On a recent edition of his “Strictly Business” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Eric Bischoff discussed CM Punk signing a multi-year deal with WWE, his shocking return at Survivor Series: WarGames 2023, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On his initial reaction to CM Punk joining WWE: “I was pissed. Because, like two weeks before, I made another dumb-ass bet with Conrad on 83 weeks because Conrad said, I believe we’re going to see CM Punk back in WWE before the end of the year. And I said I don’t think so. It doesn’t make sense to me. They don’t need him right now. Survivor Series is sold out. It’s already getting a ton of buzz. Where is the added value now? This is not. My opinion of CM Punk, the performer, or Phil Brooks, the individual. I like to make it clear every time I talk about him. I don’t know him. The individual never had a conversation with him. Don’t know what he’s like beyond what we see and hear about publicly. But just because WWE is so freaking hot right now that there is no hole in their roster, there’s not a need. It’s not like an NFL team that needs a better offensive line. We’ve got to find that one guy who can be our anchor. Right. There were no holes. So it was like if you’re going to pull that trigger and bring in a guy who is as controversial as Punk and who has done a great job of keeping himself front and center. Terms of controversy. Why would you use it on a night when you don’t need it now? Conrad, on the other hand, was there negotiating for TV rights for Raw. And perhaps that added level of chatter. Our internet wrestling buzz and reaction to Punk coming in. Maybe that would be enough to push a deal over the top. If there was one on the table. I still didn’t think so. That it would happen, especially at Survivor Series. So I bet Conrad once again. Conrad was very quick to seize the opportunity. And say, if you’re so sure of yourself, why don’t you bet on me? I bet that he’s going to be there. You say he isn’t. If I’m right, you shave your head again. And I didn’t even think about it. I just said sure because I was convinced it wasn’t going to happen. It made no sense to me. Timing-wise, it just didn’t make sense. So my initial reaction was here we go again. I get to sit in the middle of the ring somewhere, probably a top guy weekend in January. And get my head shaved once again. And I’m getting tired of it.
On the story of Punk’s return: “I think Punk coming in at Survivor Series knocked it completely out of the park, which indicates to me this is going to be a very, very successful, long-term, financially successful decision, provided that the wheels don’t fall off because of personal issues.”
On why he thinks Punk will have less drama in WWE than AEW: “As I said before, when the subject of Punk going back to WWE came up. And I was asked, well, do you think he’d work there? I mean, do you think it would work with CM Punk being in WWE compared to what we just saw happen? And I think my response was something to the effect of. Paraphrase myself, but I think he’d get along fine in AEW because he’s not going to be able to get away with the same kind of things in WWE that he was able to get into because of just the lack of leadership and structure and maturity that exists in UW. And that’s not really a knock. I know it sounds like one, but it’s a new company with a guy who’s never run a wrestling business. He was a fan, but that doesn’t count. I’m a fan of the Rolling Stones, but I couldn’t jump up on stage and do a set with them. Just because you’re a fan of something doesn’t mean you’re good at it. But I think because it’s a new company with a guy who is also a wrestling fan, has no experience in running a wrestling company for sure or dealing with the types of personalities that exist in that world, there’s going to be growing pains. Tony Khan is going to learn on the job, just like I did, and he’s going to make mistakes, and there’s going to be a lack of structure and a lack of maturity, just like there was when I took over WCW because I didn’t have any experience either in that regard. So I’m pretty sure Punk is going to. It provided he wanted to. Motivation is at the core of this, right? If Punk woke up and said, look, ‘I want to have one more really, really good run’. And if he’s willing to be a team player. I think he’s going to be very successful in WWE. It’s just not going to be able to get away with the same kind of silliness nor will he be exposed to the same kind of backstage environment that he was exposed to in AEW. He’s going to have to learn to deal with a more corporate, structured environment. And if he’s willing, if his intentions are such that he really wants to make this work and be a team player. I think his second run will be better than his first in WWE.”