Tensions between CM Punk and Seth Rollins have been building ever since the former made his shock WWE return at Survivor Series: WarGames last month. While Punk took in the reaction during his first WWE appearance in almost a decade, the World Heavyweight Champion was spotted cursing at him from ringside and even had to be held back by the likes of Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and others. Rollins has since detailed his issues with the former AEW star, even going as far as to call him “a fraud,” and now NXT head honcho Shawn Michaels has given his thoughts on the situation.
In a new interview with Busted Open, Michaels was asked for his thoughts on the animosity between Rollins and Punk. The WWE Hall of Famer said that while he understands the frustrations on all sides, he feels the tensions are ultimately just another typical step in the process of both men’s careers.
“It’s another one of those steps that you go through the process,” Michaels explained. “If you’re here long enough, you will see all of them. When you start out, you want to become that top guy. Then you become that top guy and then you see these other people come in and you go, ‘Jeez, part-timers and taking spots,’ stuff like that. Then one day, you get to the point where you go, ‘I still want to work but I don’t want to be working all the time,’ and then all of a sudden, now you are the part-timer and you are that guy!
“So look, I understand it on everyone’s level and it’s the same thing where I feel like I have the advantage in NXT of having gone through everything that everyone is going to go through. It’s funny, I think Hunter mentioned it in an interview not too long ago: If you’ve covered darn near every aspect of this industry, which I’ve been fortunate enough to do good and bad, you learn not to judge, you learn not to get upset, you understand that nothing keeps the machine from rolling, that no one is the biggest or the best, everyone is replaceable. All those things that we all know, but you always feel like you’re not going to be the one doing it.
“But if you do this long enough, you will. You’ll either be the guy accusing or you’ll be the guy accused. You’re the person that’s enjoying it or not enjoying it if you do it long enough and so it’s just one of the necessary evils of the business. But again, ultimately it always comes down to what is the bottom line and what is best for business and I think over time, everybody understands that.”