When CM Punk, wearing a referee's shirt, ran out to the ring to cost Drew McIntyre the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, it added even more fire to the most dramatic beef of 2024 this side of Kendrick Lamar and Drake.

After laying out the champion clean in the ring, McIntyre waited what felt like an eternity for someone to officially mark the match in his favor, but because the match's referee was bumped out of action earlier in the effort, a replacement was sent down to keep the peace and count the pins, only when it comes to the “Second City Saint,” he was never going to hit that third hand to the canvas, as the only thing sweeter than winning the World Heavyweight Champion himself is guaranteeing that the “Scottish Warrior” doesn't.

Asked about his decision to insert himself into the match and tip the scales of justice into the Judgment Day's favor at the post-show presser, Punk resented the notion that he screwed McIntyre before effectively confirming that he did, in fact, screw McIntyre, noting that he will never allow the “Scottish Warrior” to win anything ever again after praying for his downfall at the Royal Rumble.

“Why would I want for him to have anything good? I'm not mad that I was injured, accidents happen, it's a full-contact sport, you know? We're athletes; stuff goes wrong all the time, and I would never wish injury on another athlete no matter how much I dislike them, you know? I hope Damian Priest, I hope his knee, his hamstring, whatever – it looked like he tore his hamstring to me, but I'm not a doctor. I hope Drew McIntyre is 100 percent after that grueling match. I wil never wish another athlete suffers an injury that costs the what they love to do and that puts food on their table for their family, so no animosity towards Drew for the injury,” CM Punk told reporters after Clash at the Castle.

“The animosity comes from being gleeful about it. He said he prayed for it; now I'm going to pray on him. He's never going to be a champion here as long as I live, not as long as we're on the same brand not as long as we're in the same company, as long as there's air in my lungs, Drew McIntyre will never, and it's not a promise he made, the empty promise he made to his wife who is sick – who I really hope is okay, by the way, get better soon – I promise you he is never going to be a champion again.”

Wow, that is harsh.

Does Punk have every right to be upset with McIntyre? Yeah, totally; praying on another's downfall is in very poor taste, and when you consider Punk lost out on a main event match at WrestleMania 40 because of his injury, it makes sense that he would not only be bitter at the situation but take that out on McIntyre for it. Needless to say, when these two eventually get in a ring together, it's going to be absolutely insane.

CM Punk loves the new climate – and donuts – of 2024 WWE.

Later in his Clash at the Castle media availability, CM Punk was asked what it's like to return to the WWE Universe after a decade away. While Punk didn't get to experience the final death throws of the Vince McMahon era before he was kicked out of the promotion forever, in the end, he's happy to be where he is today, as not only does WWE offer donuts in catering but they also treat their employees with much more respect.

“It's great, they have donuts now. I almost can't even joke around, and someone else will say, ‘Oh, he's just a company guy.' The climate has changed, it's a completely different culture. I try not to do media because, honestly, I don't like a lot of you, I said it to somebody, but I can't remember if I said it publically or what, somebody here, and I'm very bad at compliments, I get awkward and weird, and I start sweating, and I'm exposing myself too because I never replied to this message because it was too awkward. But what sums up your question, my answer is somebody here told me that they are extremely happy that I am back to experience the atmosphere and culture that I started to grow here, and a lot of it – and these are not my words – a lot of it was because me, why this place is like this now. A lot of the things that I fought for and asked for, sometimes begged for are now in place, and it is just a much nicer place. I'm older and wiser, and it's a great crew.”

Did Punker subjectively make things better for WWE wrestlers backstage? Yeah, while it's possible the promotion would have gotten there eventually, especially when Paul “Triple H” Levesque took over, Punk's antagonism and saber rattling brought these issues to the foreground and made them more of a priority to fix. In the end, if he wants to take credit for that, few performers – minus Drew McIntyre – will challenge him on that.