creative mind, great collaborative [effort] going back and forth. It's always very easy to come up with something great with him. It was a special time and it's something I really enjoyed, and I definitely do highlight [the trio of matches] as a very important point in my career.”