Wednesday, July 29, 2009
CM PUNK SAYS TNA IS NOT COMPETITION TO WWE, TALKS ABOUT KENNEDY AND UMAGA'S RELEASE AND MORE
SMACKDOWN superstar CM Punk is riding high after taking the WWE by storm this year.
He clinched his second WWE World Title in April after defeating Jeff Hardy at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view.
Punk cashed in his Money in the Bank title shot immediately after Hardy had won the strap following a gruelling encounter with Edge.
But the 30-year-old relinquished the belt back to Hardy at last weekend's Night of Champions pay-per-view.
We caught up with Punk to ask him about his future with the world's No1 wrestling promotion and whether a switch to TNA could be on the cards in the future.
Some would say that you cashing your title shot like that when Jeff Hardy had just been in such a brutal match could be classed as unfair, what do you think about that?
I don't think its unfair, it's in the contract and I've had brutal ladder matches too, it's within the rules, I can cash it [my case] in anytime and I did, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, I feel I was justified to do it.
Is there anyone on the WWE roster that you work better with, your style must surely suit some more than others?
I'd say anyone on Smackdown right now I'm able to have awesome matches with, John Morrison, Edge, Rey Mysteio, Chris Jericho, Jeff Hardy all those guys, the roster here is superb, I don't really have a favourite opponent yet, but there's so much talent there, they all work well with my style.
What about Finlay? Is he an opponent you'd like to face?
I've not really faced him one-on-one, but have tagged a few times and of course participated in a ladder match at Wrestlemania. I'd love to face Finlay sometime down the line, perhaps even on his home turf of Ireland.
What about a dream match or two, can you give me an active wrestler you'd love to battle and someone now retired if they were in their prime?
There are four guys I've never even locked up with in the WWE yet, who I'd love to face, they are Undertaker, John Cena, Triple H and Shawn Michaels, so any of them from the active roster.
Older guys, I'd have to say Ricky Steamboat or Harley Race in their prime are two of my favourites.
I'd like to ask you about your contemporaries, you have worked with some of TNA's current roster, including the likes of AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and Chris Daniels. Do you still keep up to date with them and their careers?
Not that I should shed light on my personal life, but I've just recently stayed at Joe's house in Florida for a few nights, we just hung out, never mentioned wrestling and relaxed. He's still my best friend. It's awesome to just chill out and relax by the pool that way.
Would any of them be welcomed into the WWE fold and would they be of benefit to the product?
We'd welcome anybody on board, they'd not make any waves in the locker room at all, everybody coming in gets treated well.
Do you watch any other promotions' programming?
To be honest I find it hard to watch my own companies programming, when you come off the road it's hard to get time to watch it all. I try to keep up, but it's hard to do it all the time, I miss some but do try to watch when I can.
Wrestling legend Mitsuharu Misawa [Pro Wrestling Noah figurehead] passed away in the ring recently, he was 46 years of age. Do incidents like this make you think of our own morality and have you an opinion on an in-ring lifespan? Should grapplers call it a day at a certain age?
I'm not one those guys who dwells on that, I'm the healthiest I've ever been, I do like to keep on going if I can, but if I'm injured I'll take time off to recover fully. I'll not work through a serious injury if I can help it.
Ric Flair has stated he wishes to return to the ring. Although he says he is in good shape and health, surely his age must be a factor to consider if you faced him?
Ric is a wrestling anomaly, no one will ever be like Ric again. Selfishly I'd love to say I'd wrestled him one-on-one, but I don't think I'd want it to look like I'm wrestling and beating on someone's dad. I have a lot of respect for Ric if he wants to step back in. I respect that he is his own man and knows his own body.
Umaga and Ken Kennedy have both left the WWE recently. We've heard these were due to wellness policy violations, is this something WWE are still having trouble with?
I honestly don't know why, I was confused when Ken got let go, I'm unsure if it was down to his injuries or what. Umaga's the same and I really don't know why they were let go. It's a personal thing and I don't like to ask things like that, I'm not a gossipy guy, so it's nothing I really get involved in at all.
How did being champ for the second time change you?
I don't know that it has changed me, it may be too early to stay, I'm not getting complacent, I'm still young and as hungry as I ever was.
Finally, would you ever consider a jump ship to another company?
No, I'd not jump ship, this is the place to be, nowhere comes close and I'm happy here. We don't really have any competition and if you want to be a top class professional wrestler in the US you have to be working for the WWE
Credit: By PHIL ALLELY