Rob Van Dam has cast dispersions over CM Punk’s role as a “locker room leader”, claiming that the former ECW Champion was “believing his own hype”.
RVD and CM Punk shared a locker room during the reboot of ECW in 2006, and then again in WWE in 2013.
CM Punk was a young upstart, fresh from the independent scene for the former and a bitter, broken and defeated veteran in the second. While he was said to have rubbed some people the wrong way, there was no doubt that he was a world championship-calibre wrestler in the WWE.
CM Punk walked out of wrestling in 2014, not returning for 7 years. He debuted in AEW in 2021, with one of the most incredible debuts ever in front of his electric hometown crown in Chicago.
He won the AEW Championship twice, both times being forced to relinquish it due to injury within a week. He also made waves with his comments at the All Out 2022 press conference, where he ran down The Elite, Adam Page and Colt Cabana in an expletive-laden rant that took the wrestling world by surprise.
This led to a huge fight backstage between The Elite (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks) and CM Punk & his friend Ace Steel. This led to The Elite storming Punk’s dressing room, Punk throwing punches at Nick Jackson and Ace Steel throwing a chair and biting Omega.
While Rob Van Dam is a WWE Hall of Famer, he is not signed to AEW. The former WWE Champion has spent time recently in Impact Wrestling and Pro-Wrestling NOAH, but has never ruled out signing for All Elite Wrestling.
However, he did comment on CM Punk’s ego after the All Out debacle. Rob Van Dam claimed Punk had “as big of an ego as anybody I can think of”, although not necessarily in a bad way. He previously claimed these were the “types of people” who made it to the top of the industry and were the opposite of RVD’s personal philosophy.
Speaking with Inside The Ropes, Rob Van Dam said about CM Punk;
“Anyway, CM Punk probably has as big of an ego as anybody I can think of that I met in the business. I’m not saying that necessarily in a bad way. Depends on how you take it, but I think that he believes that he really is the best, you know, the best in the world. I learned years ago, that strippers can be fun to date, as long as they can leave the gimmick at work and not bring it home and be normal at home.”
“If you’re able to come back in the dressing room and still be that guy in the ring, that say they really believes you’re the best in the world, and you’re ready to prove it or whatever, then you know, the business looks at someone like that as like ‘Dude, you’re believing your own hype.’”
“There’s nobody on their own that is moving the industry, it’s everybody together. So being around him just feeling his energy, I feel like he believes that. Hey, these guys make it to the top the guys who believe in themselves the most the guys who do the promos that convince you they really think they’re the best. They are the ones who make it to the top. They’re also the ones that I can’t stand because I think they’re f*cking crazy.”