And what he'd like to say is… I'm sorry?!
Back in 2014, former WWE superstar turned comic book writer turned MMA fighter CM Punk talked a whole bunch of junk about his former co-worker, Ryback. On Colt Cabana's Art of Wrestling Podcast (transcribed via Cageside Seats), Punk said:
Punk: So I dropped the title to The Rock. I… god, I don't even know if I want to cover the Ryback stuff. That took 20 years off my fucking life. Jesus.
Colt: We're not here to knock anyone.
Punk: But I was beat up and I was torn up and then John Cena got hurt and they were like 'how do you feel about this guy? He's definitely not ready but, you know, you can carry him if you want.' I was like 'yeah, okay, great.' So that took 20 years off my life because…
Colt: To add up, you're already beat up. Ryback works a little stiff.
Punk: I'm already beat up and I have to wrestle 'Steroid Guy' and he's very… I call it like I see it. He's very hurty. Sometimes deliberate. There was one time he kicked me in the stomach as hard as he could and he broke my ribs, right at the tail end. And I never got an apology for that. He was something else. A real piece of work, that guy.
Colt: So, I can tell already. You're cranky.
Colt: You're mad.
Colt: You're hurting.
Colt: You're frustrated.
Colt: People are crying 'be happy, you're doing your dream.'
Colt: These things are adding up, notching on your badge. You add that with, there was the ribs and I think there was a concussion in there somewhere, you had another one in there.
Punk: Yeah, well, I mean, I had the torn up knee. I flew, I did Raw Tuesday. I got on the jet to fly to whereever SmackDown was. Vince and everybody got off, the jet continued on to Pensacola, Florida. They dumped me, I got surgery Wednesday morning. I'm walking out of the hospital and Vince calls me. I'm all fucked up on anesthesia. 'Heard surgery went well, pal.' And I'm immediately having crazy flashbacks to the elbow surgery. And I said 'yeah, I guess. I'm just going to go back to my hotel and start rehab later tonight and get rolling.' 'Good. We just announced on Raw you're wrestling Ryback in a tables, ladders, and chairs match on the first Raw of January.' And I was like 'that's in two-and-a-half, three weeks?' He's like 'yep! Prognosis for your surgery is four-to-six weeks.' And I was like 'so you book me in a horribly dangerous match with a horribly dangerous opponent.' He's like 'well, that's when Rock's coming back so we've got to start that program right away.
Punk: I told him I didn't want to do it. He told me that he would owe me one.
In the years since, Ryback has sniped at Punk on social media, but he's never spoken with him about it. However, it seems he'd like to bury the hatchet, according to an interview on Pressbox Online with former WWE creative team member Kevin Eck:
Recently, Colt Cabana and myself had a talk, and he was very apologetic, even though he never said anything. But it meant a lot to me because we always got along in the few encounters we had. I will never know why [Punk] chose to say the things he did, and it definitely didn't help my career at that point. All I know is he was very banged up and miserable during the periods we worked together. I think people have to look at it this way: How many other people are out there saying that about me? I was always respectful of him in his time there, and before our runs together, he was always good to me. Working in the WWE, though, has a way to bring out the worst in everybody. I have made jokes [about Punk] over the years via social media, as it is fun to get a reaction from his followers from time to time, but if I were to ever see him, I would tell him, "If I really did ever hurt you [in the ring], I truly am sorry, but I don't think it was the right thing to do to say the things you did." Life is too short to hold grudges, and I truly wish him the best in his life.
Well damn, Ryback, that's not how you cut a promo. We think what you want to say is something more like, "Let me tell you something Mean Gene, puny CM Punk wants to talk crap about The Big Guy, but if The Big Guy really wanted to hurt him in the ring, he'd know it, because the match would be over quicker than his first and last UFC fight. The Big Guy is hungry, and the sooner the match is over, the sooner The Big Guy can go and get a pizza. Now Feed! Me! More!"
See, not that hard.