Former WWE champion CM Punk has finally opened up for the first time about his decision to part ways with the company almost a year after taking his leave altogether.
Speaking on Colt Cabana’s podcast The Art of Wrestling (h/t Wrestle Zone’s Mike Killam), Punk (real name Phillip Brooks) told of his tensions with WWE owner Vince McMahon and the reasons behind his January 2014 exit: “People tweet me all the time that you can’t change the company from your couch in Chicago. I absolutely disagree, because that’s exactly what I did.
“When I split in January, they changed everything. Part of me thinks they changed a lot to spite me, and that’s fine, because certain people who deserved certain things, at certain times, got those things. And that’s something I never got.
“I’m the f****** happiest I’ve been in at least three years. I thought this thing that I loved, that I thought I loved, it just made me so miserable all the time. When you boil it all down, I was miserable. I was unhappy. F*** it, I made myself happy. I left. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it was also a long time coming”, Punk said emotionally.
Daniel Ýes’ Bryan was the man to benefit from Punk’s decision, according to Killam, after he got two matches at Wrestlemania 30.
One of those was a world title shot after beating Triple H, a bout that reports at the time stated would have featured Punk instead of Bryan.
The ex-WWE star, Punk had always been held in high regard for his mic skills and goes on to tell of his creative input being shot down by McMahon, whom he alleges showed mixed favourability among his wrestlers.
Punk stated: “I’m talking to Vince, and I tell him that since I cut that promo, we got more mainstream attention. Everyone wanted to interview me, whether it was GQ Magazine, the cover of USA Today … I had legitimate companies approaching me, just wanting to give me money to sponsor me.
“I had a big money deal on the table, and I went to Vince … I told him my idea, said I wanted to do this sponsorship thing. I deserved it. I got all these new eyes on the product, and he says ‘nope, you can’t do that. Sponsors for Raw would get mad, the other wrestlers would get mad.’ A year later, Brock Lesnar comes back, and the m*********r has sponsors….”.
Since quitting the business in typically enigmatic fashion, Punk has failed to comment on his departure until now and that exit is giving him the chance to explore the other avenues he’s always wanted to pursue.