Tuesday night's episode of WWE Backstage marked the first time CM Punk was on the show as an analyst. And based on the ratings, quite a few people tuned in to see what the former WWE Champion had to say. According to ShowBuzz Daily, the show drew 180,000 viewers on Fox Sports 1, which is an 80 percent increase from the week before. While the show only drew a .10 rating, it did mark the first time the show had cracked Cable's Top 150 programs for the night since it officially debuted on FS1, and shows continued audience growth after the ghastly 49,000 viewers in its Nov. 5 premiere.
Punk wasted no time opening up about how he felt about the current WWE product.
"I think the product is the same as when I left it," Punk said. "Wrestling could be so much better, it could be so much more. Obviously there's a reason myself, yourself, everybody who puts on a pair of boots fell in love with professional wrestling. And regardless of what I think of the product now, the opinion is the same as when I was there.
"Stuff is overproduced, stuff's micromanaged. I think the best characters, the people that fans love the most throughout all of wrestling are the characters that they get to figure stuff out themselves instead of being told what to do by somebody who've never done anything, never been anywhere. 'never drew money, brother.' So I think there's a lot wrong with it, but I see a lot of bright spots."
But not all of his comments were negative.
"I like all the women," Punk said. "I don't like the forced Women's Revolution thing. Let the women be the women, and they'll show you why they kick ass and why they belong. You don't need to put a hashtag label on everything. Selfishly I think I like the NXT thing because I see a lot of myself in a lot of that. I was an Indie wrestling guy, I was in WWE developmental and told I was never going to be brought to television, so I know the struggle. I think those are the characters that are, for lack of a better term, lest tainted. They still feel new, they're like the new toys."
Punk also addressed Seth Rollins' attempts to challenge him to a return match.
"This isn't the show where you come on and shoot your little angles," Punk said. "Seth needs to stop tweeting and realize that sometimes it's better to be viewed at as the fool and shut your mouth [than] you open your mouth and remove all doubt."