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ESPN PROFILES CM PUNK, AEW MENTOR

By Mike Johnson on 2022-05-27 13:52:00

In advance of this weekend's AEW Double or Nothing PPV, ESPN has a long profile on CM Punk from the prism of the mentor he's become within the AEW locker room.  Here are a few highlights from the article, which you can read by clicking here:

CM Punk: "F--- buyrates and million-dollar gates and everything,.  hat's what this s--- is about. What's the best part? The best part is making these new relationships and showing guys what a lot of guys never showed me but should have: to not be a d--- to these kids who just want to be pro wrestlers."

"There's people that I shared locker rooms with that I wish I could have just talked to like a normal person and picked their brain, but everybody is like so guarded. I literally just want to show them I'm an open book. I'm here. I'm walking around all day [backstage]. Whatever you need, I'm literally here for you. It's a full-time job, baby. Literally. But I love it."

Dax Harwood on Punk letting him call their AEW Dynamite match: "Some of the things on the backend were talked abou, but he trusted me to lead that match, because he knew that sometimes guys will try to take advantage of you in the ring and just get their s--- in, quote-unquote. I'm not that kind of guy. I don't have s--- to get in. For me, I care about the story, about the match. And I care about how well both of us look coming out of that match. He, again, had the trust in me to lead that match and I am forever grateful for him for that."

Will Hobbs on wrestling Punk just after Hobbs' mother passed away: "First thing he said, don't worry about anybody else.  'Your mom is in the crowd. Let's put the match on for her.' That made me feel so much better, so much more comfortable with him in the ring. He just knew what that night meant for me."

Darby Allin on what the Punk return match meant to him: "[Sting] knew I was super nervous.  He came up to me and we had this talk. I told him how this day goes beyond just wrestling Punk. It's validation for like everything I've worked for. I started thinking of every little moment in my life leading up to this. Like, this is a trip."

Max Caster: "It was the day I came back from suspension and I thought, 'Oh gosh, everyone hates me,'  I passed by him in the hallway, and he says, 'Hey Max, what's up?' And I go, 'Oh God, this guy knows my name.' I've never even met him. That told me what kind of guy he was, that he was educated on who was on the roster from top to bottom  I was just nervous that CM Punk was here. He's a hero of mine, he really is. For him to say, 'hello' is huge."

Dustin Rhodes: "He is always coaching up the talents when they come back or on their promos or a certain move, saying 'less is more' sometimes," Rhodes said. "Those are very, very important things to learn as a young superstar in the wrestling world. Because you've got to take advantage of that. And he is very accessible in that manner."

Rhodes also noted that anyone with "ill feelings" towards Punk have them because they are "probably rooted in jealousy."

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