CM Punk Responds to IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay's Challenge

CM Punk has directly mentioned New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Will Ospreay as someone he's actually interested in returning to the professional wrestling business to work with. Ospreay initially responded by trying to get Punk to face him at this year's Wrestle Kingdom event, but when nothing materialized from that he openly called out the former WWE Champion during his first press conference after winning the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.

"Before I was champion, a man who sparked a whole lot of interest in pro-wrestling, CM Punk said he'd like to face Will Ospreay," Ospreay said "Now I have the biggest prize in pro-wrestling, so if you really want to prove you were the best in the world and not the best of a bad bunch, come over here and try and take this."

In a new interview this week with Digital Spy's Stephanie Chase, Punk gave his response.

"I don't want to give people false hope in answering Ospreay," Punk said. "But he's for sure somebody that I've never wrestled before that interests me a lot more than, I guess, the corporate side of professional wrestling nowadays. New and different things are going to interest me more than doing the same old, same old. I always need new goals."

"I don't know," he added. "Let's see if he has it at the end of the summer and then ask me the question again."

Punk still hasn't wrestled since leaving the WWE back in 2014 and now finds himself more focussed on acting with roles in Jakob's Wife and the upcoming Starz series Heels.

In a separate interview with Uproxx, Punk argued why the pro wrestling world doesn't necessarily need him anymore.

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"I think the right combination could maybe be figured out, but it's also not for me to figure out. It's not my world anymore," Punk said. "I'm certainly not Hulk Hogan, where I'm going to show up somewhere and like, 'no, this is how it's going to be.' The wrestling world doesn't necessarily need CM Punk and that's absolutely fine. Everyone seems to be doing great. I don't know, it's like flavors of ice cream. I walk into an ice cream shop one time and I'm like, 'Oh, that seems like a good flavor. Give me two scoops of that.' It's just gotta be the right time, right place, right situation."

"From a creative mind standpoint, stepping back and looking at the landscape of everything, there are people in WWE that I have wrestled before that maybe, in a certain situation could be interesting," he later added. "There's also the business side of things. What's the biggest possible match for CM Punk? I think there's Kenny Omega on the one side. And, you know, unfortunately, ironically enough, for me to go back to WWE, who's the biggest match for me? It's probably Triple H. That's ironic because it's nothing I'm interested in. It's just what it is. Am I going to be a businessman and say that's the match, that's the big-money match? Well, it's not my money, so it's not for me to say."