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CM Punk compares Vince McMahon to Chris Benoit, details fight that led to his AEW termination

CM Punk has a lot to talk about. The WWE superstar spoke candidly about various topics on Monday including Vince McMahon’s alleged sex crimes, a physical altercation that led to his dismissal from All Elite Wrestling and potential plans for WrestleMania 40.

Former WWE chairman McMahon is reportedly under federal investigation and facing a civil suit for sexual abuse and trafficking. Punk briefly alluded to the disgraced WWE boss on the March 25 episode of Monday Night Raw. Punk elaborated on his feelings about the allegations in a new interview with “The MMA Hour” host Ariel Helwani.

“There’s no positivity there,” Punk said. “I didn’t read all the allegations, I read text messages and went, ‘Oh, f— this.’ It’s indefensible.

“I’m kind of shocked at how dumb he was, writing stuff down and leaving that paper trail, it’s horrific,” he added.

Punk expressed support for the alleged victims and agreed the professional wrestling business is better off without McMahon.

“There are victims here. So what CM Punk thinks about Vince and the CM Punk-Vince relationship doesn’t mean f—ing anything here,” Punk said. “All that stuff takes a backseat. I’m more concerned about, going forward, how those people survive going through that trauma. He ruined his life ruining other people’s lives, so there’s very much a part of me that’s like, ‘We got him. Good. Shuffle him into the basement.'”

Punk compared the McMahon allegations to the double murder and suicide committed by former WWE world heavyweight champion Chris Benoit in 2007. Benoit murdered his wife, Nancy Benoit, and their seven-year-old son, Daniel, before hanging himself in their Fayetteville, Georgia residence. Punk and Benoit worked together at the time.

“The biggest thing I can draw a comparison to is when Chris Benoit did a murder-suicide,” Punk said. “I was friends with Chris Benoit and I’m famously on camera weeping because, at the time, we didn’t know and the week prior I’m travelling with him and he grabs me and runs me into the trainer’s room and his little son is in the training room taping up his hands and putting Xs on his hands. 

“Obviously, I don’t have memories of Benoit traveling with me and murdering people in a gym. I’ve never been in a room with Vince where he’s sexually assaulting somebody,” Punk added. “But there’s part of me where, just like with Benoit, I was like, ‘Okay yeah, I can see it.'”

Punk re-signed with WWE in November 2023, making a surprise appearance at Survivor Series in Chicago. The return was kept under tight wraps with Punk confirming the contract was signed in the venue that evening. It ended a nearly decade-long absence from WWE following a messy split between the promotion and its five-time world champion.

Punk returned to pro wrestling following his 2014 WWE exit with AEW, the second-largest promotion in the U.S. The excitement surrounding his involvement was extinguished following a physical altercation with AEW executive vice presidents and fellow wrestlers Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson. Punk returned to AEW programming nine months later for the premiere of their new flagship show AEW Collision. Punk confirmed Collision was launched as an effort to separate Punk from select talent backstage; however, Punk claimed he told AEW founder Tony Khan it was a bad idea.

“Just let me go,” Punk allegedly told Khan. “Get me out of here.”

The peace was short-lived after a verbal altercation with AEW wrestler Jack Perry. Punk claims AEW commentator and senior producer Tony Schiavone asked Punk to talk down Perry from a proposed spot involving real glass on Collision. Perry referenced this incident live on the air during a pre-show match at AEW All In in August 2023. This led to a physical confrontation between Punk and Perry backstage shortly before Punk would wrestle his final AEW match in front of 70,000-plus fans in Wembley Arena.

“I walk up and I’m like, ‘Why do you insist on doing this dumb internet s–t on TV?’ And he was like, ‘Well if you’ve got a problem do something about it.’ I’m like, ‘Come on man, I’d f—ing kill you. What are we doing?'” Punk said.

Punk confirmed that the exchange between Punk and Perry got physical.

“I thought I was doing the responsible thing, I didn’t punch anybody, I just choked somebody a little bit,” Punk said. “Samoa Joe was there, told me to stop, then I quit. I turned to Tony, I said this place is a f—ing joke man, you’re a clown, I quit.”

Khan publicly announced Punk’s termination on a subsequent episode of AEW programming. The executive claimed that he feared for his life during the exchange between Punk and Perry. Punk denied behaving in a way that would have elicited such fear from Khan and accused AEW of trying to ruin his reputation.

“I can’t tell you what Tony felt, but I never did anything that would make him fear of this life,” Punk said. “He’s who he is. 

There was a concerted effort to slander me and kind of ruin my character. That was the genesis of all the drama,” he added.

Punk will take part in media panels during WrestleMania 40 on April 6 and April 7. Storylines have teased that he could play a role in the Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre match on Night 2, possibly as a special guest referee. Punk is recovering from a tricep injury that made him ineligible to perform at WrestleMania 40. He shared the belief that Rollins vs. Punk for the world heavyweight title was planned to headline Night 1 of WrestleMania 40 before his injury.

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