C.M. Punk talked to Sports llustrated in an article published today, discussing how he reacts to people hoping he fails, admitting is personality can instigate that:
“I’m a polarizing person, so people get caught up in hoping I fail. And just like success, failure is a perspective. If I go out there and lose a split decision, then I lost the fight. But did I fail? I don’t know. Everybody has a different perspective. Winning is different based on your perspective, just like success is different based on your perspective. I’m not sure how often I win at things. To me, just doing this is winning. I don’t think about shocking the world or changing everybody’s mind, but I just think about going out there and doing what I was taught to do and showing people that, if you want to do something, then work hard at it and it can be done.”
Keller’s Analysis: In the article, Punk is opening discussing returning to professional wrestling, but not WWE; he said an unfulfilled dream is work for a big company in Japan. Having competed in MMA can work in his favor in the Japanese pro wrestling culture where having legit tough guy credentials plays well with those fans. Punk discussing that could also indicate he’s at least considering what career move is next if it turns out MMA isn’t something he can be competitive in at a high level. At age 37, he’s got years left to earn big money in pro wrestling, where top wrestlers often work well into their 40s and sometimes beyond, since wins and losses are predetermined as part of the scripted storylines. At age 37, though, he might not have enough time to “get good” at MMA before physical deterioration undermines his ability to compete with fighters nearly half his age who have been training in various MMA discplines their whole lives. As for his personality, he is absolutely right that his personality is polarizing, although I haven’t talked to anyone with pro wrestling connections to Punk who is openly rooting for Punk to fail.