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CM Punk talks about the ‘toxic masculinity’ mindset in WWE

Cm Punk

It has been years since CM Punk parted ways with WWE and he has been doing well for himself. He now looks at the company from a clearer perspective and understands the absurdities that WWE superstars are told in the company.

During his time speaking at Starrcast III, CM Punk discussed wrestling culture when it came to getting time off. He said that the idea to work when someone is injured can be traced back to an old mindset in professional wrestling, but that lifestyle is no longer needed.

“I think in wrestling culture, there’s a lot of toxic garbage. I think it’s like that with sports across the board. There’s always that push to be the ‘tough’ guy, ‘oh I’ve got to work hurt.’ Obviously, in pro wrestling, it’s more so because back in the day if you didn’t work, you didn’t get paid. It was still very much like that when I was on the road full time. If I missed a house show loop, which I never did, I wouldn’t get a f*cking paycheck that week.

“It’s 2019, and I think that these sports organizations need to address that. Yes, there’s always going to be people who will abuse the system and be like ‘oh, I’m hurt.’ But in pro wrestling, there’s always this pressure, and it’s very real from the office about how you have to make these shots. They make it that this massive toxic masculinity thing about you have to do this and look how tough I am. I think that it’s really, really stupid, and I think that it gets people hurt, it gets people killed, and it’s a dangerous thing.”

Things have changed quite a bit since Punk left the company a few years ago. However, that was the last thing that made him decide that he did not want to remain in the company anymore.

h/t to Wrestling Inc for the quote.


  • jeremiah hoffman

    GFW is 10 times worse at the worst parts of life than wwe

  • Keith Learmonth

    The thing is, WWE isn’t a pay-by-the-hour job.
    You sign a contract with a certain amount of money, and a downside guarantee. You get paid less if you take time off, but you still get paid.

    It’s not comparable to working retail.

  • CC

    My point does not fall “moot”.
    He states “if they dont work they dont get paid” and that is exactly the same as McDonalds.
    If you are ill or injured, it does not matter what your job is, you either work in pain or you dont.
    Just because one is more demanding than the other, they both lead to the same outcome if you do not work. And you can bet your bottom dollar if a guy at McDonalds loses two days pay, he will be far worse off than a wrestler who loses a few days pay.
    As for honouring paid days off, try working for McDonalds (or any retail for that matter) in the UK. Short of Christmas day, most companies work on those days and a lot pay nothing extra but instead add it onto your holiday entitlement. And then you take a self employed guy, which is pretty much what WWE wrestlers are due to the contracted talent thing, and they are in exactly the same boat.
    Now compare a WWE star to a self employed builder who goes to work injured or ill because he gets no benefits as well. So as I say, you enter the wrestling business, you know the risks just as Bob the builder does when he goes self employed.

  • Rinn13

    Sorry man, but I think the bigger point here, is that we’re not talking about a job at Wal-Mart of McDonalds. We’re talking about pro wrestling, where these people get hurt to SOME degree, and put their bodies through regular physical damage for other people’s entertainment.

    But what’s more, what he is saying is that there is no pro wrestling union. There are no real benefits. SOME wrestlers get paid well, but they all get treated like “contractors”. Most “regular joe” jobs at least offer SOME kind of benefits to full time employees, some even part time. Wrestlers do not get that. With some exceptions, WWE for example, does not pay for a wrestlers food on the road, except for SOME catering at SOME shows. WWE does not pay for medical or other such insurance, you have to buy it yourself. WWE does not honor government days off or paid holidays like most companies do.

    So I’m sorry, but your point falls mute. I think he could have left the stupid “toxic masculinity” bit out, but otherwise, his points are all incredibly valid.

  • Soulshroude

    Uh, I’m with CC on this one. It’s the wrestling industry is mostly MEN. So stating the phrase “toxic masculinity” is rather apparent. It’s all masculine. This has been your “duh” moment for the week.

  • Neil Bryson

    My employer does too, as does my wife’s, and neither of us are management level. I can’t find any stats on just how common this is in the UK so can’t challenge CC’s “most jobs” point with hard figures.

    In any case, wrestlers are career professionals and there’s absolutely no reason why the WWE shouldn’t be coughing up some kind of sick pay, they can certainly afford to. Hell, I agree SSP is a pittance but it’s still more than sick WWE wrestlers are getting (0$ if CM Punk is to be believed)…

  • Raidertre

    I hate to be that guy, but there are plenty of career based jobs that offer sick pay. It’s not exclusive to management positions or higher ups. And I don’t consider it next to nothing. It builds up over time, and a lot of companies start you off with a decent amount for the first month.

  • CC

    Does he realise that thats how most jobs work? If I go sick from work, I don’t get paid.
    Unless you are in a management position or higher, a lot of companies do not offer sick pay to their employees. The most you will get in most cases is statuatory sick pay which is next to nothing, and even then, you do not get anything for the first three days. At least thats how it works in the UK, and I am sure other countries are similar or worse.

  • StoneColdBeckyLynch

    CM Duck is right ya know