CM Punk: ‘I Took Myself Too Seriously In Wrestling, Talks AJ Lee

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CM Punk spoke with Rolling Stone as part of a new feature article on him. Check out the highlights:

On his training: “I’m always a little bit frustrated, because it’s just repetition to get muscle memory down so I’m not making the same mistakes. I think it’s a lot harder than people realize. You’re re-learning this entirely new skillset and trying to condition your body to do things it wouldn’t normally do. It’s challenging and it’s fun.”

On his WWE run: “For the longest time [in] what I did, the competition wasn’t that clean-cut. It didn’t matter if you were the best. There’s slimy backstage politics, there’s always somebody trying to undercut you. To me, there’s something romantic about just you and another guy locked inside a cage and the better man wins. In that time and space, nothing else matters. I definitely think it can be fucking scary, but I like embracing the things that scare me.”

On training at Roufusport: “I’ve thanked everybody for letting me train there, and they’re always like, ‘You’ve been here six months. You’re part of the team.’ To me, that means a lot, ’cause not a single person needed to be nice to me. I will maybe always feel like, ‘Eh, I’m kinda not [part of the team],’ so when I’m in that gym I try to be low-key, have my mouth shut and keep my eyes and ears open. But they’ve welcomed me with open arms.”

On people waiting for his first fight: “I gotta train, I gotta fight, and everybody’s already like, ‘I’m bored. He hasn’t fought yet.’ Well go fuck yourself.”

On being shadowed by the journalist for the article: “Part of me thinks doing it will hopefully get some eyes on the fighters I train with who deserve to be where I am already or signed by other organizations. Duke [Roufus] and I have the same philosophy of a high tide raises all ships, so whatever good I can bring anybody’s way, I look at it as a positive. I know this is a piece on me, but where I train and who I train with is a big part of my life.”

On maturing: “[I’m] less cynical with age, maybe…the stuff that really grinds my gears has happened to me so often that I’m over it. I’m trying to react different ways and see how it works. You can only wig out on people so much.”

On his relationship with AJ: “We were friends on the road for so long and she knew everything about me. I would tell her every stupid thing I ever did, and it’s come back to bite me in the ass in certain respects, but there’s no secrets, and I’d have it no other way…[I’m grateful to her] for moving to Milwaukee because I wanna do this stupid thing where I get punched in the face…she wants to move somewhere because of something she has an opportunity to do, I would jump at it.”

On his love of punk rock: “I think, fundamentally, the core of everything I do is punk rock. [People ask], ‘Why do you wanna fight? You have this great wrestling career. Aren’t you worried you’re gonna lose?’ Well, if I was worried about losing, I would have never done anything in life. Why do people go to college? Aren’t they afraid of getting an F? Why do you get in your car to go to work? Aren’t you afraid of getting hit by a car? I don’t dwell on the negative stuff.”

On transitioning from wrestling to MMA: “Everything I did prior to me training here full-time was to protect the other guy, to put them before me. People get so mad at me when I say this, but [pro wrestling] was fake. This is not. When we do jiu-jitsu, you’re getting hit. That changes everything drastically. When we’re in those situations, I’m too nice. I’m just wired that way, and I think it will work its way out.”

On not paying much attention to wrestling now: “My life used to be governed by that. I would know what day it was because I would be at Monday Night Raw or SmackDown on Tuesday. My life is no longer governed by that, so I don’t know when the fuck it is…Put it this way. To me, Sundays are now my day to watch True Detective, The Strain and Ray Donovan. If I tweet, ‘Hey, True Detective’s so awesome,’ there’ll be a slew of people who will tweet back, ‘Oh, you’re tweeting during the WWE pay-per-view because you’re missing it or you’re really watching that.’ I always go, ‘What the fuck? No. I didn’t know there was a pay-per-view. I’m watching goddamn Ray Donovan.’ I love that I don’t know my whereabouts based on, ‘Oh, it’s Monday night.’”

On souring on wrestling: “I think at some point in my wrestling career, I took myself way too seriously, and I took the wrestling business way too seriously. It probably helped sour me on the whole process. It probably helped burn me out.”

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