After watching CM Punk’s first few appearances back in WWE, Eric Bischoff gave a bold prediction about the “Best in the World” future.
CM Punk hasn’t even been a member of the WWE Universe for a month, and yet he’s already become the point of conversation among wrestling fans of all ages, opinions, and interest levels.
From debating over which brand he should “sign” with when his free agency comes to an end, RAW, SmackDown, or even NXT, to when he should become a WWE Champion for the first time in a decade, or just how quickly he’ll mess it all up and be out of the business entirely, it seems like a day hasn’t gone by since Survivor Series where the “Best int he World” hasn’t been a major topic of conversation.
One such person with an opinion on the “Second City Saint” is Eric Bischoff, the former head of WCW, who certainly knows a thing or two about dealing with tough wrestling personalities. Discussing Punker’s return on his 83 Weeks podcast, Bischoff gave the “Best in the World” very high marks for his time in WWE thus far and believes that, if he remains in check emotionally, the pairing could be dynamite.
“Well, it’s working, right? Great reaction. It started out great. A fantastically timed surprise at the end of a pay-per-view, as opposed to the beginning or somewhere in the middle. I thought that was so well done,” Eric Bischoff said via Fightful. “Story, anticipation, reality, surprise, and action. So far, WWE has checked and double-checked and triple-checked each one of those boxes. With the exception of action, because we haven’t seen that happen yet, but we all know that it will end at a pretty high level. So I think, because they’ve checked every one of those boxes, not once, not twice, but three times, this is going to be huge. It’s going to be great for CM Punk, provided he doesn’t melt down and do some stupid shit. If he keeps his act together and maintains a professional approach to this, he’s going to be hotter than he ever was. Hats off to him. Hats off primarily to WWE because they’re doing it right.”
Asked who he would like to see Punk wrestle for his first big program back, Bischoff believes the die has already been cast, with the “Best in the World” set to face off against the “Visionary.”
“I’m already convinced it’s going to be Seth and Punk. From the get-go, you know, Seth’s reaction outside the ring when Punk first showed up,” Bischoff said. “Well done, by the way, it felt very believable and real, and perhaps some of it was. That’s one of the great things about taking personal issues from outside the ring and being able to bring them in the ring, turn up the volume on them, and make them a part of the backstory. Make them a part of act one to launch the story. It was really well done, but I think because it was so well done and the focus and everything was there, I’m convinced that it’s going to be Punk and Seth on night one and Cody and Roman on night two. How could it be any better?”
Is WWE running head-on towards Punk-Rollins II, a rematch a decade in the making? Maybe yes, maybe no, but if Punk can continue to keep his nose down and work towards his goal of making as much money as possible, then getting in the ring with Rollins is a good first step in the right direction.
Ace Steel reflects on CM Punk’s resurgence in 2023.
Speaking of CM Punk, one person who is very excited to see what the “Best in the World” brings to the table in 2023 and beyond is Ace Steel, the trainer/backstage producer who played a huge in the Brawl Out after All Out last year.
Discussing the return of Punk in an interview with Wrestling With Rip Rogers, Steel noted that he’s incredibly excited to see Punk succeed in the WWE Universe once more, even if he has to appear on an episode of The Darkside of the Ring at some point in the future as a result.
“Well, I worked with a lot of great people, some great, some not so much. Family still exists in this business, there are things none of us can say, and none of us will, you know, I think my wife’s the only one who could probably tell the story since she was there. Maybe someday. You don’t f**k with family. We came out just fine. You might hear something; I’m sure it’s gonna be on f**king Dark Side of the Ring someday; I laughed at the time, going, ‘All this s**t’s gonna be on Dark Side of the Ring someday,’ you know, someone’s going to want to know,” Ace Steel said via Fightful.
“I’m very proud of my number one student that I’ve ever coached in the world for heading back to show the world who the f**k he is… The reason people hate him or whatever is he’s not about the bulls**t, and the guy doesn’t take s**t, and he doesn’t take it lightly. And when you’ve had enough s**t, you either explode, or you take care of business yourself, and you defend yourself.”
Will CM Punk continue to make Steel proud for his efforts in WWE? Most definitely, but don’t let the duo get in the ring together, as that was the start of everything falling apart in AEW.