Talking to Renee Paquette on her Oral Sessions podcast, CM Punk said that doing Fox Sports’ WWE Backstage show with Paquette helped open the gateway to the possibility of him returning but not to WWE.

“Knowing who they are, why would I go back?,” he said, adding that while WWE and AEW are comparable in some ways, they also aren’t. Paquette asked him if he talked with WWE and he apparently gave her a look as she began laughing.

He said that he and Tony Khan had spoken before AEW started, but that he had heard so many stories from promoters prior to his WWE days that he wanted to sit back and watch how things unfolded first. He was initially planning on coming back before the pandemic started and then, things changed but that everything turned out perfect and how it should have.

Punk said there’s been a lot of “therapy” happening between him and some of his old co-workers that are now his current ones. He mentioned talking to Serena (his partner in the Straight Edge Society in WWE) and apologized to her if he was ever too serious and too much of a jerk.

He talked about how “old Phil was obsessed” with pro wrestling back then and how he eventually wanted to “much rather be hated for having left than beloved for being dead,” reiterating how unhealthy things were during his WWE years.

Paquette asked what is different about him now as opposed to then. He said, “I’m a person grateful that I can get back to loving pro wrestling, but I don’t have to be consumed by it to a point of self destruction.”

When asked if he got any heat for his alluding to the potential signing of Daniel Bryan, he said he didn’t and later said if he was fantasy booking, he would love himself and “The American Dragon” against the Young Bucks.

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