As the Straight Edge Superstar heads to WrestleMania, we talk with him about his love for comics and kickin’ butt.
By Arune Singh
Every week on “WWE Friday Night SmackDown,” there’s one superstar who draws the ire of fans more than anyone else, even though he’s trying to lead them on the path to salvation…of a sort. Meet CM Punk, the self-styled “Straight Edge Superstar” of the WWE Universe, whose only goal is to rid the world of addiction to alcohol and drugs by converting people to the straight edge lifestyle. Unfortunately for non-believers, rejection of Punk’s ideals often leads to a brutal beat down by his Straight Edge Society. On the verge of Punk’s hotly-anticipated WrestleMania 26 match with Rey Mysterio, Marvel.Com spoke with the WWE superstar about his love for comics and appearing on the grandest stage of them all.
Like many comic book fans, Punk’s passion began at a young age, he explained. “My first job was at a comic book store and Larry Hama’s G.I. JOE is what got me into comics. It’s funny because it’s such a well-written book and to start off reading that really set the bar high. I initially read it because I was a fan of the cartoon, the toys and all that, but the comic was so sophisticated, so sleek and so different from the cartoon. Then I discovered comic shops once Gas City [a gas station franchise with attached stores] stopped carrying comic books and I couldn’t get my monthly G.I. JOE fix.
Skysports.com caught up with Mr Money In The Bank CM Punk ahead of Judgement Day, which is live on Sky Box Office on May 17.
The two-time Money In The Bank winner has yet to cash in his championship challenging contract, with Umaga the latest fighter to stand in his way.
And as Punk concludes his preparation for the match with the Samoan Bulldozer, Skysports.com caught up with the Straightedge Superstar to talk about his rapid rise up the WWE ladder, and the bumps he has taken along the way.
Here is an preview:
Q: Which wrestler did you most admire growing up? Who was an inspiration?
A: That’s a hard question to answer because there are so many. Shawn Michaels is definitely one and he is pretty relevant because he’s still with the company. Ricky Steamboat and Bret Hart as well, those three guys are probably the big ones.
Q: Was there a particular moment or match where you thought ‘this is it, this is what I want to do’?
A: Ever since I can remember remembering this is what I have wanted to do. This is the only thing I have ever wanted to do. I generally equate watching Rowdy Piper smash a coconut over Jimmy Snuka’s head thinking ‘wow I want to smash stuff over people’s heads and get paid for it’.
Q: Do you think it’s important to keep the old and new breed together in the business? How do you see that going forwards?
A: There are plenty of veterans involved that don’t actively wrestle: Arn Anderson, Ricky Steamboat, even though he just competed at WrestleMania and Backlash, Mike Rotunda [aka Irwin R.Schyster], Dean Malenko. These guys are still around even though they’re not in the ring, they’re still there with their wealth of knowledge and they’re there for the young guys to pick their brains. It’s important to have the connection with the past. Without them and what they did we’re nothing.
Q: Mickey Rourke’s film ‘The Wrestler’ highlighted some of the brutal realities of wrestling and I was just wondering how many times do you fight a week? How do you cope with that strain on your body physically?
A: Normally in the States it’s four times a week. Physically you’ve got to stay in shape. I stretch, I work out, I drink a lot of water and I try to eat right.
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On wwe.com when CM Punk was asked which WWE Legend he feels he is most like, he went with Bret Hart.
I think it may sound egotistical to liken yourself to any WWE Legend, but if I there was anybody to liken myself to, it was a guy like Bret “Hit Man” Hart, who was more about what he did in the ring than outside the ring. There are a lot of similarities between he and I. I’m not the biggest guy, I’m not the fatest, I’m not the smartest. I’m a jack of all trades, a little bit of everything. I’d like to think I bring at least that to the table.