CM Punk And Cody Rhodes Have Heated Exchange On WWE Raw

Tonight’s episode of WWE Raw featured a face-to-face confrontation between two of WWE’s hottest stars: Cody Rhodes and CM Punk. Both men are former AEW stars, with Rhodes formally serving as an Executive Vice President for WWE’s competition and Punk leaving as the “Real” AEW World Champion. Interestingly, Rhodes’ final AEW promo referenced Punk’s infamous “pipe bomb.”

The American Nightmare, dressed in his latest custom three-piece suit, was the first man to the ring. As the crowd screamed his entrance music and pyrotechnics exploded overhead, his name was blared out by WWE Raw ring announcer Samantha Irvin. Michael Cole was sure to emphasize on commentary that the road to WWE WrestleMania 40 begins this Saturday night at the WWE Royal Rumble.

Cult Of Personality followed shortly after Cole’s tease, and out sauntered Punk, adorned with his latest custom WWE hoodie. Cole noted that the 2014 WWE Royal Rumble was Punk’s last WWE match a decade ago. Not mentioned by Cole was the trial that followed Punk’s exit after comments he made on Colt Cabana’s Art Of Wrestling podcast about WWE’s Dr. Chris Amann’s treatment. Punk and Cabana eventually won that trial.

For nearly a minute, both men stood in the ring with the crowd cheering wildly. Punk was the first to grab the microphone and reflect on how both men had been on different paths to lead to where they were right now. Rhodes responded by acknowledging the rowdy New Orleans audience and asking Punk what he wanted to talk about. The Chicago native shot back that he wanted to talk about Rhodes’ dad, WWE Hall of Fame inductee Dusty Rhodes.

As Punk recalled, in 2007, Dusty called him and said he was sending his son, Cody, to OVW to begin his pro wrestling journey and to take care of him. At the time, Punk didn’t know if he was the guy for the job and didn’t know Cody at all, but because Dusty asked, he said yes. Punk explained the job was easy because Cody stayed out of trouble and didn’t succumb to the vices of others. What he saw from there was the progression of the WWE Superstar and champion that he sees today. Punk is proud of Rhodes.

Punk went on to say that at the Rumble, he feels he will break a promise because he will not be looking out for Rhodes; he will be looking out for himself. He will be looking to punch Rhodes in the face, throw him over the top rope, and main event WrestleMania.

Cody cut him off to say that Punk was not the only one thinking of his famous father. He put over Michael Hayes, Triple H, and Paul Heyman as people who see him and think of Dusty.

“It is a very large shadow,” he added before saying he has tried to be a light in the darkness. Cody continued on saying that while Punk could have been bad to him, he wasn’t, and they became friends.

Punk replied that the Sunday morning after the Rumble, Cody may feel differently. Punk says that while a lot of people saw a “nepotism baby” that a lot of people looked past, he saw the burden of his last name. Despite the separate paths they took, he admits Cody has passed the test of becoming a top star with flying colors. Both men, he believes, have similar goals, despite his lack of a famous father like Dusty. Punk then dropped the bomb that his father was just an electrician, someone not famous, so he was more of the American dream than Cody was.

Cody then wanted to talk about the pipe bomb. He says Punk rattled off the formula for a revolution, and there are people who became pro wrestlers because of that interview, but then he left. And when he left, he really left. When he left, he dropped the torch on the way out, and Cody believes he picked it up. All the things Punk says he wanted to do, Cody did, and that makes him “more CM Punk than you.”

Punk, with a smug grin across his face, slowly took off his hoodie and explained to Cody that despite his WWE 2K24 video game cover and his desire to finish his story, a “much bigger Superstar who hasn’t been around in a very long time is coming away to take it all away from you, and I am talking about me.”

Cody pointed to Punk, saying he was looking out for himself before quoting John Wayne and how even though he was scared, he had to saddle up. At the WWE Royal Rumble, the direction he is going goes through Punk. Cody then attempted to leave before Punk swirled him around by the elbow and went nose-to-nose in the center of the ring. The two men acknowledged each other with head nods and stares but did not make contact. They both left, without incident, on either side of the ring.

As Punk stood ringside, watching Cody walk up the entrance ramp, he leaned over commentator Wade Barrett and said, “I’m going to win the Royal Rumble. Just so you know, put your money on me.”