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Cult of Personality: An Interview With WWE Superstar CM Punk (A WWE Pay-Per-View Preview: “Payback” Live at Allstate Arena – Sunday, June 16)

Debbie Jun 15, 2013

CM Punk takes a seat to address the media before WrestleMania 29. Photos by Mike Mastrandrea

Most wrestlers wouldn’t think of themselves as underdogs after a 434-day reign with the most prestigious title in the business. They also probably wouldn’t feel they had anything to prove after they just took part in a match that was nearly universally acclaimed as the high point of WrestleMania 29.

Clearly, CM Punk is not most wrestlers. Even with everything he’s accomplished over the past few years, he’s still driven by his desire for more. It’s an unwillingness to rest on his laurels, of course, but it’s also the first of many contradictions that help explain his character both in and out of the ring.

Punk is a former indy star who has made it near the top of the WWE. He’s one of the top guys anywhere with a microphone in his hand, yet he’s currently paired up with Paul Heyman — something he says was to “get people to hate me more.” And though his WWE tagline has been “Best in the World” for some time, he’s a perfectionist who could still do more, a least in his own mind.

“This is a problem I’ve been struggling with lately,” Punk said to the media assembled Sunday afternoon for the pre-WrestleMania press conference. “I’m never happy with anything I do.”

That didn’t mean he was upset at working with The Undertaker and getting the (ultimately unsuccessful) opportunity to break “The Streak.” Punk made it clear that he was grateful to be up against the Deadman, but that his ultimate goal was to be in the last match on the WWE’s biggest show.

Debbie Apr 16, 2013