Former WWE announcer Jim Ross talked in-depth about his personal and professional views on CM Punk’s departure from WWE in an interview with the ‘Busted Open’ satellite radio show.  JR was a guest on the show to promote his upcoming ‘Ringside’ one-man show, but when asked about Punk’s departure gave a long response – likening the situation to when Stone Cold Steve Austin walked out of WWE while Ross was in charge of talent relations.

“I had that happen. Stone Cold did that and went home. And he regrets it to this very day.  There’s a couple of basics things here. One is that you don’t want to get into a situation where it becomes easy for you as a professional or in private life to start breaking commitments. And a contract is a commitment.

“I think that the other thing is that you never get – you never save enough money nor can you live a starkness existence. The way you got all the money you’re ever gonna need and you live good money laying behind. I personally don’t believe in that. And I think a lot of the wrestlers over the years would say the same thing. So I’m not a fan of anybody in any walk of life exiting before it’s time.

“But I also don’t know all the information. This may have been a situation where Punk needed to take his leave and recharge his batteries a long time ago. I don’t know. I haven’t been there. And I have observed his privacy by not reaching out to him in several weeks.

“We used to text every now and then just to shoot the breeze and see how he’s doing. And mostly just friendly stuff. It wasn’t too deep. So I haven’t talked to him. But I know what it’s like to see burn out and hit the wall.

“And it’s a tough business. The one night stands, the taxing on your body, the mental strain of -especially when you’re a perfectionist like he is. Where you really analyze creative. And creative has a hard time keeping guys like Punk happy because he’s so demanding and he’s got such a great head for creative in a large sense. Austin did, too.

“Austin could tell you what he didn’t like. He wasn’t great at telling you what the solution is, but he had such amazing instincts that he could tell you what was going to work or what wasn’t going to work. But he didn’t know exactly why. It was a feel thing, which is a great gift quite frankly. So I wish the guy had not hit the wall. But I can understand it. I can understand hitting the wall.

“I just felt like the timing of it was – is there ever a good time for these type of circumstances? Probably not, but I’m not a big fan of leaving your post, so to speak. Especially when his contract was up – I guess it’s gonna be up in July. So he was coming down the home stretch anyway.

“So, if it were me, being the overt capitalist that I am, I wanna stick around and make the money. Now the other thing that we don’t know and I certainly don’t know; I don’t know about you guys but we don’t know physically how he is. He obviously mentally is burnt out. He’s done. But I don’t know physically how bad he’s hurting.

“And if he’s hurting badly enough that he’s not safe in the ring or he’s jeopardizing his health, then most definitely he should not be in the ring. But, we don’t know all that data. So, all I know is he’s one of my favorite guys in the business, outside of the ring or inside of the ring. I wish things had worked out differently but look. He spent his whole life to get here and to get in that main event level area and make big money. He did that. He has a lot to be proud of and he’s had a lot of accomplishments. Live the dream.

“I don’t think the dream is over. I just think that he needs to step away for a while. And I don’t know what a while is. He might not be back for a year. He might not be back for six months. I would give him as long as he needed. Because there’s no sense in coming back when you’re half-a** ready. Come back when you’re ready to roll. But I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him. But we may have seen the last of him this year.”