CM Punk has made his fair share of enemies over the past couple of months. The bad blood began in the spring, when tensions brewed between himself and "Hangman" Adam Page after Page used frowned upon material against Punk in an in-ring promo. Tensions reached a fever pitch on Sunday, when Punk used his AEW All Out press conference to tear into Hangman, former friend Colt Cabana, and AEW Executive Vice Presidents Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks. That situation led to a backstage fight, which is currently being investigated by an independent firm.
The All Out situation has the attention of the wrestling world, and has awoken many dormant opinions on Punk. Speaking with Steve Fall on NBC Sports Boston's The Ten Count, former AEW star Bobby Fish reflected on his match with Punk on AEW Rampage in October 2021.
"I'm working for AEW, they're paying my check, you ask me to put my shoulders down for Phil Brooks (CM Punk), I go out and do it. Interestingly enough, there was a little whatever in the match we had, and Phil was…after the match, Phil was a c--t," Fish said. "Frankly, as a martial artist, I went out and laid my shoulders down for you, you should be grateful that I did because on national TV, if I decided that I wanted to f--king Haku your a--, I could have because you're that little of a threat in my world. I'm not Jon Jones or Anderson Silva, but I've been doing martial arts long enough to where I can hold you like a wet nap Phil Brooks. For you to be c--ty after, for a mistake you made, it doesn't wear well."
Fish took exception with Punk's move-set, which is primarily professional wrestling but does blend in some mixed martial arts elements.
"Phil is not a bad pro wrestler, but what Phil is not, is a martial artist. I've been doing martial arts since I was eight years old, so I take a lot of pride in it. It's something that I'll do until the day I die. There are other people within pro wrestling, Bryan Danielson, Kyle O'Reilly, people that train, and they put that into their pro wrestling," Fish elaborated. "CM Punk is not a martial artist. He went on pay-per-view and showed the world that he's not a martial artist. He is a pro wrestler. Go out, tackle, drop down, leapfrog, give it again. All good. In that lane, he has talent. When it comes to martial arts, you're insulting the audience's intelligence because we're supposed to be creating an atmosphere where you suspend your disbelief. It's insulting for you, as one of my co-workers or peers, as a martial artist, you're asking me to go out and sell and put over your bunk-ass martial arts. It's insulting to the audience, it's an insult to me."
Beyond the MMA maneuvers, Fish made reference to the fact that Punk's finisher, the Go To Sleep, is not an original creation.
"Not to mention, the move he finished me with, it's not his, it's KENTA's. Phil, you took a man's finishing move," Fish concluded. "Anyone who knows pro wrestling knows that's f--ked up. You weren't even decent enough to change the name."
Punk is currently out of action with an arm injury and reportedly suspended following the backstage fight. Fish is a free agent after leaving AEW recently.