Former WWE Superstar CM Punk says he views professional wrestling as theater and he has no problem with people calling it “fake.”
Although professional wrestling has pre-determined outcomes, the word “fake” is viewed as a derogatory term by many wrestlers and fans. In 2020, for example, former RAW Women's Champion Ronda Rousey received heavy criticism after she referred to WWE as “fake fighting.”
Speaking on the Wrestling Perspective Podcast, Punk admitted it used to annoy him when people said wrestling was “fake.” However, over seven years after his WWE in-ring career ended, he now has a different outlook:
“I very much look at wrestling nowadays as theater,” Punk said. “There might have been a time when I might have been offended when somebody said that, right? It’s like calling it fake. There was probably a time when I’d get mad if somebody called it fake. Now I call it fake all the time.”
Since leaving WWE in 2014, CM Punk has competed in two UFC fights and starred in three movies. He played the lead role in the horror film Girl on the Third Floor, which was released in 2019.
CM Punk’s take on the comparison between wrestling and movies
CM Punk went on to say that professional wrestling is its own thing and cannot be compared to movies or other forms of entertainment.
Using Scarface as an example, he highlighted how actors do not try to convince fans that their characters are similar to their real-life personas:
“People [who dislike wrestling being called “fake”] would use the argument like, ‘So are movies,’” Punk added. “My argument is, ‘Yeah, but Al Pacino didn’t go do pressers dressed as Scarface with his bulls*** accent trying to get you to believe that he was really a Cuban immigrant that built a cocaine empire.’ You know, yada yada yada.”
In the same podcast appearance, CM Punk also gave his opinion on Roman Reigns. He said the Universal Champion’s Tribal Chief character is “far and away” the best thing on WWE television right now.
Please credit the Wrestling Perspective Podcast and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.