– WWE issued a statement Thursday night to Yahoo! Sports in response to an article highlighting CM Punk’s criticism of the sports-entertainment organization’s medical tactics in a podcast interview.
“WWE takes the health and wellness of its talent very seriously and has a comprehensive Talent Wellness Program that is led by one of the most well-respected physicians in the country, Dr. Joseph Maroon,” the statement reads.
Nearly ten months after his final appearance for WWE, Punk finally addressed the circumstances behind his departure from the sports-entertainment organization in an explosive two-hour interview with Colt Cabana on the “Art of Wrestling” podcast.
During the interview, Punk said the main reason he left the company was because of his health. He was particularly critical of Chris Amann, WWE’s Senior Ringside Physician, who misdiagnosed an MRSA infection he had on his back for months as a “fatty deposit.” A doctor with no connection to WWE said he could have died from it.
Prior to this, Punk said he was pressured on more than one occasion by WWE officials to return to action while injured.
“I got a concussion in the Royal Rumble,” Punk said, referring to the 2014 match. “It’s pretty god d*** obvious. I knew I had a concussion. Everyone knew I had a concussion. And they were like we want you to take this test and I said your test is bull***. I took the test while texting you [Colt Cabana] and listening to my headphones and I “passed” with flying colors. But then they were like we want you to go to the ring and run the ropes. And I was like but I just passed your test and they were like yeah, but we still think you have a concussion. I was like so your test is worthless. I’m not going out in the f****** ring like a two-week rookie to run the ropes in front of everybody. Let’s just call it [a concussion] now.”
Punk was also pressured to wrestle just as he was was to begin rehab from elbow surgery. He recalled, “I remember when I was supposed to go back to Birmingham and get cleared before I came back to wrestle from my elbow. One day I was just at TV and it was the same thing … I’ll probably just cut a promo and then Michael Hayes comes up to me and goes, “Alright, you’re working so and so,” and I was like no I’m not. I just got this laser eye surgery and I don’t want anyone f****** up my eyes. And he’s like you really should have told somebody, and I was like told them what … my elbow! And he goes no, I just checked and they said you’re cleared. I was like I haven’t even gone to Birmingham to see Dr. [James] Andrews yet, what do you mean I’m cleared? I talked to Dr. [Chris] Amann and Dr. Amann was like I called him [Dr. Andrews] and I told him how you were and he said OK and he cleared you. I was like what kind of witch doctory bull**** is that? Like I’m going to go see him before I f****** wrestle. Book that s***, I’m not wrestling tonight.”
Punk noted that he would forward to undergoing surgery just so he could get some time off from WWE’s strenuous road schedule.