Booker T On CM Punk’s Potential In-Ring Return: He Could Still Perform At A High Level, But Wrestling Has Changed
Photo Credit: WWE
On the latest episode of The Hall Of Fame podcast, the WWE Hall of Famer put himself in Punk’s shoes by explaining that, even at the end of his full-time wrestling career, he struggled with some insecurity about his ability to match up with younger wrestlers. Booker T wondered whether Punk would face a similar struggle, given the fact that he has been “away from the game” for over seven years.
“My thing is this, out of sight, out of mind,” said Booker T. “CM Punk has been away from the game for a minute….I would not put myself in [a] position to go out there and make myself look bad. Now that’s what I’m thinking about with someone like CM Punk, who’s been away from the game for seven years. Look here, I’m not hating or anything like that, but my thing is this — even as great of a physique as I have right now at 56, my thing is this, when I got in my 40s, mid-40s, even though I still looked good, I had a phobia about taking my shirt off in the locker room with the young guys. I was like, ‘Man these guys look great, man.’ So I had a subconscious thing that I was working with there, even though I still looked good.
“So I was thinking, you know maybe my time has passed me by. Maybe it’s time for me to start doing something else. So that’s I say, as well as, man am I losing a step? Can I get my side kick? Does my scissor kick still look the same? So I started questioning myself when I got to a certain age and I said man, when you start questioning yourself, it’s time to move to something else.”
To clarify, Booker T explained that he believes that CM Punk could still perform at a high level, but it’s important to acknowledge how much wrestling has changed since the last time the former WWE Champion laced up his boots.
“So that’s where I’m coming from with the CM Punk thing,” said Booker T. “Can he go out there and still do it? Yes, but has the game changed tremendously in the last seven years? Yes, I think so.”
When asked whether Punk would be better off signing with All Elite Wrestling or returning to WWE, Booker T neutrally said that the fan-favorite star should go wherever he’s wanted the most. The WWE Hall of Famer also expressed his belief that while Punk didn’t leave WWE on the best terms, he believes he would be welcomed back to the company.
“I think the best place for CM Punk is the place that wants him, you know, the place that wants him the most,” said Booker T. “CM Punk has been away from WWE for quite some time, he didn’t leave on the greatest terms or anything like that. Will he be welcome back if he was to come back? I’m sure yes, but is AEW a softer landing spot, maybe something new, a fresh start? Perhaps, yeah. But I think the place that wants him the most is the place I think CM Punk needs to be.”
The full clip is available here: