Darren Young On How CM Punk Reacted To Him Coming Out Publicly

Darren Young

On August 15, 2013, Darren Young became the first openly gay wrestler in the history of WWE when he revealed his sexuality to a TMZ.com reporter at Los Angeles International Airport.

“All the support that I’ve got from my WWE family, the WWE Superstars, and my family has been incredible,“ Young said on the September 13, 2013 airing of Ellen.

During an interview on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast on May 13, 2015, Young revealed the reaction within WWE to the news that he was gay, particularly CM Punk’s response.

Him and I had like a love/hate relationship. He was a little rough around the edges, but to be honest with you, One thing about Punk is, if I could talk about him just for a second, when he had his match with Brock Lesnar in 2013 that was a couple days before I made my announcement to TMZ.

After this brutal match with Brock Lesnar, he was all iced up and I hadn’t seen him since I made my announcement. So he came up to me in catering and told me to stand up in front of people. I stood up and he gave me a hug. He said, ‘I’m proud of you and if you ever have any problem with anyone in the locker room, you let me know. I have your back.’ It was very genuine and I thanked him for that.

On his start on WWE television in 2010 in the elimination-style version of NXT, Young admits he was not fond of its reality show format featuring aspects not related to professional wrestling.

To be honest with you I hated the concept, because it felt like I was on American Gladiators or American Ninja Warrior with all the stunts and stuff, and that’s not me. I do all my dirty work in the ring. I told the guys, if I wanted to be on American Gladiators, I would have done that… NXT today, that’s where it’s at.