C.M. Punk says whether he’s concerned about whether former WWE colleagues are rooting for him (w/Keller’s Analysis)

By Wade Keller, MMATorch editor

C.M. Punk (photo credit Jayne Kamin-Oncea © USA Today Sports)

People involved in pro wrestling, especially WWE, are keeping a close eye on how their former coworker and colleague fares next Saturday at UFC 203 against Mickey Gall. Punk says he’s not concerned with whether most are rooting for him.

“Doesn’t matter to me,” he said during today’s media conference call. “Not that I’m negating anyone’s opinions. I’m not trying to hurt anybody’s feelings. There’s people who want to see me win, there’s people who want to see me fail. You kinda got to middle road it and not get too far up your ass and believe what people say or write about you. Conversely, you can’t believe the negative stuff.”

While he says he doesn’t mind if people in WWE are hoping he wins or loses, he does hope fans feel some passion.

“I’ll take a page out of my old job,” he said. “Those who want to see you lose, it doesn’t matter if they’re booing or cheering, as long as they’re into the fight. That’s all we really care about.”

Keller’s Analysis: I haven’t gotten a real sense of whether most people in WWE are rooting for him, as he wasn’t the most popular wrestler in the locker room where he made a ton of good friends who are all really invested in him winning. He didn’t make tons of enemies, either, where there’d be a passion amongst most guys to see him lose. It could come down to his colleagues, who know he will in some respects represent the “toughness” of pro wrestlers, wanting to see him do well as not to make WWE in general look weak. That said, that feeling would have been a lot stronger decades ago when there was more of a veil of secrecy over pro wrestling matches being fully worked and not legit contests.

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