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Booker T On the Impact Of CM Punk’s WWE Return, Backstage Vibe At Survivor Series

November 29, 2023 | Posted by Andrew Ravens
WWE Survivor Series CM Punk Returns to WWE Image Credit: WWE, TNT Sports

On the latest episode of the Hall of Fame podcast, Booker T talked about CM Punk returning to WWE at Survivor Series after signing a multi-year deal. You can check out some highlights below:

On CM Punk calling WWE home: “You remember the quote CM Punk made when he was talking about younger guys maybe thinking about going to the other side? And he said that the grass is not greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it. But in certain places like in Arizona, you can water that damn grass all day long, and it ain’t going to turn green. Do you understand what I’m saying? Do you feel me, where I’m coming from? And maybe Punk figured that out after a minute. Being in, working with certain guys. Say, for instance, when I went to TNA, I wouldn’t necessarily say I thought the grass was greener on the other side. But I thought we could get some synthetic in there, and we could make this thing work. But for me, it never worked out. It never panned out. And in a couple of years, boom, I was out of there. And maybe Punk, as I say, felt that ‘Maybe this ship can’t be righted. And let me get the hell out of here and try to get back into WWE.’ So, I get it. I get it 100%.”

On the fans being why WWE brought back CM Punk: “Yeah. It’s business. This has nothing to do with anything other than numbers.”

On the vibe backstage at Survivor Series: “Of course, people were talking about, ‘Do we think it’s going to happen?’ I didn’t put a whole lot of thought into it. If he showed up, he showed up. If he didn’t, he didn’t. But like you say, the contingency there outside the Allstate Arena at the kickoff show — man, it was CM Punk. They were all about it at one point, off the air. The fans were chanting ‘CM [Punk]’ so loud. I turned around out of my seat and I said, ‘Guys, guys, quiet down.’ And everybody got silent, and I told them, ‘Punk is not here tonight.’ And I just started laughing like crazy, but I didn’t know he was going to show up. But I tell you, this is huge.”

On Seth Rollins making his storyline with Punk seem more real by cursing him out: “I’m not going to try to create an angle or anything like that, or try to predict what the route will be. Seth Rollins is trying to go, because Seth Rollins is a businessman. Seth Rollins has been nothing but business since day one. Talked about Seth Rollins over this last almost four-year run that Roman has had. He could have been a guy that could have complained. He could have been a guy that said, ‘Man, let me get the hell up out of here, man. I ain’t got time for this because they ain’t getting no shot.’ But Seth Rollins knows the big picture. He’s smart. I give him a lot of credit for that.

“As far as trying to keep this game real, I think we’re in a place here in WWE where all of our angles could be somewhat close to real as they possibly can be. Of course, we’re going to have our entertainment segments and whatnot, but as far as guys going out and having real issues with each other as opposed to ‘It was great to share the ring with him tonight, and I’ll see you at the Waffle House. We’ll sign some autographs together.’ I wish those days would go the hell away, you know what I mean? I wish for more guys like Seth Rollins and Punk. That makes this thing a lot more real to me. As far as guys in the locker rooms who are having issues, the reason I say that is because I don’t have a lot of friends in the business, because the guys in the locker room were guys that I was competing with to be at the top of the card. Bottom line. So I was going to go out and outperform you. It’s the reason why Chris Jericho and I, we’re really, really good friends now. It’s because we weren’t friends at all when we were working. We were competing against each other.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit the Hall of Fame with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.