WWE confirmed during this week's WWE Backstage episode that former WWE Champion CM Punk will be back on the Fox Sports 1 show next week. The Chicago native has been popping up infrequently on the show ever since he made his surprise debut in late November, and he hasn't been afraid to blast the WWE for problems with their current product. His last episode came just before the Royal Rumble, where he picked NXT's Keith Lee to win the Men's Rumble match to capitalize off what happened during Survivor Series weekend. WWE chose a different route, giving the win to Drew McIntyre to elevate him to main event status.
Punk's very first episode as an analyst for the show featured him running down everything he disliked about the current weekly 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."
Those bright spots turned out to be the Women's Division and NXT.0comments
"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."
With Super ShowDown next in line on WWE's docket, it will be interesting to see if Punk says anything about WWE's ongoing deal with Saudi Arabia.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.