There was a rumor a while back that CM Punk’s agent had talked to Fox about getting him a job on the Fox Sports 1 studio show that’s since come to be known as WWE Backstage. At the time, everybody thought that was pretty wild, because the idea of Punk returning to WWE in any capacity was so hard to believe. Recently, however, it’s become clear that things have changed a bit, and in fact not only did Punk’s agent talk to Fox about the show, Punk himself did, and might be in the running to be one of the regulars on it.
In a recent appearance on Collider Live, Punk was directly asked about trying out for the show, and he didn’t mince words (transcription courtesy of Wrestling Inc):
Yeah I did it. I’m very much in a position where, “Well come talk to me.”
One thing he’s not up for, he says, is wrestling:
I’m open to anything. If they come to me with, “Hey we want you to wrestle,” I’ll say, “Um, I’m not interested.” I’ve grown so much as a person and I look back at all the stuff and I don’t need it. I don’t need the confrontation and I don’t need the drama, but I’m a businessman. I also put my morals and my integrity above business deals. If you want me to do anything, well OK, come talk to me but don’t waste my time.
He says Fox is looking to try new things because of WWE’s ongoing rating problems:
Ratings are still dipping and that’s been happening for 20+ years. Trust me, I’m not saying that it’s because I’m not there or anything like that. When I was there and I was on top, RAW was doing 3.8’s and I was getting blamed for it, like that’s a bad rating. Now they would fucking kill to have a 3.8!
Punk still isn’t particularly interested in dealing with WWE directly, he says, but he has no problems with Fox, and he likes Renee Young:
My agents just called me and FOX is throwing everything at this because they spent a lot of money on this and they’re all in to make it work. Originally I thought it was a WWE thing, so I was just like, “meh, no.” But then they said, “this is FOX.”
I’m not dealing with anybody in WWE. They explained to me what it was and I love Renee Young. Renee Young is a great person… she’s Canadian, so obviously she’s super over-the-top nice and friendly. I prefaced it with, “Guys, I’m not going to come in and dump all over stuff just to dump on it. That’s old Phil. But if it’s bad, I’m not going to be able to pretend it’s anything but bad.”
So they want to present it like it’s a real sport and just have a show that recaps stuff, just like they do with the NFL, just like the NHL Network would do with hockey games and stuff like that. That’s where we are with that.
Asked if anyone from WWE had contacted him directly since his audition for WWE Backstage, Punk joked:
No, I’m the boogeyman!
At this point, I think I’m rooting for CM Punk to be on WWE Backstage, not just because that will add something unexpected to the show, but because that’s the more interesting ending to this ongoing story.