CM Punk quickly went from being AEW's sweetheart to being subjected to much hate from some fans and fellow professionals. Meanwhile, former WWE star Mr. Kennedy recently recalled hating Punk and how the two eventually made amends.
Punk and Kennedy might have known each other since OVW. However, during their joint WWE tenure, they only went toe-to-toe once in March 2007 on WWE SmackDown. The two would compete against each other during both 2007 and 2008's Money in the Bank matches and a Handicap match on WWE RAW, where CM Punk and 13 other stars defeated Mr. Kennedy and Triple H.
During his interview with WrestlingNewsCo, Kennedy recalled getting a spot in IWA Mid-South's Ted Petty Invitational Tournament and how he thought it would set him up for the future.
"I hated CM Punk for a while when I was on independent [circuit]. There was a wrestling company called IWA Mid-South, and they did this big show every year called the Ted Petty Invitational Tournament. Austin Aries and I got booked on this thing, and we had what we thought was a good match, and you can’t wait to get the tape." (01:38 onward)
Mr. Kennedy continued, recalling his feelings after hearing Punk's commentary and how he confronted him about it much later.
"I finally got a copy of this tape, pop it in, watching it and it was CM Punk, Dave Prazak, and Ace Steel on commentary and they were burying us. It felt like they were burying us bad. I bumped into him on a show, I just pulled him aside and I brought it up. And I remember he gave me the most sincere, heartfelt apology and we were cool." (03:09 onward)
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Back in 2014, CM Punk notably claimed that he would "never ever" return to pro wrestling
CM Punk's 2014 WWE exit could be considered one of the most controversial moments in the promotion's history at the time. Due to the nature of his departure, fans assumed he'd never return to wrestling.
Chris Van Vliet caught up to Punk on the red carpet during the AP Music Awards in 2014 and asked the veteran if he ever planned to return to the sport.
“No, no. No. Never ever! Never, ever, ever! They’re gonna go crazy about that on Twitter, and they’re gonna like hold me to it and they’re gonna – yeah, whatever," said Punk. [From 01:37 onward]
As all fans know today, this statement would not hold up too well as The Second City Saint eventually returned to the sport during AEW Rampage: First Dance 2021. Unfortunately, his status with the promotion is currently unclear after he sustained an injury last year.
If you use quotes from the article's first half, please credit WrestlingNewsCo and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription.
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