On a tour to promote the new WWE ’12 video game last week, just before Survivor Series, we had a chance for a brief interview with the CM Punk. Last night at Survivor Series 2011 CM Punk captured his second WWE Championship, but before all that he talked dream feuds, disturbing fans and the division between sports entertainers and wrestlers in the WWE:
Paul: I have seen you wrestle for years, I used to travel up and down the East Coast to see you in Ring of Honor. So I’m a long-time fan.
CM Punk: What did you see?
Paul: I saw the Raven feud years, so this was 2002-2003.
CM Punk: *Whistles* That was 10 years ago.
Paul: The craziest thing I saw at the ROH show in Cambridge, Massachusetts was during an extreme rules match. It was something one of the fans did, which you didn’t see and I’d never seen before. At one point during the fight, you hit Raven with a piece of paper, and Raven’s blood got all over it and it fell to the ground and you guys kept on fighting in a different part of the arena; so this fan, this guy, takes this piece of paper with blood on it and he folds it up and he sticks it in his pocket like it’s no big deal. It was one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen in my life….
CM Punk: Yes, it’s up there.
Paul: What’s the most bizarre fan interaction you’ve had?
CM Punk: You’ve put me on the spot, making me think. You know, it’s kind of a simple answer, but I always get creeped out, like I do autograph signings and people ask “Can I kiss you?” I always think that’s the weirdest thing ever based on how our society works. Let’s say you go on a first date with a girl, you know and there’s that awkward “Do I kiss her, do I not?” These people just show up and…
Paul: Expect it.
CM Punk: Yeah! There’s no awkward anything, it’s just “Can I kiss you?”
Paul: Men and women?
CM Punk: I’m positive I’ve had a few guys, yeah. It’s mostly been girls, you know anyone that has a CM Punk tattoo as well…
Paul: Do you see that a lot?
CM Punk: Yes, especially lately. Obviously tattoos are subjective. I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m just saying it’s weird to see anything that’s related to me tattooed on someone else.
Paul: Because for you that’s very personal?
CM Punk: I have band tattoos, stuff like that, so it’s just strange to see something that’s involving me on someone else.
Paul: A lot of Pepsi tattoos?
CM Punk: No, no. Most people still think I’m an idiot for doing that.
Paul: How much time do you get to chance to play the (WWE) games?
CM Punk: Not a lot, I mean, the last thing I want to do when I’m at work is play wrestling games, or watch wrestling. Sometimes it happens. I travel by bus now, which has been a life saver and I have an Xbox 360 on there, so we play. I play WWE ’12, Mortal Kombat, Kofi (Kingston) plays Madden NFL 12. So we get some video gaming in there.
Paul: Now, a few people have burst out from wrestling and into movies and TV. Any desire for you to do movies?
CM Punk: I don’t know if I have a desire… I have a desire to do good stuff. I turned down a role that I actually, you know, that I don’t regret turning down, but it was one of those “Man I wish I could have really done that, because it would have been fun.” It was a horror movie, not a WWE film, because it was rated R, it was pretty heavy, you know?
I would love to do stuff that I’m a fan of, so if someone said “We want you on The Walking Dead” I would do cartwheels. “Hey, you’re going to be on Breaking Bad.” Like Henry Rollins, he did TV and he was in Sons of Anarchy. Stuff like that. I would love to do it, and not only that, but I would kill it. I would be great at it.
Paul: Do you want to do something that’s in line with your character, like the tattooed badass?
CM Punk: No, the funny thing is that I could play the biggest drug addict, scumbag in the world and I would be really good at it. I think a lot of people would be surprised. Am I leaving wrestling to do bad movies? No, absolutely not, I’m a pro wrestler first and foremost. I like to think that somewhere down the line some opportunities like that would come my way. But I am not looking to do a movie just to do a movie.
Paul: In terms of wrestling, we recently did a feature on Feuds That Never Happened and your name came up against Stone Cold Steve Austin. What are some dream feuds that you wish you could have or you wish you could see?
CM Punk: Oh god, I don’t know. Take time out of the equation and god I would like to have wrestled anyone: Andre the Giant, Harley Race, guys that I loved watching, guys that I respect. I’m a big fan of Dick Murdoch, there’s a lot of old-timers out there today that tell me I was born 20 years too late. That I would have fit in in the territories, I would have, I could have bounced around, I could have had a hell of a career back there.
Paul: So if you could be in any era of wrestling, you would be in…?
CM Punk: I’d probably be wrestling in the 70s and early 80s. I’d be working it everywhere.
Paul: I want to talk to you about your Halloween outfit. My boss wanted me to ask you a question about your Jack Burton, Big Trouble in Little China outfit. Where did that come from?
CM Punk: Halloween is like my Christmas. I don’t do Christmas, I do Halloween and we were obviously working; I dress up every year, probably 33 years in a row now that I’ve dressed up for Halloween and so I was faced with this dilemma. It’s live TV, I have to wrestle, what kind of outfit can I wear? I didn’t want to paint my face, you know, a big production, so I decided to wear the Jack Burton shirt and tuck it into my tights like a creep, like he had his shirt tucked into his jeans. And, uh, that was my Halloween costume. When I was a kid, I wanted to be Jack Burton.
Paul: Recently you’ve been in the news because of Meta-Punk, where you’ve been blurring the lines between storyline and reality. Where did idea come from? I don’t know if you can talk about that…was it your idea? Did you work with the writers on that?
CM Punk: What, like showing up at Comic-Con? That was my evil brain child. I looked at my schedule and I was like “Oh, I can go to the Cubs game, or I can do this.” And someone said “Why don’t you go to Comic-Con? It all kind of snowballed from there and obviously I wanted to keep that going for a while, cause that would have been great, but we needed a main event for SummerSlam, so that was short-lived.
Paul: Wrestling is in flux, it’s in a period where people say it’s rediscovering itself and figuring out where it wants to go. Where do you see wrestling going in the next 10 years? Is it going more entertainment, is it going back towards the wrestling matches?
CM Punk: I think it’s always going to be a balance of the two. I think, definitely, See, wrestling is always going to be a part of it. For a while Vince (McMahon) was saying “It’s Sports Entertainment, it’s this and that.” That’s cool, but I’m a wrestler and I think that’s why people dig me, because I say that. People act like “Oh you’re going to get in trouble because you said that…” That isn’t the case, I just think that everyone else was scared to say it. There are guys on our roster that are sports entertainers and there are guys that are wrestlers. I’m a pro-wrestler. I don’t get in trouble for saying it, because I’m… me and maybe that’s why I get away with it.