CM Punk returned to television last night for the first time since the Royal Rumble PPV – to be a guest on Talking Dead, AMC’s post-show recap series for The Walking Dead. So was the WWE mentioned at all?
Well, no. Not at all. In fact, the name “CM Punk” was used only for intros – like when host Chris Hardwick would come back from a break and say “And with me is Phil Brooks, who you might know better as CM Punk.” Punk’s twitter account, which is @CMPunk, was also plugged (though he hasn’t used it since the Monday after the Rumble).
No one really expected anything to be said about the WWE as Talking Dead isn’t a late night talk show. It’s a show dedicated to discussing the specific episode of The Walking Dead that aired right before it. In this case, “The Grove” – a very shocking and powerful chapter. So there was plenty for Punk and fellow guests Melissa McBride (‘Carol’ on TWD) and Community‘s Yvette Nicole Brown to discuss.
In fact, I was more excited to see Punk and Brown reunite, as the two of them had not only appeared together on Talking Dead together before (for the 2012 episode “When the Dead Come Knocking”), but then became friends afterward (Punk invited her to watch him face Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam and she brought him onto the set of Community).
But yeah, no mention of the WWE. Just a few mentions of the name CM Punk. Other than that, Punk looked happy and healthy. In fact, he didn’t even really say all that much compared to his last Talking Dead appearance. He was just friendly, even stating “I’m a changed man. I’m all about forgiveness.” His last appearance is also notable because he did it when he was not only a part of the WWE, but when he was WWE Champion. And there was no mention of him being the champ at all. So the WWE wasn’t even discussed back when he was an active member of the roster.
Matt Fowler is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow him on Twitter at @TheMattFowler