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Big E Reveals How CM Punk Saved His WWE Career In 2013

Big E Langston 2013 WWE Article Pic WrestleFeed

During an interview on the Sarah O’Connell Show, Big E was asked to name some of the favorite matches of his career.

Big E then recalled facing CM Punk in 2013 and talked about the backstory of this match, which resulted in his WWE career being saved.

Here’s what the former WWE Champion said:

“One singles matches I really couldn’t talk about for a long time, but now that he’s back, I can, is the match I had with Punk in 2013 was so important for me because at that time, I was done with Dolph Ziggler, I moved onto AJ’s bodyguard. I was done with that, and I was really floundering. I was in a position where I wasn’t really on TV much.

I remember coming to work weekly, and I would look, they’d have the card up at a certain point in the day, you see all the matches, and you see, ‘Oh, you’re not on there’. You talk to the producers, ‘Hey, do I have a backstage segment? Do I have anything today?’ Nothing. Do enough of that, and you realize, this is not going great. Especially because I’m not that established. My time on the main roster has been about me being a heater or a bodyguard. It’s always been about… I’ve never been the central focus at that time.

It was the start of the day, I believe it was Monday Night RAW. Once again, I was not booked, but I opened up my email, and at the time, they would email you your travel for the next week. I got my travel for the next week, and at the time, it was, we’d shoot RAW, we’d shoot SmackDown the next day. RAW was live, SmackDown was taped. A lot of the guys were being pushed to NXT, sent back down to developmental, or who were losing their jobs were guys who just did SmackDown. So pretty much when I saw, I got the email that you are needed for RAW, and you’re just doing SmackDown, it felt like, oh no, I need to do something right now, or I’m either going to be let go or I’m gonna be sent back down to NXT, and who knows if I ever get an opportunity to be on the main roster again. It was that same day, I get chills thinking about it, because if this didn’t happen, who knows where my career would be right now. It would have been done a decade ago.

That day, I go to work, and I find out that I actually have a match with CM Punk. Sit down, talk about it, go into the match, and whatnot, and thankfully, I felt like I delivered. We went out there and just did our thing, and I felt like I had a good showing.

It wasn’t until later that day or a little bit later, his wife AJ told me he asked to work with me. He never revealed this, he never let me know. But if it wasn’t for his wife, I never would have known. Because of him, because of him asking to work with me, and when I found out, I went to him and I thanked him. He said so many glowing things about my talent and about how people like me deserve opportunities.

It really meant so much to me because from that, I can’t remember if it was the next SmackDown, I think it was the next SmackDown, but we have another match. He beats me again, but here comes RybAxel with Paul Heyman. I was a heel my whole career in the main roster. I turned babyface on them, get cooking, and then that leads to a program with Curtis Axel where I win the IC Title, and now my career is off to the races and I’m in a good place.

There were hiccups along the way, too, but at least I get that opportunity to go from someone who’s just known on the main roster as a bodyguard, get the matches with Punk, that sets things in motion for me to be established, to win the IC Title. Then, from there, I was able to get going.

So that one is so important to me for many reasons. One, I was able to prove to myself that, yeah, I can hang with the guys who are the best in the world, I belong here. Two, it saved my career, and I can’t thank him enough for that, and I’m so grateful for it because I truly don’t even know where my life would be if it wasn’t for him going out of his way to look out for young talent.”

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