If you say CM Punk to your average person, they likely remember him as the pro wrestler that stood atop WWE for almost a decade and has now returned as one of the biggest stars for AEW. But in between, there just happened to be those two infamous UFC fights Punk had. He went 0-2 (well 0-1 and one No Contest, as it turned out years later) and he was dominated. But he did what not a lot of us have the cojones to do - he got in there and fought.
So when Punk was asked about what he thinks of Jake and Logan Paul and their boxing careers? Well, he has a unique vantage point on things, being a member of both worlds for a time. He’s never boxed, obviously, but combat sports are combat sports, and their tie-in to pro wrestling is undeniable (even if some still try to). He sees that the Pauls are using the pro wrestling handbook to generate heat, and he likes it. He spoke about them on ESPN SportsNation this week (transcription via Cageside Seats):
“I think everything’s entertainment. I think some people conflate being a fighter with being an entertainer, but when it makes dollars, it makes sense. And what the Paul brothers are doing, I think for the lack of a better term, it’s old school pro wrestling, right?
“This is stuff — you could say they’re crossing over, but there’s so many similarities between the two businesses. They command attention. People want to see them get knocked out, they know this, but they’re putting themselves out there. They’re putting themselves on the line. I’ll never criticize in a negative way or fashion anybody who makes the walk, anybody who trains their ass off. Because I did it and I know what it takes. And you put yourself out there, you put yourself on the line.
“A lot of the times — a lot of the sacrifice goes unnoticed. But it’s what it is. When [Floyd] Mayweather crossed over and did a match at WrestleMania, I’m sure we’re eventually going to see [Conor] McGregor come over... [Ronda] Rousey was excellent when she came over. The bottom line is making money. If you’re making money, you’re technically not really doing anything wrong.”
Traditionalists on all sides might disagree, but I think he makes some good points here.