After weeks of rumors, CM Punk has officially joined the crew of FOX’s WWE Backstage with a surprise appearance at the end of Tuesday’s show.
The appearance marked the first time Punk had appeared on WWE television since 2014 when he left following that year’s Royal Rumble, rather bitterly and abruptly, and engaged in a verbal, and legal, feud with WWE for the next few years.
However, the tension has seemingly thawed in the last year or so, with Punk more open to a return, in some form or fashion, to the world of professional wrestling, and with fans continuing to clamor for his return.
Punk’s deal to join WWE Backstage is via FOX, and he revealed that he isn’t interested in a return to the ring.
“Yeah I did it,” Punk said, during an appearance on Collider Live (h/t WrestlingInc.com’s Raj Giri). “I’m very much in a position where, ‘Well come talk to me.’ I’m open to anything. If they come to me with, ‘Hey we want you to wrestle,’ I’ll say, ‘Um, I’m not interested.'”
My agents just called me and Fox is throwing everything at this because they spent a lot of money on this and they’re all in to make it work. Originally, I thought it was a WWE thing, so I was just like, ‘meh, no.’ But then they said, ‘This is Fox.’
“I’m not dealing with anybody in WWE. They explained to me what it was, and I love Renee Young. Renee Young is a great person … she’s Canadian, so obviously she’s super over-the-top nice and friendly. I prefaced it with, ‘Guys, I’m not going to come in and dump all over stuff just to dump on it. That’s old Phil. But if it’s bad, I’m not going to be able to pretend it’s anything but bad.‘
“So they want to present it like it’s a real sport and just have a show that recaps stuff, just like they do with the NFL, just like the NHL Network would do with hockey games and stuff like that. That’s where we are with that.”
While Punk may not be dealing directly with WWE at this point, this certainly opens the door to a renewed working relationship with WWE down the line.
You can check out his shocking appearance below: