CM Punk is busy preparing for his UFC 203 debut in Cleveland and rumors are swirling that he is lashing out at the WWE for treating its wrestlers like “indentured servants.”
According to a report from Fox Sports, Punk appeared on “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd and narrated that back in 2011 his contract was up for renewal and noted that the WWE tried to give him figures that were way down his performance each night. He added that the WWE tried to low blow him.
“They were trying to re-sign me and they were trying to re-sign me for lowball figures. It’s what they do to the guys. They’re indentured servants. They try to pay them the smallest amount of money you could possibly pay them. There’s no health insurance. You’re responsible for your own travel, your own hotels, your own food on the road. You’re home once a day, maybe. I did that 10 years to get to the WWE and then I did it 10 years there, so my gas tank was empty in that regard,” Punk said.
Punk, 37, added that if he did not re-sign with the WWE, he would have focused on being an MMA fighter and could have fought in title fights. But he stressed that he did not regret re-signing with the WWE in 2011, he just hoped that the company could have treated them well back then.
“It’s not that I regret that decision, it’s just that if I didn’t re-sign, I would have dedicated myself 100-percent to this. So I re-signed, that story unfolded, that chapter of my book’s over with and now I 100-percent dedicate myself to this now. It’s just later than I anticipated and it’s a bigger challenge now cause I’m older,” Punk explained.
However, the WWE has longed refuted Punk’s claims. The WWE longed issued a statement saying that they pay for their athletes, staff and officials for their work and travel expenses with an annual compensation “ranging from $250,000 to millions.” WWE also noted that they pay for all in-ring related injuries and any associated rehabilitation.
“WWE has more than 625 full-time employees and 120 performers who are independent contractors, the same as actors or actresses on television dramas, soaps or comedies. They do not have corporate responsibilities or duties. Additionally, WWE leads the entertainment industry with its Talent Wellness Program, which is administered independently by renowned medical professionals and includes cardiovascular testing, ImPACT™, testing for brain function, substance abuse and drug testing, annual physicals, and health care referrals. The performers are contractually responsible for securing their own insurance to cover everyday health maintenance and ailments,” the WWE statement reads.
Punk believes that he could still get a title shot if he will be able to score three straight victories. Despite coming from a shoulder and back injury, Punk believes that he can nail down a big title fight after his debut against Mikey Gall in Sept.
“What’s wrong with doing it just two or three fights? That’s a lot of money. I know people think this is a publicity stunt, I’m never going to set foot in the Octagon. I look forward to proving them wrong, but to me, it’s not super far-fetched to be like, ‘You know what? What if I put three or four wins together? Who’s to say I don’t get a title shot?'” Punk explained.
Punk noted that he is not out to please anyone or silence his critics. One thing is for sure, however, Punk will debut inside the Octagon at UFC 203 and will aim for an upset to bring him closer to his dream of a title shot.
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