It’s not surprising that CM Punk cites the radical “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as a childhood influence. After all, Punk is the embodiment of the anti-establishment, whose skill at igniting verbal “pipe bombs” is rivaled only by Hot Rod himself.
Punk even looks the part of rebel with his too-numerous-to-count tattoos and body piercings. Yet, he waxes way more philosophical than his exterior might suggest, and has shown a diverse set of interests that include ghost hunting, G.I. Joe and the “Straight Edge” movement, a subculture that rejects the use of drugs, alcohol and a dependency lifestyle.
His in-ring repertoire is an assimilation of fighting styles, all of which were put on full display during his debut in The Land of the Extreme in 2006. Since then, Punk has added many accomplishments to his considerable résumé, including the ECW, WWE, World Heavyweight, World Tag Team and Intercontinental Championships.
Today, Punk is headlining pay-per-views — and he’s doing so in spite of the events of 2011, when he assailed Mr. McMahon with his blunt opinions about the business and made a bold promise not to renew his contract with the company. Punk’s criticism struck a nerve with The Chairman who, against his better judgment, granted The Second City Saint a WWE Championship Match at WWE Money in the Bank in the Superstar’s native city, Chicago. Punk not only beat John Cena to win that match, but he also absconded with the WWE Championship as the seconds on his WWE contract ticked down.
Fortunately for WWE fans everywhere, Punk agreed to re-sign with WWE weeks later, compelled to return to the ring to prove that he’s the undisputed “Best in the World.” The Voice of the Voiceless advocated on behalf of disenchanted WWE fans who felt the WWE product was in need of a good (roundhouse) kick in the teeth. He became two-time WWE Champion, The Second City Saint proving his mettle by defeating the likes of Chris Jericho, Alberto Del Rio, Daniel Bryan and other elite Superstars.
At Raw’s historic 1,000th episode, CM Punk retained the WWE Championship against John Cena, but refused to save his opponent from an attack by Big Show. Instead, The Rock ran to ringside to save Cena, with the champion slowly retreating to the backstage area. But as soon as The Great One was about to deliver a colossal People’s Elbow to a fallen Show, Punk returned and nailed The Brahma Bull with a clothesline and GTS.
Following his indelible impact at Raw 1,000, a bitter Punk made it known he felt slighted by the WWE Universe as well as his peers in the locker room, including John Cena. Punk found an ally on his mission for respect in Paul Heyman, the founder of the original ECW who is credited with jump-starting The Second City Saint’s WWE career back in 2006. When asked about the nature of his new association with Heyman, Punk’s reply echoed one of the most quoted portions of his infamous first “pipe bomb” in July 2011: “I’m a Paul Heyman guy.”
CM Punk has the distinction of having the sixth-longest WWE Championship reign of all time, having held the title for 434 days before finally losing it to The Rock at the 2013 Royal Rumble.
At WrestleMania 29, CM Punk will attempt to do what no one has ever been able to do: defeat the Undertaker at WrestleMania and end his winning streak.
The Straightedge Superstar has taken his thrill for living the clean life outside of the ring. He was chosen to pen the introduction to the comic book event of the year, Marvel’s Avenger’s vs. X-Men; had his first WWE autobiographical DVDBest in the World shoot to the top of the charts and is on the cover of the WWE ‘13 video game. Punk has thrown out the first pitch Wrigley Field home of his beloved Chicago Cubs and was the Grand Marshall of the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He has made numerous television appearances including The Talking Dead, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Conan, Monster Garage on the Discovery Channel and Ghost Hunters on Syfy. The music fan also served as guest- correspondent for FUSE and made appearances on Major League Baseball, VH1 and Attack of the Show. CM Punk has also been featured in magazines including Men’s Fitness, Maxim, Spin and Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness.
Punk can be seen each week on USA Network’s Monday Night Raw at 8/7c.