For the first time since bolting from WWE in January, CM Punk publicly addressed the circumstances behind his departure from the sports-entertainment organization in an explosive two-hour interview with Colt Cabana on the “Art of Wrestling” podcast.
Punk spoke extensively on Vince McMahon and Triple H as he went after them on issues relating to creative direction and mismanagement. Brian “Road Dogg” James, who works behind-the-scenes for WWE, argued with fans criticizing the company on Twitter Thursday night after the interview came out.
After a fan James follows on Twitter wrote, “Fuck you Vince. Fuck you Hunter.” James responded, “You only hear one side of the story!” After the fan said what Punk revealed about McMahon and Hunter made him angry, James said, “I understand that but are you sure you have all of the facts? There are always 2 sides to every story. Just to be clear, I don’t know the truth either! I just know how these stories get told around our industry.”
James then had lengthy exchange with a fan expressing his unhappiness with Punk feeling unhappy and mistreated behind-the-scenes in WWE. This fan wrote to James, “I hope no one else is holding those emotions inside & not speaking up about it.” James responded, “It’s crazy but do you always get treated perfectly at work? It’s a team and we need team players, everyone can’t win!”
The fan then wrote, “Never was a big Punk mark, but seems like he was very unhappy & mistreated behind the scenes.” James wrote back, “How was he “mistreated”? After the fan said “just his words,” James wrote, “I get it, but you just asked me if anyone else was being “mistreated” so I was interested as to what he meant by that.”
The fan then said, “Well, from what I heard, he was beat up & needed a break that he never got, he wasn’t paid handsomely & claimed the he deserved to be in the main event of WrestleMania, which is why he felt miserable.” James responded, “Did you just read what you typed? He didn’t get to be in the main event so he got hot!!! C’mon man! I like Punk but dang.”
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After the fan again said it was Punk’s words, James remarked, “So if VKM or HHH did a podcast would you believe every word of those too?”
James continued, “When I quit and then got release papers, I dogged the company too. It’s what you do when you aren’t honest with yourself.”
The fan then remarked to James, “I’m not taking sides, but I wanna hear WWE’s response to what he said.” James responded, “Well you never will. The way everyone is reacting, I don’t believe it’s in the WWE’s best interest to give one.”
After it appeared both sides were going to have a stalemate until his contract expired, Punk recalled getting a text message from Triple H on June 11—two days before his wedding with AJ Lee. Punk told Hunter he was getting married and they could discuss the matter when he returned home from the honeymoon. Then, on the day of his wedding, Punk received a FedEx with termination papers. James addressed the topic to the fan, saying, “As far as release papers on his wedding day, wasn’t his wedding a secret? How did they know it was his wedding day?”
James continued, “If he has no hard feelings why all the negative talk. He was “The Man” and that guy runs hard all year long. I’m done!”
James continued responding to the fan after the fan wrote, “& he wanted to know, why John Cena is the only one, that gets his “Make-A-Wish” showcased, when has had equal amount of grants.”
“I’m not sure that’s true. Like I said, I’m done. It’s he said she said stuff and it’s history. #HappyThanksgiving,” James wrote.
The exchange concluded after the fan says “Maybe he’s just a little salty, about not being the top guy anymore.” To this remark, James said, “Yep, maybe!”
James also responded to this fan question: “Why were vince and Hunter such jerks to cm punk?”
“A business relationship is between 2 or more people, you’ve now heard 1 side of the story,” James stated. “You’ll never hear the other. That’s his story. I can tell you some too if you’d like!”
During the interview, Punk was particularly critical of Chris Amann, WWE’s Senior Ringside Physician. Punk said Amann misdiagnosed and ignored a MRSA infection on his back for months and that the first doctor he went to after leaving WWE was stunned to hear that he wrestled with it. This doctor said he could have died from it. A fan asked James, “Why didn’t the wwe doctors treated his injuries right? Or even the @WWE?”
“Can’t even believe you just asked that! We have a trainer and a dr. Talent goes to doc of their choice! Dang,” James wrote.
James again compared the situation to his own several years ago when he parted ways with WWE on bitter terms. A fan wrote, “@WWERoadDogg is bashing @CMPunk now. Coming from the hypocrite who trashed HHH on a shoot video a few years ago and now is up his ass.” James responded, “I did exactly what Punk did. I parted ways from the company and I bashed them. Call me what you will mate.”
James continued, “And if you call being friends with someone being “up their a**” then I guess you’re right. Not bashin Punk, just counter points.”
The fan then remarked, “There’s just a lot of us who hate what WWE has become. After hearing what Del Rio and Punk have said it’s not hard to see why.” James responded, “I understand your complaint and you’re definitely entitled to it. I don’t want to bash Punk but there is another side.”
Following all this, James stated to his Twitter followers, “Didn’t mean to argue and I’m sorry to those I offended. I’ll just keep quiet on this subject. I’m passionate about the business. I’m sorry.”
CM Punk talks about WWE firing him on his wedding day – details