CM Punk knows more than a little about crossing over from the entertainment world into the combat sports world, so he’s uniquely positioned to comment on the recent phenomena of the Paul brothers. Jake and Logan had one hell of a 2021, selling millions of pay-per-view (PPV) units between the two of them. And as far as Punk is concerned, “If you’re making money, you’re technically not really doing anything wrong.”
Punk, real name Phil Brooks, discussed the Paul brothers during a segment on ESPN SportsNation.
“I think everything’s entertainment,” Punk said (transcript via Cageside Seats). “I think some people conflate being a fighter with being an entertainer, but when it makes dollars, it makes sense. And what the Paul brothers are doing, I think for the lack of a better term, it’s old school pro wrestling, right?
“This is stuff — you could say they’re crossing over, but there’s so many similarities between the two businesses. They command attention. People want to see them get knocked out. They know this, but they’re putting themselves out there. They’re putting themselves on the line.
“I’ll never criticize in a negative way or fashion anybody who makes the walk, anybody who trains their ass off,” he continued. “Because I did it and I know what it takes. And you put yourself out there, you put yourself on the line, you know? And a lot of the times, a lot of the sacrifice goes unnoticed. But, it’s what it is.”
Punk then compared the Pauls to other athletes who jumped from their respective sports into professional wrestling.
“When Mayweather crossed over and did a match at WrestleMania ... I’m sure we’re eventually going to see McGregor come over. Rousey was excellent when she came over. I just think the bottom line is making money. If you’re making money, you’re technically not really doing anything wrong.”
Punk, of course, famously tried his hand at fighting in UFC, which didn’t exactly work out too well for him. The former WWE superstar (now back in the squared circle with AEW) went 0-2 against the softest opposition matchmakers could find on UFC’s roster at the time. But, he did make a bunch of money in the attempt, especially for UFC.