Paul Heyman has managed some of the best stars in professional wrestling. However, his widely praised run with CM Punk ended in controversy. Heyman recently spoke up about the promo he had to cut after Punk's 2014 WWE exit.
Unfortunately, CM Punk has become one of the most controversial names in wrestling, especially after falling out with WWE in 2014 and seemingly following suit with AEW. According to Paul Heyman, the star's exit from the Stamford-based company affected him backstage.
During an interview with InsideTheRopes, Paul Heyman recalled the sense of dread backstage just before their first show in Chicago following the former Second City Saint's exit.
"We had a situation in Chicago, where Punk had walked out we were heading into WrestleMania. And the audience in Chicago is going to hijack the show and they’re going to chant CM Punk for three hours. Everybody had to settle with it, the audience is going to take over the show and there’s not a g****mn thing we can do about it." (02:09 onward).
Heyman continued, detailing how he decided to step up and save the show himself.
"And because it’s always easy to blame the Jew boy from New York, [Vince McMahon] looks over me and says ‘See the trouble your friend causes?’ So I went out into this passionate, angry Chicago crowd, p***ed off that their hero was no longer in the company, and I lured them in." (03:09 onward).
Paul Heyman then went on to detail how he manipulated the crowd to begin booing him and Brock Lesnar. Despite being a big influence in WWE today, Heyman's name was once banned backstage. During an interview, the veteran recalled how working with CM Punk allowed him to solidify his legacy in the company.
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Paul Heyman once gave his thoughts on CM Punk's AEW debut, which - in hindsight - seems very eerie today
CM Punk's 2021 Rampage debut remains one of the most viewed videos on the AEW YouTube channel. Many online fans claim it's still their favorite moment. Unfortunately, the star's run seems to have soured only a year later.
During an interview with The Masked Man Show earlier this year, Paul Heyman gave his take on CM Punk's return to pro wrestling.
“What happens a year from now? How will the audience look at him and accept him in a year? If he can continue to drive himself to being a compelling, riveting character that presents himself in a different manner then he’s going to be a fascinating character to watch. If he can’t? He’s going to be someone that rode a wave of nostalgia but didn’t progress into the future." (H/T: SEScoops)
Paul Heyman's words have ironically become a bitter pill to swallow, as only a few months later CM Punk seems to have arguably ruined the good faith he had with the AEW fanbase.
What are your thoughts on the situation surrounding CM Punk? Sound off in the comments below!