CM Punk was interviewed by Severe MMA prior to UFC 189 about his pivotal moments in the wrestling industry, Samoa Joe, how burnout affected his interest in pro wrestling, and his dream UFC opponents. An excerpt from the interview is below:
Punk: I think it's funny now when you look at the pro wrestling landscape. Like, all the guys that they're hiring, all the guys that they're putting on television. I can't honestly say, like I don't know if that happens if a guy like me and a guy like Joe don't take a chance. Everybody's talented in their own right, but everything that I was made fun of and vilified for by management is now what they're looking for in guys, and I wear that as a badge of honor.
Interviewer: Do you think it's kind of funny though? Because you're not the WWE model, you're not a heavyweight champion sort of build, you're not The Rock, you're not Stone Cold. Now all of the ex-Ring of Honor...is that what you're trying to get at? All the expats? Top of the billing in WWE, the next big stars.
Punk: Yeah. It's a big "I f---ing told you so." You should've listened to me in 2005.
Interviewer: Do you think they'll do it with Samoa Joe?
Punk: I hope so, they should.
Punk later makes a point that he's not taking credit for the recent success of former independent talent, and thinks that they would have made it eventually. He thinks it's funny, however, that the "machine" that didn't want him suddenly wants him.
The video is available at this link and embedded below: