CM Punk Takes Shots at WWE Roster and AEW on WWE SmackDown

CM Punk appeared on WWE SmackDown for the first time in nine years for the special Tribute to the Troops episode. In an in-ring promo, Punk discussed his desire to main event WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania next year, he took shots at Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, AEW, and Roman Reigns in under 15 minutes. In his initial run with WWE, the one thing he was never quite able to do was main event Mania, but now that he’s back he’s ready to go after presumably the WWE Universal Championship.

Punk first addresses the crowd, telling them to Chant as much as they want because he won’t get a time cut. He addresses his free agency in WWE and allows the fans to pick where he signs — WWE Raw or WWE SmackDown. The crowd boos for Raw and cheers SmackDown. He asks if they want to see him put 29 other people over the top rope and get on the top rope to point at a sign and main event WrestleMania. “An old friend of mine that welcomed me back home with open arms famously likes to come out here and say ‘what do you guys want to talk about?” He knows there are people that don’t like him but it’s not a matter of what do you want to talk about, it’s who. He asks if they want him to talk about Cody Rhodes or someone that isn’t there — someone that is never there: Roman Reigns. Punk says he acknowledges him and his success, but don’t forget who the OG Paul Herman guy is.

Punk also talks about the Usos, shouting out Jey Uso, wondering if he wants to go to Raw and hang out with him or scrap with Jimmy on SmackDown. If he scraps with him, there’s endless Samoans so he would need backup. Does he trust a guy he has a lot of history with and hears voices in his head. There are people that don’t like me here. Punk takes shots at Seth Rollins, noting he’s not even the “man” in his own household. He also takes a second to take a jab at his past workplace when he talks about Kevin Owens and how alike they are. He talks about Owens punching people in the face, “I don’t know who’d feel comfortable working with somebody who randomly just punches people in the face backstage. I mean, It’s 2023 ladies and gentleman. You just can’t be doing stuff like that — that’s insane.”

CM Punk made his shocking return to WWE at Survivor Series in November and in the time since on WWE programming, he’s stated he’s not there to make friends, he’s there to make money. Not everyone was pleased to hear the iconic opening static to “Cult of Personality” and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins recently opened up about losing his composure in front of fans.

On WWE Raw this week, Rollins further made his displeasure known when Adam Pearce confided that he’s going to bring Punk to Raw on Monday to sign a contract. Rollins attempted to brush the topic off by telling him he doesn’t care what Pearce does, but when he shows the world his true colors and it blows up in his face, Rollins is going to do what he has to do in return.