One former WWE Tag Team Champion believes CM Punk is a “self-hype machine.”
CM Punk is no stranger to making waves in the world of wrestling. On June 17th, he returned to AEW for the first time since his infamous participation in the brawl following All Out, though his return wasn’t without controversy.
Speaking an interview with Nick Hausman for Inside the Ropes, former WWE Tag Team Champion Paul London reflected on his time working with CM Punk, first meeting him when the two worked together briefly in TNA in the early 2000’s. London recalled being told about an incident between Punk and Teddy Hart at that time, saying that despite others’ recollections, Hart got the better of Punk during their exchange.
“But on one of these weeks that I wasn’t there, I remember because Michael Shane was there and he told me. I think Punk had said some smart comments or something, and Teddy Hart, took him down, basically just took him down to the ground and was pummeling him. And I think maybe Sabu pulled him off or something.
But yeah, any version of that story you hear, it’s never ‘Yeah, Punk took Teddy down and got on top of him,’ that’s not at all how any of the versions are.”
London went on to describe CM Punk as a “mark for himself” and a “self-hype machine,” but also praised Punk for his work in professional wrestling and his ability to make such a name for himself.
“I think Phil’s another one of those guys who you know, is like a self-hype machine. And he’s done great for himself, right? I mean, he’s a huge, huge pro wrestling star. You would think his experience in UFC would have humbled him some. But needless to say, he definitely understands the platform that he’s on and he uses it to the best of his capabilities. Not taking anything away of his stardom or his ability or his talent. He’s certainly one of the best talkers in the business. And he’s great at what he does.”
Paul London also recalled interacting with Punk at an ROH show while London was under contract to WWE. On that occasion, many people asked London when he would be coming back and called Punk “the worst” and “the Triple H of the locker room” due to his politicking and being difficult to work with backstage. While London was talking to Samoa Joe backstage, Punk came up and shook his hand, though he didn’t seem very happy to do so.
“I remember going back to the bigger area of the backstage and I ran into Joe and I started talking to Samoa Joe, because we had known each other since Southern California UPW. So we’re talking and I noticed out of the corner of my eye this this kind of shadowy figure paced back and forth, am like ‘What the hell’s going on here?’
I look and it’s Phil and he just walks up to me he goes ‘Hi, [big sigh]’ and gives me the most insincere handshake. I’m like, ‘Hi…’ you know he just walks off, stormed off. What the f*ck was that? It was like he was obligated to say hi to me, but he was not happy that I was there for some reason. I don’t know what was up his ass.”
h/t Inside the Ropes