WWE Champion CM Punk spoke with AZCentral.com this week to promote next week's RAW Supershow in Phoenix. Here are some highlights:
Q: Are American fans not respectful? (After commenting that Japan has respectful fans.)
A: It's just a lack of "excuse me" and "please" and "thank you." I'm a pretty approachable guy, but I've had my headphones taken off my head in the gym, people poking me in the back like I'm a farm animal. It's a part of the game.
Q: With so many young fans, you must find yourself being a role model.
A: Absolutely. I'm the straight-edge guy. I'm a damn good guy to look up to. But I approach it the way Charles Barkley approached it. I'm not a role model. Everybody should choose their own path in life. I don't get preachy with the straight-edge stuff.
Q: Do people put you on a pedestal because of it?
A: I find myself being a target as opposed to being put on a pedestal. I get criticized a lot. There are people who are skeptical about it or scared by it or intimidated by it.
Q: Do you mind that a personal choice like that has become part of your public persona?
A: No, because it's who I am. People say, "When did you decide to be straight edge?" I was born this way. It's nothing I really decided (pause) and, right now, while I'm talking, on the treadmill and doing an interview, there's a guy standing over here, taking pictures ... (He politely asks the guy to stop, which doesn't seem to go well). All right, and now he just flipped me off, and I'm the (expletive). See what I mean? (sighing) ... Anyway, I don't think I have a persona per se. I'm not trying to be something I'm not.
Q: What about acting? So many WWE people go into the movies.
A: That's not up to me, but it's nothing I'm actively pursuing. I never say never to anything, but it's nothing I'm looking to actively do.