In an appearance on Kap & J. Hook on ESPN Chicago, AEW’s CM Punk was asked about some of the fan reactions to his pro wrestling return Friday on AEW Rampage: The First Dance. Particular focus was paid to the fan shown crying as Punk made his entrance, something that has drawn a polarizing response. Punk defended the fan, stating there is nothing wrong with crying during awesome moments.
“I’m a Chicago guy,” Punk said. “I’m a Chicago sports guy. I cried when the Cubs won the World Series. I cried when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, the time that I was alive when they won the Cup, not back in the sixties. You know, it means a lot. And I think it means a lot because I’m so attached to Chicago and sports especially. I understand. So anybody who’s making fun of that dude, you’re making fun of me too. There’s nothing wrong with being emotional at a sporting event or anything you like. I’ll cry at a Marvel movie.”
Punk was also asked about being put in the same sentence as Michael Jordan, the NBA great who’s return to basketball in 1995 was the inspiration for Punk’s AEW debut. Punk is okay with being compared to Jordan, even if he doesn’t entirely agree, and says his goals are similar to Jordan’s when he returned.
“There’s a giant part of me that’s always going to be like ‘no. Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time,’” Punk said. “They’ve got a statue of the guy outside the United Center. But the way I’ve been embraced and the reaction has been off the charts. If people want to put me in that conversation, I’ll let them. Because it feels good, I’m not going to lie.
“But I think within pro wrestling, currently, who else is there? I’m back, just like Michael Jordan came back, and just like he came back to win championships, I’m back to win championships. And that could mean in the ring, outside the ring, help this thing grow and just have a good time. Really, there’s so much positive steam off this, I want to keep it rolling.”