As seen below, the WWE on FOX Twitter account has released a really cool behind-the-scenes look at how FOX kept CM Punk hidden for his surprise debut on WWE Backstage earlier this week.
The video opens with Punk taking a ride to FOX Studios at 7pm local time, which would have been 10pm ET, one hour before the show began on FS1.
“Alright, who’s ready to have some fun?,” Punk asked as he hopped in the car.
Punk was asked if he had any nerves at all and he admitted he did. He went on to say he plans on making this WWE Backstage run very entertaining.
“Um, yeah, I wouldn’t even be able to tell you with a straight face that I wasn’t nervous at all,” Punk said. “It’s a space that I haven’t been in 5,6 years, compounded by the fans who have always clamored for me to come back to this space, so even if it’s not me actually wrestling, it feels like a big deal, you know? But nerves are good. If you’re not nervous, that means you don’t care enough to make it entertaining. I plan on making this very entertaining.”
The clip shows Punk riding through Los Angeles at 7:23 local time, less than an hour before Backstage hit the air on FS1. Punk revealed that he originally thought he would be calling WWE matches when his agent first reached out to FOX about the gig.
“So when the idea was broached, like, would you… I originally thought it was going to be like a commentary gig,” Punk revealed. “Honestly, like I would call wrestling matches and I didn’t know how receptive I was gonna be to that idea. When they told me it was going to be like an analyst, and it was described by FOX executives as, ‘We have A-Rod for baseball, we have Troy Aikman for football, we now have WWE’s property starting in November, we’re going to have an analyst show, and we have you. You would be the ‘expert’ to speak on things because your authority is, you were there, you did it all, you can talk about it.’
“And that interested me very much so. We met, we did like a test run. I was honest about it, I didn’t hide from it in the media, and now here we are.”
The video shows Punk arriving to the FOX Studios in Los Angeles at 7:43pm local time.
“Well, we’re here,” Punk said. “We’re on the lot. We’re still playing this pretty close to the cuff. So, I don’t know how secretive we have to be, but we’re going to pretend like I’m the real big deal here. Cover my face.”
Punk then had his face covered by an assistant, with 61 minutes left until showtime.
“This all seems a little much,” a covered Punk said as they entered an elevator. “But it’s… I guess it’s kind of a big deal.”
A staffer asked a question while on the elevator and Punk admitted that this felt like a big deal now.
“For the first time, I will say yes. I will admit that this is kind of a big thing,” Punk said.
The FOX staffer responded, “Yeah, according to us.”
Punk responded, “Well, thank you. It’s good to be important.”
Punk was then shown entering a board room and taking his cover off. At 8:35pm he was seen watching WWE Hall of Famers Booker T and Mick Foley discuss WWE NXT Champion Adam Cole on the show. They started counting down again as Punk was covered back up at 8:45pm local time, just 15 minutes away from his return to WWE-related programming.
“We’re doing this, for real? I gotta cover myself back up. Oh, boy,” Punk said.
Punk was then shown walking over to the WWE Backstage set, covered up.
“We are 13 minutes away from clobbering time,” Punk said, laughing. “It’s been a while, my watch still works through. Starting to feel a little nervous. It’s pretty cool though, it’s a good nervous. Butterflies.”
Punk was then shown getting mic’d up backstage as staff went over what would happen when he was sent out. Punk was asked, with 5 minutes left, if he had any final words before breaking the internet.
He responded, “I’m not gonna break the internet, I’m gonna break the world.”
Punk was shown backstage once again as Renee wrapped up the show, talking about how it was time to start having WWE-like monumental surprises on Backstage. They did the countdown and that’s when Punk came out to Cult of Personality.
“Holy crap. You guys don’t want me to cuss and you do this. Come on,” Paige could be heard saying as Punk came out.
Punk said to the camera, “It’s as simple as this. Just when they think they got the answers, I change the culture. I’ll see you here next week.”
The video ended with Punk posing for a photograph with Renee, Paige, Booker, Foley and Cole after the show.
As we’ve noted, Punk is signed to a FOX contract, not a deal with WWE. WWE did give their blessing to the hire, but it was 100% a FOX decision. It was announced by WWE that Punk will appear as a Special Contributor and Analyst beginning next week, making “select appearances” in the studio alongside host Renee and Booker.
There’s been no word yet on a possible WWE ring return for Punk, but we will keep you updated.