WWE legend Steve Austin: Why it's 'a breath of fresh air' to see CM Punk back on WWE TV


It would be hard to argue that the talk of the professional wrestling world over the past week just days out from WWE Survivor Series surrounds the return of a wrestler who not only isn't scheduled to perform but isn't even under contract. Still, the gravity of CM Punk's return to WWE television through the lens of his new part-time analyst role on FS1's "WWE Backstage" has fans buzzing about what this change could mean for his in-ring future nearly six years after an acrimonious falling out with the promotion. 

Although Survivor Series will emanate from Punk's hometown of Chicago, his current status is simply that of Fox employee and not WWE performer (although his explanation on this week's "WWE Backstage" regarding whether he would return have many feeling optimistic). 

The 41-year-old Punk, real name Phil Brooks, is fresh off a failed two-fight run as a UFC welterweight and has everyone from fans to WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin talking about his current status after Punk cut numerous promos Tuesday about WWE's creative issues. 

Austin, whose "Broken Skull Sessions" interview show debuts Sunday on the WWE Network after Survivor Series with The Undertaker as his first guest, called seeing Punk return to WWE TV a "breath of fresh air" during an interview on CBS Sports' State of Combat podcast this week.

"I don't know if it leads to anything more, it's speculation to be determined and we will find out," Austin said. "Just the fact that he's doing business with WWE I love because I know they split up on bad terms and are now back in business together. 

"CM Punk was a lights out pro wrestler; great promos, great work, great talent. To have him back in the fold, obviously they ironed whatever they needed to iron out and both sides are happy so it's great to have CM Punk in the pro wrestling/sports entertainment business … because the guy brings great perspective, great insight and great opinion on all things sports entertainment."

Be sure to subscribe to the State of Combat with Brian Campbell podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to fine audio, and listen to our complete interview with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin below.

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Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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