While doing promotional work for WWE 2K23, Seth Rollin was asked rather surprisingly about one of his former NXT friend, CM Punk – real name Phil Brooks – and his rather dubious status in the professional wrestling world at the moment. Based on his comments, it's clear Rollins isn't a fan.

“Philly Phil, stay away,” Rollins said via Wrestling Inc. “Stay away, you cancer, get away from me forever. I don't like Phil. I don't like Phil, he's a jerk. Did we just figure that out? Everybody in the room is like, ‘did he say that?' Yeah, he's a jerk. Come on. We figured it out over there, we knew it over here. I don't want him back. Go do something else. Bye bye. See you later.”

Surprising? Somewhat, yeah; though Punk's run in WWE ended similarly bad as his current run in AEW, what with the whole pipe bomb and his comments on the promotion after his release, but who knew he remained so gosh darn unpopular within the locker room all of these years later? If a veteran locker room leaders like Rollins don't want him back, albeit said in a not-so-serious tone, maybe fans really have seen the last of the “Best in the World” in a professional wrestling ring?

Fortunately, Rollins was asked about his comments roughly a week later on the Covino & Rich show, and “The Visionary” was able to clarify his comments in a way that makes the former WWE Heavy Weight Champion sounds more sad than super villian-y.

Seth Rollins misses the old CM Punk.

Understandably asked about his comments on Punk, Rollins dug down deep in his soul to provide some insight into why he doesn't want to transplant 2023 Brooks to the WWE locker room but not without throwing a little jab in there to his current in-ring rival, Logan Paul, for good measure.

“I don’t need to repeat what I said about Chicago Phil in an interview last week,” Rollins said via Fightful. “But if you need to, I’m sure you can Google it. Look, the bottom line is, it’s the same as with Logan Paul. Punk and Logan Paul are two different personalities, but they’re as selfish as it comes. If you’re not gonna help, then I don’t want you to be a part of our industry. I don’t want you to be a part of our company, and that’s all there is to that. Here’s the thing, I’ll say one thing about Punk. I’ll end it on a positive note with him. That guy has given my career so much that it pains me to have to say bad things about him. He helped me out, he really did. He’s been a good guy to me for a lot of my career. But for whatever reason, for the past maybe six-seven years, he’s in a different head space, and we’re not on the same page. To see kind of what he’s done and taken and taken, it’s always been about him, I’m not a fan. I’m just not a fan. There’s a place for him, man. He’s got a lot to give. I just wish his head was in the right spot.”

Though Punk does have his defenders, with both Dax Harwood and Ricky Starks lauding the multi-time champion for his generosity with his time, his knowledge, and his abundance of Starbucks gift cards, it's clear that more experienced vets like Chris Jericho, who has been in just about every major wrestling promotion's locker room over the past 25 years, don't like the way the “Chick Magnet” does business, with his public shots at performers like “Hangman” Adam Page and The Elite, Kenny Omega, and the Young Bucks, leading to incredible heat from the boys in the back.

Despite remaining under contract with AEW and having the theoretical potential to provide the promotion with a guaranteed pop both with crowds and with their television ratings (which are middling at the moment) should he return, for that to happen, it's clear the “Best in the World” will have to do some soul searching, reach out to some of the locker room leaders, and make amends with the rest of the wrestlers before finally making his way back into the ring and onto screens around the world. Will it happen? Honestly, it's impossible to know, but if Tony Khan was truly done with Punk, he would have released him. By keeping him under contract, there's always a possibility that something interesting comes together down the line, especially if Punk takes Rollins' comments to heart.