During the length of CM Punk's WWE run, Arn Anderson was a road agent and producer. He would know as good as anyone if Punk got a raw deal with the company, which many believe, or if he had a good run.
Anderson was asked about that by Conrad Thompson on his podcast The Arn Show.
"I think he had a pretty good run. If you look at every piece of talent in its entirety, and who was pushed properly, who was able to do what on TV, who made money, what was the length of their tenure as champion… I think he had a pretty fair run," said Anderson. "I know he was able to talk them into trusting him to do the pipe bomb promo and those are the things people seem to remember. There's nothing like being able to look at your boss and telling him to F off. That's what got Austin over and made him special and he was the first to able do it."
Anderson then praised Austin's Rattlesnake gimmick and his years-long feud with Vince McMahon and upper management as a whole. Punk's final WWE storyline was in a similar vein.
"It opened the door later down the road and Punk did the same thing with The Authority. You don't have that happen very often. It was a rare time in the business and it has sustained him in the wrestling fans' eyes to this day," stated Anderson.
Thompson and Anderson then talked about Punk's debut on WWE Backstage and Thompson said he was told that his interview with Punk at Starrcast generated more buzz than Punk debuting on Backstage. Anderson said that WWE and FOX, perhaps, didn't promote Punk appearing on Backstage as well as they should have.
"You only get a first chance to make that impression. Now it's already out of the bag and the speculation is when he's gonna show up. He's probably gonna wrestle so and so. You're gonna have all that speculation but you wanna have that huge platform for a guy to get reintroduced to the biggest audience you could possibly have," said Anderson.
"If you knew you were gonna go this way anyway – and this is a big if – wouldn't it have been on that very first Friday SmackDown? That's when you had the most eyes on it. If you watch FOX, they're doing everything they can to promote the WWE product, so you would have thought that would have been the place to do it. Now, they might not have had a deal to do it, but who knows?"
During Punk's feud with The Undertaker, he came up with the idea of "Urn Anderson" which was Taker's urn adorned with fake hair and glasses to appear similar to Arn Anderson. Thompson asked Anderson how that all came about and whose idea it was.
"It was probably his. The urn had to do with him stealing from The Undertaker. He popped into a production meeting and had the thing in his hand, and everybody looked at it and figured out what it was – and Urn Anderson – and everybody started laughing. He came over and got a quick pic with me. It was a spontaneous deal. He interrupted a production meeting, got the pic and out the door he went," recalled Anderson.
"It wasn't planned – imagine that – something spontaneous."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Arn Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.