Prior to his UFC debut, WWE Superstar turned MMA fighter, CM Punk had an interview with Carrlyn Bathe of The Wrestling Compadres Slamcast where he talked about being jealous of The Rock, Part-time wrestlers in WWE and more. Below are some of the highlights from the interview:
Upon being asked if he deserves a main event spot at a UFC event such as the UFC 203 according to him, Punk said that he should be in the main event:
"I'm the kind of guy who says, 'f--k it. I should be in the main event.' And I think if you think anything less of yourself, I think you think less of yourself. So if you come out of the gate and you go, 'I don't belong here', well, then you don't belong here. I've been on pay-per-view before.
I guess if you've never been on pay-per-view before, regardless of what it is, then, yeah, maybe you're intimidated by it and maybe it makes you feel a little small. Maybe you get nervous and you think, 'oh, I don't belong here', but I'm a guy that always thinks I belong and knows I belong, who wants my checks to be bigger, wants the spotlight to be brighter, it doesn't phase me."
Punk who has been very outspoken about the influence of part-time wrestlers in WWE programming said this about part-time talents:
"Well, I think that big fat pay checks will definitely kind of mellow you out. Do you know what I mean? But yeah, maybe [jealous]. I know a lot of people draw the comparison, like, I was very outspoken about part-timers wrestling. You can draw the parallels, but it's kind of apples to turnips. Like, there [are] guys that are workhorses in professional wrestling that I still feel, every year, will get overlooked for the big stars and all that,
but this, it's different in the aspect that, I don't think UFC has a cap on the number of fighters they have under contract and the number of active fighters is always, always changing. And you could say that there's a guy like Mickey, who wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for me, so jealous? I don't know, but maybe a little bit. I understand that."
A returning Rock was the one who ended Punk’s 434-day WWE Championship reign. He was asked if he was jealous of the Hollywood Star when he came back, to which the former WWE Star replied with this statement:
"Was I jealous of Rock when he came back to main event two WrestleManias when I felt like I needed to main event one? I wasn't. I don't think jealous was the word to best describe that, so I don't know if I could use that same word in this situation."
It’s notable that The Rock made his in-ring return during at WrestleMani 28 by main eventing it alongside John Cena. It was the same time when CM Punk was in the middle of his legendary 434 days long WWE championship reign and many believed that he deserved to be in the main event stop.
After this, The Rock wrestled his second match after his return the following year at Royal Rumble where he defeated CM Punk in a one-on-one match ending his year-long title reign in the process. He later went on to main event the 29th annual WrestleMania where he was defeated by John Cena in a match that again drew stark criticism for its misplacement.
Punk left the WWE a month after WrestleMania and jumped ship to the UFC in a bid to pursue a career in MMA. All eyes now are on CM Punk, who will make his UFC debut this Saturday at UFC 203.