Recently, there was a huge surge in the iTunes popularity of Living Colour’s 1985 song “Cult of Personality.”
It’s a rockin’ tune from the 1980s, but it’s hard to believe that comeback just came out of nowhere.
No, this just shows that when it comes to CM Punk, people are listening.
That goes for what he says –and he says a lot these days – or for his new entrance music that goes along with his new brash approach to being one of the WWE’s top superstars.
For more from CM Punk, go to the Red Mask blog here to read what he wants to do to Kevin Nash.
Punk is scheduled to wrestle in Trenton on Saturday night in the main event at the Sun National Bank Center, and he’ll likely take a few minutes to tell the wrestling fans in Jersey what he’s thinking.
He’s certainly not shy, as he has taken everyone in the wrestling business to task of late. He even told WWE chief operating officer Triple H on several occasions that his wife – WWE corporate VP Stephanie McMahon – wears the pants in the family.
He’s also spoken out about nearly every aspect of the way the WWE operates, something few superstars are willing to do.
“I was frustrated for quite a while, and I just started to speak my mind,” the two-time WWE champ said. “My contract was up at the end of July and I figured ‘What are they going to do, fire me a few days early?’
“I just kind of went off the reservation.”
His newfound honesty has produced several results, including putting a lot of fans behind him.
“I didn’t do it to get a reaction, but it just felt right,” he said. “I go by feel, and if something feels like the right thing to do, I just do it. The reaction has certainly been interesting.”
It’s also gotten him booked in a match at Night of Champions with Triple H, who doesn’t share Punk’s view on his marital arrangement and how it dictates his in-ring decisions.
“I thought that old Trips was done until at least WrestleMania, so this was certainly unexpected,” he said. “But this is exactly where I need to be. I want nothing less than the biggest matches with the biggest guys. I operate much better in high pressure situations.”
Punk has certainly had some of those lately, including his victory over John Cena for the WWE title on July 17 – the day his contract with the company ended.
After running around for a couple of weeks attending ball games – the Chicago native is a big Cubs fan – and interrupting ComiCon panel discussions, he came back to the WWE only to find Cena holding what should have been his title.
After beating Cena again at SummerSlam, he was attacked by Kevin Nash, which allowed Alberto Del Rio to cash in his “money in the bank” contract and defeat a tired Punk to snatch the title away just when he had regained it.
With a slew of rivals to choose from lately, none is bigger than Cena, who seems on the surface to be Punk’s polar opposite.
“Honestly, I think we have a lot more in common than people think,” Punk said. “I don’t always agree with him, and he doesn’t always agree with me, but we’re a lot alike. John is like Superman, and I’m like Batman. He won’t swear or break rules to get the job done, but I’ll break a leg to get some answers.”
“I think having polarizing characters is a great thing,” he added. “It seemed like for a while I was being cheered out of the blue just because some people love to hate Cena, but some of things I’ve been saying are really starting to resonate with people.”
He’s far from being all talk, though.
Punk has been busting it in the ring for a long time, including getting a fractured skull in a previous trip to New Jersey. (He was hurt in a freak accident in a match in Elizabeth in 2002.) Just like he is not shy with the microphone, he has not backed down from putting in the time to become the star he is today.
“I drove all over the country and wrestled for a hot dog and a handshake for the experience of it,” he said. “I just wanted to work every day. If I was a welder, I would weld every day, and if I was a painter, I would paint every day.”
The work has paid off, as Punk is one of only three men to win the WWE title, the World Heavyweight title and the ECW championship in his career. (Kane and the Big Show are the others.)
His T-shirt says he’s the “best in the world,” and Punk goes out to the ring every night to show people why.