Independent pro wrestling manager Frank The Clown has come a long way since trying to win over Mick Foley on the WWE Network series, Holy Foley! The colorful and physically unimposing superfan has dated the WWE Hall of Famer’s daughter, Noelle, for years now, and throughout the series fought to win the approval of Cactus Jack. Ultimately, Frank ended the lone season of the series having failed to woo his possible future father-in-law.
Flash forward to today, and things are very different. Mick has openly talked in recent years about the work Frank has been doing as an independent pro wrestling manager, going so far as to encourage major promotions to sign him. The two even worked a match-like segment at Warrior Wrestling that saw Mick use his signature barbed wire bat to deliver a leg drop to the groin.
The advice Frank has been getting from Foley, and others, as he progresses in his career has been invaluable to his success. One of those other names in his ear from time to time is CM Punk. Punk is, by all accounts, returning to the AEW fold on June 17 when the debut episode of Collision airs live from The United Center in Chicago. The United Center is, of course, the same backdrop from Punk’s initial AEW debut on the second-ever Rampage, titled The Last Dance.
In a Haus of Wrestling exclusive interview, now available on the Haus of Wrestling podcast feed, Frank recalled sitting ringside for Punk’s AEW debut, and the hug he received from The Second City Saint as he made his way to the ring.
“It was special,” he began. “It is super, super special. I literally get chills talking about it still and, obviously, we shared that moment and embrace, super awesome. I didn’t know anything that was going to happen that night. I didn’t poke around to find out, I wanted to just be as surprised as everybody else was and I’m very glad that was the way I approached it because it made it all the more important and special for me personally.”
The embrace between Frank and Punk caught many by surprise as they were unfamiliar with the two men’s relationship. I asked the clownish superfan what his friendship is like with the Chicago star.
“I may consider him my best friend but I don’t think I’m his best friend,” he quipped. “CM Punk is my hero before anything else. This man has probably been a bigger influence on my life than any other individual human being walking the face of the earth.”
Punk’s The First Dance debut brought a breath of fresh air to the promotion but about a year later, things broke down following AEW: All Out, as Punk delivered heated comments during the media scrum, and an altercation ensued in the locker room area.
“You know, it’s funny, gosh, I don’t know if I should even be saying this but I was backstage for All Out,” he revealed. “I wasn’t around when everything happened. I had left right as the scrum was probably beginning. So, I was actually in the parking lot when all of it was happening. Obviously, I was as shocked as everybody else was, I wasn’t fully understanding what was happening because I started the drive home, and I was kind of like, off the radar for a little bit. Then once I got home and settled in, I kind of was seeing the lay of the land, and, you know, it is what it is.”
Intrigued by the fact Frank had been backstage for such a historical night, I pressed him about what the vibe was like backstage, and if he noticed anything off.
“I had been there a couple of times before,” he began. “Nothing seemed out of the ordinary to me, and I actually gifted Punk a custom Larry (Punk’s dog) Funko pop that day that I had made. It was actually a long time coming, it was made years ago, and we hadn’t had a chance to connect. So, I finally gifted it to him after a long tumultuous road to get there. But no, nothing out of the ordinary, and it was a great experience for me.”
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