CM Punk weighs in on Vince McMahon lawsuit allegations, confirms it was McMahon's call for him to leave WWE Raw venue in 2023

Originally published at CM Punk weighs in on Vince McMahon lawsuit allegations, confirms it was McMahon's call for him to leave WWE Raw venue in 2023

Punk discusses Vince McMahon. 

There’s an extensive interview that Ariel Helwani conducted with CM Punk on The MMA Hour. As the conversation rolled on, the focus shifted over to former WWE and TKO executive Vince McMahon. 

Punk shared that since coming back to WWE at Survivor Series, he first ran into McMahon at the WWE headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. Punk was on the phone in the gym and Vince’s trainer told him that McMahon does not like when people are on the phone in that area.

He happened to be on the phone with WWE President Nick Khan. McMahon went over to Punk, gave him a hug and told him welcome home. 

I saw him (Vince McMahon) at the (Titan) Towers… because again, everything happened so fast. So, Monday before Thanksgiving, get a phone call, ‘Oh, we realize we can do this’ and again, Nick Khan, ‘Hey man, if it doesn’t happen by Saturday, Royal Rumble’ and I was like, ‘Nick, I don’t wanna give away any leverage in negotiation but Saturday’s the business. It has to happen.’ So hammering out a deal, Saturday debut, Sunday, I’m at home and I’m like, man, this is strange. I don’t know what we’re doing, where this is going but it feels right and then I get a call, ‘Oh hey, we should probably get you travel to TV. We’re in Nashville.’ So I fly to Nashville. I think I went home and I can’t remember where I flew from there but it was a SmackDown and that night, they were just like, ‘Do you wanna come on the jet and do NXT?’ And I just went, ‘Yeah, sounds great,’ and we’re flying by the seat of our pants. We’re doing all this stuff real last-minute… I was on the phone (at Titan Towers) on a treadmill warming up and Vince’s trainer is like, ‘Hey, you gotta get off the phone. Vince doesn’t like it when people are on the phone in the gym’ and I was on the phone with Nick and I was just kind of like, okay, alright, you know? And then I saw him walking down into the gym. He came in for his daily workout. He gave me a big hug and said, ‘Welcome home. Good to see you. Let’s connect after I work out’ and I was like, ‘Alright.’ Haven’t seen him since. No (I didn’t connect with him afterwards). I think some stuff came up…

Following up on that, he was asked about Janel Grant’s sex trafficking lawsuit against McMahon and WWE. Punk stated that the dynamic between him and Vince in addition to what he thinks about him does not matter. 

Punk is concerned with how do the victims involved survive their trauma. He said he doesn’t know how anything but ‘yes’ is the answer when asked if the wrestling business is better off without McMahon in it. Something Punk can compare it to is when Chris Benoit took the lives of his wife Nancy and son Daniel. 

He added that he was friends with Benoit and the week before the murder-suicide, Benoit took Punk to the trainer’s room and showed him Daniel as he was taping his hands and writing X’s on the tape like Punk does. 

There’s no positivity there. I didn’t read all the allegations, I read text messages and I went, ‘Oh, f*ck this.’ It’s indefensible, you know?… Doing this, I imagined I was gonna be asked about it and I think the easiest thing for people to do is to kind of ignore it or avoid it but man, it’s there and my initial — first thing out of my mouth was, ‘I’m kind of shocked at how dumb he was.’ Like writing stuff down and leaving that paper trail and it’s horrific and I’m not — I think at this point, all the energy should be used to somehow… I don’t even know if you can make reparations or amends but there’s victims here. So, what CM Punk thinks about Vince and the CM Punk-Vince relationship doesn’t f*cking mean anything. All that stuff takes a backseat. I’m more concerned about going forward, how do those people survive after suffering all that trauma? My biggest concern, you know?… How do you say anything but ‘yes’ (when asked if the business is better off without Vince)…

No (I didn’t know what Vince was doing behind the scenes), and again, the biggest thing I can draw comparison to is when Chris Benoit did a murder-suicide. I was friends with Chris Benoit and I don’t know if it’s just how I process things, but, I’m famously on camera weeping, you know, saying goodbye to Chris because at the time, we didn’t know. We didn’t know that he had murdered his wife and his son and the week prior, we’re in Dothan, Alabama and I’m traveling with him and we’re on the road and he grabs me and runs me into the trainer’s room and he points at his little son (who) is in the corner and he’s taped up his hands and he’s drawn X’s on his hands. So, coming to terms with that’s my friend, he did this horrible thing. Obviously, f*ck him, f*ck that. But then, I don’t have memories of Chris Benoit traveling with me and murdering people at the gym so there’s never any instances where I’d, you know, being in a room with Vince and he’s sh*tting on somebody or sexually assaulting somebody. It wasn’t like collegium in Rome. We just didn’t see it. But, there’s that part of (me) that goes, just like Benoit, okay. Okay, I can see that and that’s the thing is I’m sure Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother wasn’t like, I can see my boy doing that. No, people are shocked that their friend or mentor or whatever is responsible for doing these horrible things… I guess I’m pragmatic, like, I just kind of looked and I went, okay, alright. I can see that. Kind of nutty. Chris is kind of intense, he’s quiet and then you just build that in your head. It’s very, very hard to reconcile. I heard what Becky (Lynch) said, because Vince is a father-figure to a lot of people. Vince, I think liked to develop those father relationships and I think that’s why he was always fascinated with me because I was just like, f*ck you, I got a dad. You’re my boss, so let’s just keep it that way. But it’s been a while, it’s just been wild. All that sh*t, it’s sad. He ruined his life ruining other people’s lives. So, there’s very much a part of me that’s just like, alright, we got him, good. I’m shuffling him into the basement.

Back in 2023 while Punk was still under contract to AEW, he visited Raw while the show was at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. He confirmed he was asked to leave and it was Vince McMahon’s call. 

While there, Punk did see Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque. He touched on their relationship and people thinking they hated each other and Punk does not think that was ever the case. Speaking about being at Raw, he said it came about after seeing Jason Jordan and Liv Morgan on a flight. 

He had good interactions with them and Morgan told Bayley that Punk was very nice to her. Bayley messaged Punk and told him about the show in Rosemont. Punk added that he was not upset when asked to leave and expected that to happen.

I saw him (Paul Levesque), I don’t know where it was when I went to the building to visit people and I got thrown out (he laughed)… So I saw him for like a heartbeat there… I think obviously, things happen behind the scenes in sports and they take on lives of their own and people run with it and people might not know the details and of course everybody thinks, oh, we hate each other. Like on-site, fist fight-hate each other and I don’t know if that was ever the case but, that’s kind of what we needed to talk about and I saw him back in May and then I think he had to make a phone call and somebody was like, ‘No, get him out of the building.’ I’m like, ‘Alright.’ Yeah (that was Vince McMahon’s call).

I was on a flight back to Chicago (from a C.F.F.C. show) and I’m sitting next to a guy named Jason Jordan, who, he was a wrestler, got a neck injury. Now he’s been a producer at WWE for quite some time and the last time I saw him was every bit of a decade ago when I was doing some charity stuff for Steve Keirn. This is pre-NXT, it was called FCW and I see him and I’m looking at him and he looks at me and he says, ‘Hi’ and I’m like, sh*t, dude doesn’t recognize me. Okay, you know? And then all of a sudden, he turns and he looks and he was like, ‘Holy sh*t, what are you doing here?’ And I’m like, ‘I thought it was you’ and I’m chatting with him and I see all these other wrestlers getting on the plane and stuff like that and then there’s a whole gap, there’s a generation of people I never met that started pretty much right after I left; 2014, 2015. Nice lady by the name of Liv Morgan helped me find my earbuds that fell out of my pocket while I was sleeping on the flight. She was a sweetheart. Whole plane empties and she’s on her hands and knees and looking around. She’s got small hands, she’s digging under the seats and looking for stuff and then my friend Bayley messaged me. She’s like, ‘Oh, my friend Liv was on the flight with you. She says you were so nice to her. We have a show in Chicago. You should come visit.’ I’m throwing Bayley under the bus now. Yeah, it’s all her fault and then I laughed because I landed, got on the train, went home and I was — no wife, no dog, I don’t have anything to do and I’m just like, yeah, I’m gonna go visit my friend Bayley and I went.

No, I expected it (that I was going to be asked to leave)… I wasn’t sure if Vince was there or if he — I think he was doing stuff remote via Zoom, because this in in-between Vince is gone, now he’s back and I didn’t know the politics of things. I literally just went to go say hi to Bayley, a few other people.

Further speaking on that, Punk shared that there were some in AEW who were upset at him for being at Raw. He said the word ‘betrayed’ was used. 

Oh yeah (people from AEW were upset I was at Raw in April 2023)… I think the word ‘betrayed’ was used and I was just like, alright man. As a company, you’re allowing guys to go on their television show to do things. I went backstage to say hi to friends. It’s two completely different things. If you’re gonna be mad about it, okay.

On WrestleMania night one, Punk is going to be guest commentating for the World Heavyweight Championship match between Drew McIntyre and the champion Seth Rollins. 

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit The MMA Hour With Ariel Helwani with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

I guess Punk’s a lot like Bret after all. Cause after all that they did to Bret, he went back to Vince. Punk got ran out of the game for 7 years before he returned to AEW and as it was foretold by countless folks, the second things didn’t bounce exactly how he wanted, he threw a fit and got himself fired.

Second City Hypocrite. Voice of the Narcissists.