JR Reveals How He Would Have Handled the CM Punk Situation, Talks Companies Not Encouraging Talent to Speak Up

Nick Paglino

Jim Ross was recently interviewed by Doug Mortman and Dave Lagreca on Busted Open, which you can check out on SiriusXM 92 and on the SiriusXM app.

On the subject of how Ross would have handled the CM Punk WWE walkout, JR had the following to say:

CM Punk situation‚Äč"Well, I had that happen. Stone Cold did that and went home. And he regrets it to this very day. Because he just–you never get into a situation where–there's a couple of basics things here. One is that you don't want to get into a situation where it becomes easy for you as a professional or in private life to start breaking commitments. And a contract is a commitment. I think that the other thing is that you never get–you never save enough money nor can you live a starkness existence. The way you got all the money you're ever gonna need and you live good money laying behind. I personally don't believe in that. And I think a lot of the wrestlers over the years would say the same thing. So I'm not a fan of anybody in any walk of life exiting before it's time. But I also don't know all the information. This may have been a situation where Punk needed to take his leave and recharge his batteries a long time ago. I don't know. I haven't been there. And I have observed his privacy by not reaching out to him in several weeks.

We used to text every now and then just to shoot the breeze and see how he's doing. And mostly just friendly stuff. It wasn't too deep. So I haven't talked to him. But I know what it's like to see burn out and hit the wall. And it's a tough business. The one night stands, the taxing on your body, the mental strain of–especially when you're a perfectionist like he is. Where you really analyze creative. And creative has a hard time keeping guys like Punk happy because he's so demanding and he's got such a great head for creative in a large sense. Austin did too. Austin could tell you what he didn't like. He wasn't great at telling you what the solution is but he had such amazing instincts that he could tell you what was going to work or what wasn't going to work. But he didn't know exactly why. It was a feel thing, which is a great gift quite frankly. So I wish the guy had not hit the wall. But I can understand it. I can understand hitting the wall. I just felt like the timing of it was–is there ever a good time for these type of circumstances? Probably not but I'm not a big fan of leaving your post so to speak. Especially when his contract was up–I guess it's gonna be up in July.

So he was coming down the home stretch anyway. So if it were me, being the overt capitalist that I am, I wanna stick around and make the money. Now the other thing that we don't know and I certainly don't know; I don't know about you guys but we don't know physically how he is. He obviously mentally is burnt out. He's done. But I don't know physically how bad he's hurting. And if he's hurting badly enough that he's not safe in the ring or he's jeopardizing his health; then most definitely he should not be in the ring. But we don't know all that data so all I know is he's one of my favorite guys in the business, outside of the ring or inside of the ring. I wish things had worked out differently but look. He spent his whole life to get here and to get in that main event level area and make big money. He did that. He has a lot to be proud of and he's had a lot of accomplishments. Live the dream. I don't think the dream is over. I just think that he needs to step away for a while. And I don't know what a while is. He might not be back for a year. He might not be back for six months. I would give him as long as he needed. Because there's no sense in coming back when you're half-ass ready. Come back when you're ready to roll. But I don't think we've seen the last of him. But we may have seen the last of him this year.

In related news, Ross has posted a new blog over at JRsBarBQ.com, and the following are his thoughts on companies not encouraging talent to speak up for themselves:

If any wrestling company fosters a backstage environment that does not encourage their talents to speak up and get more involved in their careers from a presentation and creative standpoint, that company is asking for hard times. In ring participants like to perform and to create or they wouldn't be in the biz. If one is a performer then they likely have an above average abundance of creativity. Any show business entity that stifles creativity from their performers is myopic.

Talents cannot be afraid to speak up but unfortunately because of the shrinking number of places a talent can work and earn a decent living the "don't rock the boat" philosophy seems to permeate the wrestling business.

That's not healthy for anyone involved.

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