In late June 2011, CM Punk sat Indian-style on the stage leading to the ring where John Cena was writhing in agony and delivered his first ever “pipe bomb explosion” – a legendary (improvised?) rant that called out an array of wrestlers, WWE executives, and even his own fans. To this day, people still wonder how much of that speech was scripted and how much really touched a nerve within the organization.
CM Punk was more anti-establishment than Stone Cold Steve Austin. His promos and his work in the ring were likened to Austin’s, however, Punk took his act a step or three further. You could say that CM Punk was the Deadpool of the WWE (though he had Wolverine’s mutton chops sideburns), constantly tearing down the fourth wall to point out hard truths and poke fun at those personalities many thought were untouchable. That characterization seems appropriate considering how Punk is massively into comic books and has even written for Marvel.
Punk’s June 2011 verbal assault won a Slammy for “Pipe Bomb of the Year”. His match with John Cena at Money in the Bank that same year would be considered one of the best in WWE history, earning five stars and multiple awards. As Punk mentioned, his rise to superstardom had been delayed and muted by the big wigs, but that pipe bomb brought him icon level status. His message was simple – the better man should win.
How did it get to that point? Well, this video takes us through his early years, from his appearance on Bozo the Clown to his training days with Eddie Guerrero to somehow not dying from a skull fracture.
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Punk is scheduled to fight Mickey Gall on September 10, 2016, at UFC 203 after signing a contract with the league in 2014. At the age of 37, many might wonder what Punk’s got left in the tank. His debut was postponed due to a shoulder injury and a herniated disc. Despite that, the event should garner a larger-than-usual audience. If the UFC can ever arrange Colin McGregor vs. Punk, that would be must order material.
While it will be interesting to watch Punk in the octagon, fans still yearn for his return to pro wrestling. I mean, his name still gets chanted at RAW and Smackdown almost every week. I’ve never really been fully on board the Punk bandwagon, but anyone who calls Triple H a ‘doofus’ gets points from me.