Booker T on CM Punk missing a moment with his AEW debut

Aug 24, 2021 - by Marc Middleton

WWE Hall of Famer Booker T was apparently not impressed with CM Punk’s return to pro wrestling during Friday’s AEW Rampage at the United Center in Chicago.

Booker recently discussed Punk’s AEW debut during an episode of his Hall of Fame podcast and said Punk “struck out” with his promo because he mentioned WWE.

“CM Punk is back man and I got a chance to witness the return of CM Punk, I really did,” Booker said. “I don’t know, you guys out there that are big AEW fans, you guys agree to disagree with me. But me, I’m always telling it like it is, y’all know that…and I’m gonna tell it like it is on this one right there as well. I want all of the listeners, I need you guys to challenge me on this one. I’m begging you to challenge me on what I’m talking about…”

“CM Punk came back and he had 10 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 have a party up in that United Center. But CM Punk came back and took his moment and chose to talk about WWE. That right there was just a total miss as far as I’m concerned [he] struck out. 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 that everybody in Miami frequented…he would have had those fans going crazy with excitement but CM Punk chose to talk about the WWE and that 9 minutes went back so slow when it could have been a party going on in the United Center.”

Brad Gilmore, Booker’s co-host, agreed that Punk’s promo was lackluster, but he felt like the moment itself was big. Booker responded and said he wouldn’t even be thinking about the other side if he were making his comeback, adding that Punk missed a moment in front of his hometown crowd.

Booker continued, “I’m saying from a perspective to where I’m making my comeback and I’m thinking about the other side, that’s totally a place that I wouldn’t even be going. As well as you talk about how the moment started out on a rise and after the music stopped playing, the rise just started going down. It never came back up. 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. Of course, I know the AEW crowd will eat that up but for me as a professional, 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…”

Booker then responded to a YouTube chat room user and said he is not biased because of his relationship with WWE. He continued, “For me, it was the same promo that was given in WWE. It was about WWE. It had nothing meaningful to it as far as what I’m gonna create, who I’m gonna blow up, how I’m gonna take AEW by – coming in being a nice guy and throwing out freaking ice cream bars, who gives a damn about that?”

Booker later said he likes Punk and he wasn’t saying Punk doesn’t bring anything to the table. He also said he wants Punk to do well in life but he feels like Punk could’ve made a bigger impact if he didn’t mention WWE and ice cream bars.

Punk will make his AEW Dynamite debut tomorrow night in Milwaukee, and will then return to the ring at the AEW All Out pay-per-view on September 5 near Chicago, against Darby Allin. Booker pointed to how Allin is a babyface and said he would’ve picked a heel for Punk’s debut opponent.

Booker’s podcast has since been removed from his Reality of Wrestling YouTube account. You can still hear the comments on his Periscope account via this link at around the 14:00 mark.

Stay tuned for more.

(H/T to for the quotes)

10 Responses

  1. John says:

    Booker T legitimately doesn’t like Punk

  2. HereForTheLawls says:

    I agree with Booker, past the excitement of seeing him come back to wrestling his speach wasn’t exciting and fealt like I already saw and knew what he was going to say. Seeing him was exciting but he failed to real you in.

  3. CM Chippunk says:

    He really wasn’t talking about WWE … he was talking about his personal journey, of which, wrestling-wise, the WWE is obviously a part of (and the last part of, until this moment); Booker might as well say that Punk was ‘talking about ROH’. Drinking the haterade on this one, Book.

  4. Rob Dam Van! Shirt Typo! says:

    The promo was legit lack luster… actually came off more like an ending in terms of attitude than it did a beginning.

    I personally wouldn’t have even had him there on free tv. Since they never said he would be there it is on the fans who bought based on a rumor…..everyone’s already watching….all the seats are already sold……..use that time to say he’ll 100% be at the ppv and increase those buys.

    People on twitter were like “oh they’d be booed big time and fans would turn away for good”…..the amount of people who wouldn’t come back (calling your bluff) def wouldn’t outweigh the amount of possible buys. Also…they boo based on what they THOUGHT would happen? Sucks to suck.

    That said, the crowd reaction was amazing. Just wish the promo came off as something more.

  5. Dave jones says:

    If that’s what you’re into RVD then stick with WWE and see how far that gets… as Punk said it’s not all about the buy rates- it’s the moments. How many fans have just seen that moment for free and now are invested, rather than maybe/maybe not buying a PPV and then only becoming invested if they had.

    Also, the promo was fine, I don’t think it needed to be read into what was said – the moment itself was big enough, he could have literally said anything. He didn’t specifically mention WWE by name and also mentioned other companies so again a WWE employee thinking the narrative is all about them.

    It’s why WWE sucks, they are self invested – you wouldn’t see them working with TNA for the love of the fans.

    I love what AEW are doing and I hope they don’t change … because WWE has brainwashed a lot of fans into thinking wrestling has to be a certain way, where the fans complaining about certain things in wrestling – you can tell are WWE brainwashed.

    That’s what is so refreshing about AEW and reminds me of when WWF was good.

  6. dooman says:

    booker Tee was never a great talent he got his pushes but never moved the needle like punk did

  7. Pisto75666 says:

    Punk marks drink the Kool-Aid again. If it was just about the moments, why not go back to ROH? They could use the good press.

    “That’s what is so refreshing about AEW and reminds me of when WWF was good”

    Not hard to feel that way when 1/3 of their roster’s made up of former WWE talent, is it?


    Booker T was never a great talent? Little early in the day to start drinking, isn’t it?

  8. Joseph says:

    I just watched his promo and even though I don’t like Punk I have to give him credit. The guy said nothing and the crowd just ate it up. That takes skill.

  9. Date jones says:

    Pisto, I said WWF, to me WWE has never been good. You could sense the demise since the invasion angle finished. So whether AEW have 1/3 the WWE roster or not doesn’t matter to me but here’s one thing, they done a heck of a lot more with that 1/3 than WWE can do with any of their roster. And so what if more guys go to AEW, it would be smart to do so on both the wrestlers and AEW’s.

    I didn’t like TNA and they had tons of WWE guys, actually I thought TNA was better when they didn’t have the more known wrestlers, but I wasn’t as entertained in the long run with them.

    Which shows I don’t like AEW because they have ex WWE guys, I like AEW because they actually care about the art of wrestling, telling a story. I’m invested in everyone on the roster because they have created characters with charisma and storyline, they’ve done that by letting them breathe and express themselves and not suffocate them in a performance centre.

    WWE is still lapping up the big bucks because they’ve been established for years but AEW is giving fans an alternative, not even that – just something extra to watch. Fans can make up their own mind to watch one or both. Eventually IMO more and more will flock to AEW only and WWE will slowly decline – it would be much faster if they weren’t so established. You think wrestling, you think WWE, I hope AEW changes that!

  10. dooman says:

    Pisto75666 maybe a decent tag guy but he was a SUCKA at singles

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