After months of speculation, the elusive CM Punk broke his silence on his departure from WWE on this weeks Art of Wrestling podcast with his friend Colt Cabana. Now, normally what I would do is link to the podcast so you can listen for yourself. However, due to the overwhelming demand the site is down and the iTunes feed is not updating properly, so what I’m going to do is use the highlights done by Mike Johnson over at PW Insider. I haven’t heard the interview myself yet either as it’s only been up for a few hours and broken the Internet in the process.

(I found this YouTube video of the podcast, so you can check it out there as well. )

Punk made it clear that he’s the happiest he’s personally been in many years and that at times, he will come off bitter while discussing what happened, but it’s “OK to be bitter” and that’s part of going through the process of dealing with everything and that his appearance wasn’t meant to be an attack on WWE, but a discussion of what his led to his departure.


*The most amazing thing to come out of the interview is that Punk didn’t quit WWE – he was fired. While he left the company in January, he was told weeks later by Vince McMahon via text that he was suspended for two months. The next day, Vince told stockholders that Punk was on a “sabbatical.” When the suspension ended, no one in WWE contacted Punk. When Punk reached out asking where royalties that were owed to him were, he got a run-around from WWE until he received termination papers informing him he was in breach of contract on his wedding day. So, they fired him on his wedding day in June 2014, which Punk said was “going too f***ing far.” Punk claimed the company tried to find him in “retro-breach” in June, instead of claiming he breached his deal back in January 2014.

*Punk said he left WWE the day after The Royal Rumble for one main reason: his health. During the podcast, Punk went into great, esquisite detail about the last several months in the company, which includes Punk being so injured that he’s working with broken ribs (thanks to Ryback), a concussion (which he ignored after WWE medical asked him if he was OK to go on a European tour, so he toughed it out, which he noted was his own mistake) and injured knees. During the November tour, Punk was getting so sick that he was puking and dry heaving every night after wrestling, had a fever for months and had no appetite. WWE medical had given him so many antibiotics by that he pooped himself in the ring on Smackdown all while watching his checks shrink. Punk described it as the worst he ever felt in his life and being unable to sleep because he was so sick. This went all the way through the end of his WWE run.

*At the Royal Rumble, Punk suffered a concussion early on and still worked the entire match. The next day, he passed the company’s concussion test (which he described as “bullsh**) while texting Colt Cabana and wearing headphones. WWE then told him he passed the test but they wanted him to go run the ring ropes to check him again. At that point, Punk demanded they just decide he has a concussion and admitted that until then he was just trying to deny he was hurt and tough it out.

That same day, the company began pressuring him about signing visas for future tours and taking a drug test instead of listening to his requests to “f***ing help me” because something was obviously wrong, Punk says he decided to tell Vince McMahon and Triple H he was going home. Punk’s version of this conversation is something to behold as he calmly tears into Triple H for cutting off his momentum in 2011 (Punk goes into great detail on issues with HHH), complains to Vince that he’s stifled Punk’s creativity and tells them both it’s garbage they aren’t considering Daniel Bryan for the main event of Wrestlemania 30, passing him by the way they’ve passed Punk by. He told them he was done and didn’t want to do this anymore. Vince hugged him goodbye in tears and told him he was family, yet he later suspended and fired Punk.

*Punk also told a story of going to WWE’s doctor because he found a lump on his back during the same time period after the November 2013 European tour. The WWE Doctor, identified by Punk as Chris Amann, diagnosed it as a fatty deposit. Punk tells several stories of asking for Amann to cut it out, but Amann says no because it wasn’t hurting Punk. Punk explained WWE docs cut things out of the wrestlers on a regular basis. Amann declined several times to remove it with Punk describing him as “lazy.” The day of the 2014 Rumble, Punk told Amann that it was now badly hurting and purple and bigger. Amann told him he couldn’t do it because Punk had to work the Rumble. After the Rumble, Punk demanded it be cut out and Amann noted that Punk would need to be on antibiotics, to which Punk responded that had been put on antibiotics WWE docs have given him for three months, which is why he pooped his pants.

*After leaving WWE and not feeling any better, his wife AJ Lee had him go to her doctor. Her doctor without knowing who Punk was or any background information, immediately looked at the lump and diagnosed Punk with a MERSA staph infection. The doctor proceeded to squeeze the lump so hard the puss hit the ceiling. Punk said getting it cleaned out was the worst pain in his life and he needed specific medications for the infection so none of the meds WWE had been giving him were any help. So, Punk had been wrestling the last few months of his WWE run with a staph infection in his back, which he stated was ignored and/or misdiagnosed by WWE’s medical staff. When the doctor asked Punk how long he had the lump and Punk told him a few months, the doctor told him, “You should be dead.”

*Punk talked about how badly hurt he was during his most recent WWE run and that on two occasions, he literally came out of surgery (and in one story, was walking out of the hospital following knee surgery) to find out he was being brought back almost immediately. After elbow surgery, he was told he was being brought back to the road and TV to cut promos and after the knee surgery, was told he was being brought back in three weeks to work a TLC match against Ryback. Punk’s version of these stories were enough to really make you shake your head and really need to be heard.

*Punk described his wrestling career as a failure as he failed to get to the main event of Wrestlemania and that he’s come to terms with that as he’s moving on to the next stage of his life. He said that it was ridiculous that so many current roster members have been in the main event and said he needed to get there so he could learn to work at that level and get better and draw more. He said he would hear he wasn’t a draw, but every chance he had, he “shoved it down their f***ing throats.” He said that it all comes down to an “out of touch old man” (Vince McMahon) and his decisions. Punk said he knew he had the best match at Wrestlemania 29 and he was praised for it, but he knew he didn’t get the money that John Cena, Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Rock, and Triple H got for the show.

*Punk said that for anyone complaining he left WWE in a lurch, he didn’t hold WWE up for money and didn’t ask for anything and didn’t walk out in the middle of a storyline. He was chokeslammed by Kane and he was gone. He went home for his health and sanity, although he did note he was frustrated with seeing smaller checks and not getting answers as to how the WWE Network will change the pay scale. Punk noted that everyone was afraid to ask Vince McMahon and even Randy Orton was coming to him asking if he knew anything.

*Punk said that when WWE fired him and issues a breach, he hired a very vicious lawyer to go after WWE to fight the breach and in the end, he got a settlement that gave him everything he asked for “and more.” He said he’s just not allowed to talk about the settlement, but pretty much made it clear he got everything he wanted and noted it was stupid of WWE to even advertise him for the next WWE DVD. He said he is completely done and clear of WWE and they will never, ever have a working relationship ever again. He said they were terrified that as an independent contract for the last ten years, that he would take them to court and ruin their way of doing business. When WWE later asked to issue a joint statement between the two, he told them to “F*** off.”

*Punk talked in detail about WWE using the independent contractor status, noting the company does concussion testing to help themselves, not the wrestlers. He noted all the money the NFL Player’s Union is forcing the NFL to pay for old injuries and medical concerns of players and that WWE is doing all this to prevent wrestlers from being able to say that they aren’t. Punk said that if WWE truly cared for the talents, they would allow a union to be created for the talents.

*Punk also noted that he was to star in “12 Rounds 2” while he was WWE champion. When signing the paperwork, he noticed the filming dates were the same as a WWE European tour and Triple H. Triple H told him that was not the case but he will look into it. The next day, WWE announced Randy Orton would star in the move with HHH never calling Punk to inform him of the change because, as Punk said, “He thinks I’m a piece of sh**.” Punk said it was indicative of the lack of respect he was shown by those in the company.

*Punk said wrestling Ryback took “20 years off his life” and talked in detail about how badly hurt he was working with, as Punk described him, “Steroid guy.”

*WWE was afraid he was going to TNA, but his lawyer told WWE that he despises wrestling now and will never wrestle again.

(Punk will return next week to answer fan questions. You can email those at Check out for more about the Art of Wrestling, and everything he does.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on