Booker T Says CM Punk ‘Struck Out’ With His AEW Debut Promo Because He Talked About WWE
Photo Credit: WWE
Booker T says you can feel free to disagree with him, but he thinks CM Punk’s promo on AEW Rampage could have been a lot bigger than it ultimately was.
Booker T and co-host Brad Gilmore addressed Punk’s return on the latest episode of The Hall Of Fame podcast, and Booker explained why he felt it could have been more effective in his eyes.
“CM Punk is back, man. I got a chance to witness the return of CM Punk, I really did and I don’t know… you guys out there that [are the] big AEW fans, you guys agree me to disagree with me. But me, I’m always telling it like it is, y’all know that. Y’all know that I’m telling it like it is, and I’m gonna tell it like it is on this one right there as well, OK? I want all of the listeners, I need you guys to challenge me on this one,” Booker said. “I’m begging you guys, I’m begging you to challenge me on what I’m talking about here. If you don’t agree with me, let me know.
“This is my thing here — CM Punk, Chicago, Illinois, home town, not ‘my backyard’ but ‘I built this damn city’ [and] ‘I put Chicago on my back’ and that’s why 20,000 strong is in the building tonight, they know CM Punk is going to be in the house, right? Give that credit to CM Punk. I always talk about when you have a moment, you may only have that moment for that one time and poof—it’s gone. You may never have time to get it back. Now, CM Punk has a chance to get it back and we’ll talk about that later, he’ll be around for a while, he’s not going anywhere, but here’s my point right here—CM Punk came back and he had ten full television minutes to go out there and make his point as far as ‘CM Punk being back.’ He had the perfect crowd to be able to go out there and really, I’m talking about having a party up in that United Center, OK? But CM Punk came back and took his moment and chose to talk about WWE,” Booker noted. “That right there was just a total miss as far as I’m concerned, [in relating it to baseball terms, he] struck out.
“I can only imagine, and people talk about The Rock, but I can only imagine if The Rock had that same 21,000 in Miami, Florida. The Rock would have talked about every landmark in Miami and everybody in Miami frequented since they were little bitty kids…he would have talked about the bridge that they had, the school they came up in fighting, he would have had those fans going crazy with excitement,” Booker explained, “but CM Punk chose to talk about the WWE. And that nine minutes went by so slow when it could have been a party going on in the United Center.”
“I could be wrong, but you guys out there, let me know. We talk about the ‘Pipe Bomb moment’ and we remember [it], and what was CM Punk talking about then?” Booker asked.
Co-host Brad Gilmore noted he was talking about WWE then, and Booker said “that’s exactly his point.” Gilmore said the moment itself was fantastic and he put over Punk getting chants and crowd surfing before he hit the ring, but agreed that the promo was a bit lackluster. He stressed that Punk might not have known what to say (and Punk has since confirmed he went to the ring and knew what to say once he felt the moment) but the moment itself was huge.
Booker went on to explain that he felt like Punk acknowledging WWE in that time he had was a mistake, and that the moment started going up but once his music stopped, the moment trended downward.
“That’s a moment for you? I get it, I understand that, but my point is the moment, once the bell rings and the bell rings after the music stops, as far as I’m concerned, and I just don’t think CM Punk delivered the way he could have as far as a promo goes because I didn’t feel the promo. I felt like a guy talking about WWE and when you’re talking about the other side, only thing you’re doing is giving those guys airtime. And of course, I know the AEW crowd eats that up, but for me as a professional,” Booker said. “That’s the last thing that I’m gonna be thinking about, is the other side. I’m gonna be thinking about the here and the now. Like I said, I could be wrong but I just think he missed a moment there in front of his hometown [with] over 20,000 people to really [deliver].”
#AEWDynamite is LIVE from Milwaukee TOMORROW 8/7c on TNT
– @CMPunk's 1st Dynamite appearance
– @OrangeCassidy vs @MATTHARDYBRAND
– #MalakaiBlack vs @BAndersonAEW (w/ father @TheArnShow)
– AEW Tag Title Eliminator: #LuchaBros vs #VarsityBlonds
– @jmehytr vs @Thee_Red_Velvet pic.twitter.com/4gtf4jg6nG
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) August 24, 2021
Later in the show, Booker talked about attending the Manny Pacquiao versus Yordenis Ugas fight and how that was a real party atmosphere, but he wasn’t feeling it with Punk’s promo. Booker brought up how he left WWE himself and how he could’ve gone to TNA and brought up the past, but he chose to praise the guys he was working with at the time. After a commercial break, Booker addressed some of the listener comments that did not agree with him and he explained that he was not biased against Punk and it was all about perspective. Booker said he wasn’t trashing Punk the person and always supported him and wants him to prosper, but just feels like the promo missed a chance to capitalize in one area.
“I’m just speaking from the perspective to where I think CM Punk really could have really made an impact to where man, people really would have been talking about a whole lot more about CM Punk today, as opposed to the ice cream bars and the damn talk he had about WWE,” he said. “That’s what I’m talking about.”
During his post-show scrum, CM Punk talked about what the ice cream bars symbolized to him, and also talked about facing Darby Allin and other potential feuds in AEW. You can read more of his comments from the scrum at this link. Punk’s debut resulted in a big ratings win for AEW, as they posted their second-best demo score ever on Friday night, and saw a huge ratings boost for their time slot.
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