At the post-All Out media scrum, CM Punk sat down and discussed his debut match with Darby Allin. Punk is a known student of the game taking inspiration from many legendary wrestlers in the industry, and he talked about who he has learned from the most in AEW.
“Everybody,” Punk stated. “Sting came up to me today, and I don’t think these guys are lying, but Sting was like, ‘Your match with Darby reminded me of what [Ric] Flair did for me, when I went 45 minutes with him in Greensboro.’ That’s a quote from him, and I don’t think dude’s gonna lie to me. And that means something to a kid like me. Sting and I put together our segment from Dynamite the other day, and it was just refreshing to have him be like, ‘Well, what do you think?’ And I was like, ‘No, what do you think?’ And we did the respectful thing. And then we came together, and I thought grew our ideas together and made a pretty good segment.
“I’m learning from Sting, which is wild. And there’s familiar faces: there’s Arn [Anderson], there’s Dean [Malenko]. There’s guys like that that I will always default to. ‘Guys, what do you think?’ Jim Ross, what do you think?’ But I do see younger guys defaulting to me. A lot of people will tell you, ‘Oh, I love the business,’ but you got to give back to the business and this and this. I just think it happens organically. I’m here to help somebody if they want to help, but I’m also still learning. There was a point where I was like, ‘I’m not learning anything. This isn’t any fun.’ And that’s when you know you got to get out. Now, I’m back, and I’m around creative people that are happy to come to work, and it’s a fun, great learning environment.”
Punk was later asked if a dream match with Sting was ever on his bucket list. Punk spoke more on his interactions with Sting, and revealed an unplanned moment at the end of his match at All Out.
“I’ve had such– I hate saying the word ‘blessed’. I’m not a religious guy,” Punk said. “I’ve had such an amazing life, where I’ve found myself in situations where I would just kind of look around like ‘man, this is wild.’ And without ever having a bucket list, it’d be hard for me to write things down on the bucket list because I’ve done so many cool things. Yeah, that’s one of them. That’s a bucket list thing. It’s an item that I never thought I would have because your brain doesn’t go there.
“We were never in the same company at the same time. We’re two different generation wrestlers, and you just never thought it was possible, and now, it is. And that’s kind of how I feel about the entire groundswell of AEW as a whole. You got me, and Darby, and Sting in a ring, and it’s legitimately three different generations and the knowledge of wealth he brings. It’s a bucket list item now. I think, for sure, down the line, we’re probably going to tag. That feels like there’s something there.
“There’s real, organic moments here. Him coming out and shaking my hand, we didn’t talk about that. That wasn’t a planned thing. He came out, and he did it, and before I shook his hand, I looked and was kind of like, this means something to a kid like me. And he said, ‘It means something to me too,’ and that’s wild to me. That’s the playground we have here where we could do all this stuff that you didn’t think was ever possible.”