Phillip Jack Brooks, born October 26, 1978 and better known by his ring name, CM Punk, was a back yard wrestler who gave up the hobby in 1999 in order to train in the Steel Dominion Wrestling school of Chicago Illinois under established professional wrestlers Ace Steel, Danny Dominion and Kevin Quinn. Punk went on to win Steel Domain Television championship and would then give back to professional wrestling by becoming a trainer himself for Steel Domain and Primetime Wrestling. His work as a trainer got him hired by the ROH Academy, which he became the first head trainer of.Between this time, CM Punk spent the years working for various promotions across the globe - his most notable work being in Ring of Honor and World Wrestling Entertainment. He set himself apart from his coworkers with a "Straight Edge" gimmick, which consisted of him flaunting his (completely legit) Straight Edge lifestyle over other wrestlers, telling them and anyone else who would listen that "I'm better than you!" because of it. This lead to him heading a growing faction in WWE called the Straight Edge Society, which promised to "save" people from their self-destructive lifestyles by helping them embrace the principles and beliefs of a Straight Edge lifestyle.However his rise to WWE Superstardom came during the year of 2011, during the "Summer of Punk". On the June 27th RAW, he dropped his first (and most acclaimed) pipe bomb by cutting a Worked Shoot on Vince McMahon. Then after the Money in the Bank PPV on July 17th, he became one of the very few men to walk out on WWE still holding the WWE Championship. After his return and regaining the belt, he held the title for 434 days, becoming the longest reigning WWE Champion of the Modern Era.On January 27, 2014, Punk walked out on WWE, supposedly due to creative issues and as of May 29, 2014, Punk has officially retired from Professional Wrestling.Punk is married to fellow WWE wrestler AJ Lee.You can read all about his career in the indies and WWE over on That Other Wiki.
"These tropes are the Best in the World"
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Anti-Heroic BSOD: Jericho bringing up Punk's alcoholic father as a sticking point for his Straightedge lifestyle and promising to make Punk "drink" his loss away after Wrestlemania sent Punk into this. All he did after Jericho's promo was pick up his championship and walk away, head tilted down, in a sullen mood.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking / Achievements in Ignorance: Punk tore down WWE in a Worked Shoot, made the most ridiculous demands of any sort of contract in WWE history, ran off with the WWE title in the middle of his hometown of Chicago one hour before his contract expired, ascending to superstardom in the process, yet the one thing that makes him memorable, the one thing that he considers better than winning the World title three times, the one thing that he considers his greatest accomplishment... is making Vince McMahon apologize to him on live television.
Aside Glance: Gives these whenever someone (usually Triple H, John Laurinaitis, or Michael Cole) says something off-the-wall, nonsensical, or just plain stupid. It's also the basis for the "CM Punk Is Not Impressed" meme.
Ascended Extra: Punk's first Wrestlemania appearance was in Wrestlemania 22... as a literal extra in top star John Cena's entrance as Cena defended his WWE Championship against Triple H. Less than six years later, Punk was the WWE Champion defending his title against John Cena.
Artifact Title: The CM part of his name, which was from when he was in a tag tam called the Chick Magnets, with a wrestler called CM Venom. Nowadays it basically has whatever meaning Punk comes up with when asked.
Atomic S Bomb: After what Jericho brought up about Punk and his family's addiction issues, you could hardly blame Punk for what he said next:
CM Punk: Jericho, YOU'RE BULLSHIT!! You're bullshit and that's exactly what I'm gonna beat out of you!
Badass: As much as he can be a whiny, lying, preachy and obnoxious jackass, Punk is a very talented wrestler.
During his feud with Paul Heyman towards the end of 2013, he sported Wolverine-like sideburns, possibly to match his crazed, bloodthirsty attempts at hurting Paul Heyman for betraying him at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view.
After Randy Orton destroyed all of his minions in the New Nexus, Punk openly admitted he didn't give a shit about any of them and didn't care that Orton essentially hospitalized them all. Even when they weren't getting kicked in the head or being forced through insane initiation processes, he didn't care about the well being of Nexus.
Although it's a little ironic since while he was actually punting them, Punk seemed almost desperate to stop him. Likely an attempt to make Punk actually look like the face in this feud.
Granted, he preferred to have minions around to do his dirty work. Now that it's done and they're crippled, he doesn't really give a shit about them any more.
He's seemingly faced one in John Laurinaitis, whose "efforts" to be spontaneous and unpredictable have been a thorn in Punk's side.
Bald of Evil: Punk has hair, but part of joining the Straight Edge Society involves the person's head being shaved. Punk explained the reasoning behind not shaving his own head by saying that his hair was a sign of purity - a sign that he had never let any drugs or illicit substances enter him.
At Over The Limit 2010, Punk was shaved bald after losing to Rey Mysterio (per a pre-match stipulation). For weeks, Punk refused to show his bald head and wore a specially-designed SES mask to hide it (he received a legitimate head injury during the match that required stitches, which may have also contributed to the decision to use the mask). On the July 16, 2010 episode of WWE SmackDown!, The Big Show dragged him on top of a giant ladder, put him in a headlock, and removed the mask, letting the world see a bald CM Punk for the first time.
Bash Brothers: In order, CM Venom, Colt Cabana, Ace Steel, Julio Dinero, Lucy, Seth Skyfire, Kofi Kingston, Luke Gallows
While not the traditional goatee, Punk grew a "Jesus beard" to go with his evil cult-leader SES persona.
He did trim it back to a shorter, unkempt shag...in any case, he's tended toward less facial hair as a face, instead opting for the Perma Stubble look.
Be Careful What You Wish For: Many of the same fans who wanted to see Punk be the man to bring back Attitude-style edginess to the WWE product have started getting their feathers ruffled by Punk and Paul Heyman's risque heel promo work in late 2012, especially after they started mocking Jerry Lawler's real-life heart attack for heel heat. Where Punk stands on the line of edgy and offensive is left up to the viewer—what isn't is that upper-level baddies in the Attitude Era were very familiar with that line in addition to obtaining traditional heel heat.
Real Life example: according to Punk's old LiveJournal, he will be livid if a cop pulls him over and then calls for a drug-sniffing dog to go over the car. Allison Danger was with him at the time, and the instant she saw the dog she knew he was about to go apeshit, which is kind of funny.
Allison Danger (looking in the side mirror of [Punk's] car): Um, Punker, I want you to keep calm.
Punk: Huh? I am calm, I just think it's stupid that (Punk sees that the second squad is a K-9 unit) WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!?
WWE Kayfabe-wise, Bringing up his family's past drug and alcohol problems apparently doesn't go over too well with him either. Jericho did it, and Punk blew his top.
Spilling his soda.
Paul Heyman once brought up the disconnection and dysfunction in Punk's family, saying the WWE fans were the only real "family" Punk has left. Cole and JBL even felt Heyman had gotten too personal with that comment and Punk's expression turned downright MURDEROUS.
Someone else mention that they are the best and if someone is cutting a promo mention said word, he will come out and interrupt them to set them "straight". Chris Jericho and he had a feud over it, which quickly went personal.
Speaking of promos, never interrupt Punk while he is speaking. Like, ever.
Big Damn Heroes: While working at OVW he made a one night return to Ring Of Honor at ROH Unscripted II after TNA had, once again, let its talent work for ROH only to pull them out, teaming with Bryan Danielson to defeat Jimmy Rave and Adam Pearce.
Big Brother Instinct: In Kayfabe and Real Life. Kayfabe-wise, during the Chicago Street Fight with Chris Jericho, his sister smacked his opponent. The moment Jericho went after her, Punk lost it and beat the shit of Jericho, including putting him through the Spanish Announcers Table with a flying elbow. In Real Life, he states that the WWE is a family and sees much of the younger talent (especially the divas) as younger siblings, and won't hesitate to defend them from outsiders.
The time he was a guest commentator on an episode of NXT season 3. At the end of the broadcast he said he'll return the following week. He never did. This wasn't by choice, he was initially supposed to remain on NXT until the season ended but WWE removed him, apparently because his presence made the show entertaining.
He claimed Cena had attacked from him behind with a steel pipe, and when he went backstage to look for a doctor, he happened upon Mick Foley, who'd stared at him and then muttered something under his breath that was disrespectful towards Punk, so of course he'd laid him out.
In this case it was a half-truth; Cena attacked Punk with a steel pipe the moment Punk turned around, so it could be considered a blindsiding. Also, Foley did regard Punk with what seemed to be a look of disgust as Punk walked by him backstage.
Subverted with the claim that no, The Shield were not working for him to protect his title. Turned out they were, but he honestly believed otherwise, as Heyman had commissioned them without his knowledge.
A really weird case, Punk's natural hair color seems to be a very dark blond, and when he was a face his hair was long and dark looking, but after he got his hair cut, it's regrowing in it's blond state, coincidentally, he's gotten even more diabolical and vicious as a heel.
Except that he seems to have dyed it black again...
He sported long blonde hair back in his Ring of Honor and indie days.
His hair is definitely a natural dark brown because of his facial hair and Punk's been dying his hair different colors over the years that include a bright red and blonde from his Indy days. After his hair started growing back in late 2010 he had blonde high-lights, as it started getting longer he began having his hair slicked back with tons of gel that would make it look a lot darker and almost black.
Colt Cabana and Ace Steel, his teammates in the Second City Saints, joined him in signing with WWE, but Punk was the only one to make it big. Ace Steel never made it out of developmental, while Colt Cabana's run on WWE programming lasted all of four months and he'd be the first to tell you that it didn't exactly work out.
Punk has been this to every stable he has ever joined in the WWE. For example, the heel stable New Breed on ECW (which he joined for all of two weeks), and he's the only one still employed by the company as a wrestler. It became blatantly obvious over the course of his joining, leaving, and subsequent feud with them that he was the only one that had any sort of real future in the company — the rest are now in the indies. Every stable that he has joined since then has him being the most successful of the bunch (the SES, the New Nexus) — though this is mainly due to him being already well-established before he joins.
A minor example in his earlier WWE days when he teamed with Kofi Kingston. After they dropped the Tag Titles, Punk went on to win multiple World Championships, with one such reign became the longest reign in the modern era. Kofi, however, is stuck in midcard hell, jobbing to the bigger talents on the roster.
His first championship reign had these. He became champion after Batista gave Edge a Batista Bomb: Punk took advantage of the ambush and cashed in his Money In The Bank. He lost his championship after Kevin Nash gave him a Jackknife Powerbomb and Alberto Del Rio cashed in his Money In The Bank.
Internet rumor is that he goes to lengths to provide writers with these. Two examples, in particular, were when he reminded everyone during his Nexus feud with John Cena that Cena spilled his Diet Pepsi and when he reminded writers that he had already feuded with Randy Orton for Orton's Legacy costing him his first WWE championship reign.
Byronic Hero: As a face he's an intelligent, charismatic man deeply unhappy with the way the world is, troubled by his anger, cynicism and motivated more than a little bit by selfish desire, but ultimately he's a honorable sort who won't hesitate to call out injustice and dishonesty and attempts to make the world a better place.
One of the few wrestlers in WWE with actual chest hair; he went with a Beard of Evil too, so maybe he's just playing into Beauty Equals Goodness and trying to make himself appear uglier than he actually is.
He's gotten tattoos all across his upper chest.◊ At this point, he looks like he has a nice pelt going whether he actually does or not.
Ironically enough, because of his Straight Edge beliefs, he's actually against casual sex. While he may date a lot of girlfriends, he doesn't just use women. He acknowledged this in a promo during his feud with Raven in Major League Wrestling in 2003, thus contrasting himself with the sex-drugs-and-wrestling-addled Raven.
Ladykiller in Love: Recently got married to AJ Lee. She's probably one of the few women (if not the only woman) that Punk has ever entertained the idea of marrying.
Character Development/Characterization Marches On: Say what you will of Punk, but his character in WWE has been in constant change. He started out as a guy whose only addiction was competition, due to his Straight Edge beliefs. Then he turned heel and started a stable the Straight Edge Society, and later took over The Nexus to avenge the fact he had to forfeit his World Heavyweight title two years prior thanks to Orton. Then he cut the "Pipe Bomb", in which he stated he would leave WWE with the WWE Championship title and did, but later returned and turned face, and became this anti corporate rebel type character. Then a year later he turned heel again, after claiming he didn't get enough respect, claimed his face period was all a lie, and became a raving mad heel, and as of 2013 managed to turn face again without changing his characterization at all.
Cheap Heat: In IWA-Midsouth in particular, he was known for singling out a single fan and relentlessly insulting them or challenging them to come in the ring with him.
Cheshire Cat Grin: During the October 10th, 2011 episode of Raw, Triple H, with vastly limited resources due to the 51-person walkout, makes a match between John Cena and Sheamus, two of three Superstars remaining on the show, with himself as ref. Punk, rightfully, feels left out, until Trips points out there's an empty announce table with Punk's name on it. You can see Punk's face light up at 18:33.
He got to be the timekeeper, too. For double pay!
"Chess Master" Punk: On the December 28, 2010 episode of Raw, John Cena called Punk out to the ring, but Punk refused to bite, saying that he would call out Cena later. Towards the end of the show, Cena refused to let Punk call him out and returns to the ring, calling Punk out again. Instead, The Nexus come out, with David Otunga remarking that Nexus "is under new management" before offering Cena a truce (which Cena refuses). The Nexus then attack Cena, leaving him laying in the ring once again...then CM Punk comes to the ring and reveals that he's the new leader of the group. Punk falls under both this and Magnificent Bastard when you realize that Punk had figured out everything Cena would do before Raw had even started.
The Chew Toy: Ever since his latest Face turn, Punk's been dealing with an inordinate number of feuds that feature him against two or more heels. His long-running feud with Paul Heyman extended to Heyman's clients, Ryback and Curtis Axel. Then, after feuding very briefly with The Wyatt Family, he found himself beaten beaten to a pulp by The Shield. At least he had some help here from the New Age Outlaws... until theyturned on him as well not long into the new year.
Chivalrous Pervert: Punk doesn't take kindly to people hitting on his coworkers loudly and pathetically.
Comically Missing the Point: On the October 10th, 2011 edition of RAW, the majority of Punk's explanation for not walking out with the majority of the roster is this. While he and the 51 walk-outs both wanted change, Punk was upfront about his problems, confronting Vince McMahon and settling his issues with Cena and Triple H in the ring, not hiding behind lawyers and staging "hippie barbecues", in his own words, in the parking lot.
He also said this on Twitter even before that, including a couple of precision F strikes he would quickly rephrase within hours, such as "Walking out is a pussy move."
On the 900th Episode of Raw, Punk showed some clips from Raw's past shows to show the show's lack of "Family Values". One clip he showed was from Episode #691 where John Cena threw Edge into the Long Island Sound. After watching the clip, Punk quoted "Ladies and Gentlemen, I, for one would never throw another competitor into any body of water". This Blatant Lie is in all likelihood a direct reference to Punk's "Gulf Of Mexico Match" that he had with Chavo Guerrero Jr on ECW in February 2008.
When accepting his 2010 Slammy award, he greeted Kelly Kelly, a girl he dated as part of a feud in WWECW (and if the rumors are true, in real life as well), with a rather passionate hug.
His feud with Randy Orton was started because Orton KICKED HIM IN THE HEAD two years ago.
He plans on leaving the WWE with the WWE title just like he did ROH.
He is one of the few Superstars who really does keep continuity as much as possible. In addition to the Kelly and Orton moments above, he also hung a lampshade about Vince's stip to have Cena fired if Cena did not beat Punk at Money in the Bank, stating that Cena's stipulated "retirement" in 2010 lasted all of a week. He also brought up the failed runs of Colt Cabana and Luke Gallows during his worked-shoot run during that feud.
He also brought up being part of Cena's gangster posse at Wrestlemania 22 during his feud with him, something that had not really been acknowledged on-air before.
During the first Summer of Punk in ROH, Punk switched his music to "Cult of Personality" by Living Colour. When he returned to WWE television in the second iteration, his music had changed to..."Cult of Personality."
Cue the Flying Pigs: Punk's great at inciting this kind of reaction. For starters, there was that time Punk made Vince apologize to him... on live television. Note that the only other guy who has ever done this in WWE history is Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Concerning their past history, seeing CM Punk and John Cena in a match together as a TAG TEAM is still pretty surreal. note They were with Big E Langston as well, but still...
And during his tenure as leader it appeared as if the New Nexus was one as well.
Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Busted out an old-fashioned piledriver in his 2/25/13 RAW main event against John Cena (Cena still won, of course).
Dark Messiah: When he dips into the darker side of his "Straight Edge" gimmick, proclaiming himself "better than you", he attempts to "save" people from their vices and addictions...while being a complete Jerkass.
Punk was one of the first people against Triple H becoming C.O.O. and there was at least a month of build-up of their feud. Following his defeat at Night Of Champions, Punk just doesn't seem to care anymore, even though none of his issues were directly addressed. He was even conspicuously absent during the whole vote of confidence thing.
1. Punk came out the night after NOC and admitted that Hunter wasn't part of the conspiracy like he originally suspected, so he's somewhat in the dark on the matter, that being he now suspects "Funkman". 2. Triple H also came out and allayed Punk's complaints by giving him what he deserved, a WWE Title match without outside interference (albeit, Hell in the Cell, but Punk wasn't picky). 3. Punk explained after the walkout, first on Twitter then the following week on Raw, why he didn't show up or follow: that the so-called "Agents of Change" were Comically Missing the Point on making change by not doing it personally and physically in the ring like he did.
Defeating the Undefeatable: Punk is this to Cena. Every major match the two have had against each other in last two years has had Punk somehow come out on top, and that issue is what grates Cena so much and makes Punk one of his greatest rivals and enemies. Cena finally beat Punk on the February 25, 2013 episode of RAW.
Determinator: Punk wrestled through a fractured skull, without pain medication. In OVW, Danny Inferno punched him hard enough to beak his nose and rupture his eardrum but still finished their match.
Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Punk deliberatelyinvoked this, interrupting Taker's tribute to Paul Bearer, assaulting Kane with Bearer's iconic urn following their no-DQ match, and doing Undertaker's tributary pose with said urn in hand. He's either trying to turn the tables by playing mind games with Taker, or seriously asking for a death wish by hammering the Phenom's Berserk Button.
Disproportionate Retribution: Berating and kicking Jerry Lawler in the head was one thing, but barricading him in a steel cage and beating him mercilessly just for not saying Punk's "best in the world" goes to show that Punk's "Respect" trip has sent him over the edge.
Dumb Muscle: Played with, in that former Straight Edge Society member Luke Gallows was, for some time, the Gentle Giant Festus; Punk claimed that it was pills that caused Luke to act "how other people wanted him to act", that those people were the ones who got him addicted to said pills, and that Punk had "saved" Gallows from those people by pulling him into the Straight Edge lifestyle.
He was also one of the gangsters during John Cena's Wrestlemania 22 entrance.
Enemy Mine: When most of WWE walked out, CM Punk came to support Triple H and John Cena (Sheamus was there too, but Punk has nothing against him) in standing up for WWE. He lampshades this trope pretty effectively in the process.
In October 18, 2013, he briefly teams up with Big E Langston to take on Ryback and Curtis Axel after Paul Heyman insults the latter.
Et Tu, Brute?: Punk literally had the RAW Money in the Bank Ladder match in 2013 won, but was robbed of his third MiTB win by his own best friend — Paul Heyman. To say Punk was pissed would be a severe understatement.
Despite being a heel, even Punk was disgusted by Michael Cole cheering (and interfering) for The Miz over his own broadcast partner Jerry "the King" Lawler in the TLC match involving the two for the WWE Championship.
Also, his late 2012 "RESPECT!" gimmick, which originally came about as a result of being forced to take a back seat to John Cena and The Rock despite being the reigning WWE champion at the time. While Punk has taken the gimmick and made it his own, those with good memories will remember that WWE ran a markedly similar storyline in the buildup to Wrestlemania 27 with The Miz as champion.
While Punk was feuding with Raven in ROH and MLW in 2003, he was also a member's of Raven's group the Gathering in TNA at the same time, and clearly drew inspiration from him for his cult leader act in WWE, who himself drew on Kevin Sullivan's Hollywood Satanism Florida heel run, and Jake "The Snake" Roberts.
Many people note that his anti-corporate rebel character is remarkably alike to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, especially if you want to see Cena as his version of The Rock. The only real discernible differences is that Punk prefers talking instead of beating the hell out of everybody, (though that didn't mean he didn't enjoy kicking ass as much as Austin did) and doesn't drink at all, due to being Straight Edge. They've even both walked out on the company now in Real Life, making it surprisingly odd when detractors who slam Punk for having done so decide to use Austin as an example of guys who were "far more loyal / dedicated / professional" than Punk.
Punk accomplished this in WWE by feuding with Jeff Hardy in the summer of 2009, eventually bringing the dickish "Straight Edge means I'm better than you" persona that made him a star in the indies into WWE.
During the end of his run in Ring of Honor, he won the ROH title as a face and immediately proclaimed his plans to take it WWE, going so far as to sign his development contract in the middle of the ring on top of the belt.
In 2007, when he was still part of the ECW brand, Punk turned heel and joined the New Breed. It lasted all of two weeks.
Turned heel in the midst of his 434-day title reign when he felt disrespected (justified to an extent) at being shunted down the card as WWE Champion while John Cena was constantly in the main event.
Whatever you do, don't spill his Diet Pepsi, which makes him a Straight Edge version of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. He held a grudge against Cena for it (along with the zillion or so other things Punk doesn't like about him.) Punk's was Cena's biggest critic since he started commentating on Raw. This was subverted when Punk made it clear that his What the Hell, Hero? moments are what his real issue is. The soda was just more of a smaller thing in a bigger issue.
Singing to Rey Mysterio Jr's daughter, it often lists him as being a Complete Monster for some reason. Yes, it was definitely creepy and a total dick move, but it's not clear how that puts him on par with total monsters.
In his early days on WWE's ECW brand, he used the Anaconda Vice; nowadays, his chief finisher is the GTS, or "Go To Sleep".
In the indies, he also had a top-rope Pedigree which he called the "Pepsi Plunge". Punk has gone on record saying that nobody in WWE told him he wasn't allowed to use it anymore, he stopped using it of his own accord.
Punk feud's with John Cena in the Summer of 2011 appears to be a rehash of the 2005 "Summer of Punk" storyline where Punk threatened to leave Ring of Honor for WWE with the ROH Championship. Unlike the first time, he successfully pulled it off with the WWE Championship... only to make his triumphant return two weeks later with "Cult of Personality", his old theme during the "Summer of Punk". The similarities are so striking the storyline has already earned the Fan Nickname of the "Summer of Punk II".
The storyline is so well-known for propelling Punk into superstardom that TNA attempted a storyline that was a blatant rip off of this one two years later, with AJ Styles as Punk and Dixie Carter as Vince. It failed for several reasons, the main reason being that this trope used to be known as the Seven Year Rule, because that's how long it takes fans to forget a storyline, allowing it to be rehashed for new wrestlers. Since this was two years after the original storyline and Punk was still in the WWE at the time, everyone could clearly see that this was one TNA's effort to recreate its magic. Another reason is that Dixie Carter shouldn't be on television, being a terrible on-screen personality, regardless of alignment. The last (and most ironic) reason is because Punk, who was well-known for his disputes with management, ended up re-signing because of this storyline. AJ Styles, for all his years loyally working for TNA, was also in similar Real Life contract disputes at the time during the storyline — but unlike Punk, he didn't re-sign, having finally gotten sick TNA's poor treatment of him and his coworkers, forcing the company to take the title off him and kill his career in TNA in the most convoluted way possible.
The storyline also incorporates elements of the Montreal Screwjob after Punk rants about everything that is wrong with the WWE, and Mr. McMahon responded by suspending him, ending his career with the WWE, until Cena convinced McMahon to reinstate Punk. McMahon's response to the plea take more from the prelude which involved McMahon being worried that one of his wrestlers would jump ship with a belt which turned out to be for a reason; he attempted to pull the same thing off against Punk, and it didn't work out thanks to Cena punching out the one sent to tell the timekeeper.
Also, the character of Punk, the straight-talking Anti-Hero who resonates so well with the fans that will ultimately lead to a new era of Darker and Edgier programming, is very similar to the push of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in the late 90s before the start of the Attitude Era. Fans have been comparing Punk to Austin, and this being the foreshadowing to the Second Attitude Era. Punk is only a step away from flipping off John Laurinaitis and giving him the GTS. Well, the second one has happened at least once.
A popular technical wrestler, whom has never won the Royal Rumble or main-evented Wrestlemania, faces both heavy opposition beset upon him by "authority" figures and insurmountable odds by being placed in the #1 spot for the Royal Rumble in Pennsylvania...and WWE would distance themselves from him after leaving the company...are we talking about Punk or you-know-who?
Follow the Leader: Darts player and CM Punk Fanboy Paul Nicholson has to this to a tee. Just compare this video of Nicholson's walk-on to Punk's entrance at Money in the Bank 2011 and it's practically a carbon copy. Past entrances also include wearing a Nexus-branded scarf, coming out to "We Are One" (Nexus' entrance theme), and having Xs drawn on his hand like Punk.
This may or may not have been somewhat contrived by Punk himself (see Continuity Nod), but his infamous Worked Shoot promo on the 6/27/11 RAW foreshadowed several things that have happened in storyline involving him in the year-plus since:
Also, he feuded with Triple H (which somehow morphed into Triple H vs. Kevin Nash, but hey, who's counting?)
Especially his bit comparing himself to Brock Lesnar (whose name hadn't been invoked in the WWE in years - he'd later reappear in the WWE after the following Wrestlemania - notably NOT feuding with Punk, who was champion at the time) and saying that both of them were Paul Heyman guys. Heyman reappeared after Punk's heel turn and aligned himself with Punk. Further invoked when the term "Paul Heyman guy" actually came into play again.
Punk also loves to do this on his Twitter occasionally. One example would be before his Face-Heel Turn where he made several references to his infamous "I am the Devil himself" speech from his Ring Of Honor days.
Fourth Wall Observer: Punk has subtly become this ever since his whole "Leaving with the title" story. After all, Punks whole idea of change in the WWE revolves around real life issues and the stuff he talks about can only barely make the cut to fit with the kayfabe world of wrestling. Example: Did anyone other then just me feel that at the contract signing for Punk and Cena's SummerSlam match, when Cena was talking about earning your opportunities, was anyone else waiting for Punk to flip the table and shout "Wrestling is scripted you idiot!! I can't earn my opportunities because its not up to me if I win my match!!!"
Friend or Idol Decision: During his WWE Title match with John Cena on the 1000th Raw episode, The Big Show comes down and batters Cena, KO'ing him with a right hand while the ref is out after a bump. Punk, having stood by and watched, seems conflicted about whether to wake the ref up and tell him about Show's interference or throw him back in to count the pinfall. He does the latter, only for Cena to kick out at the last second. This also serves to foreshadow Punk's Face-Heel Turn immediately after the match.
The "CM" in "CM Punk" used to stand for "Chick Magnet", the name of a tag team he was in during his backyard wrestler days. Later on, he declared that it had no real meaning, but has humorously made up different stories and meanings for it when asked about it.
Genre Savvy/Genre Blindness: CM Punk managed to be Genre Savvy while holding the Idiot Ball on the September 23 episode of Monday Night Raw. He told Paul Heyman, as precisely as the rest of this sentence, that he knew Heyman was essentially using himself as bait, so CM Punk would go after him and then be ambushed by Ryback and Curtis Axel. After saying this, he leaves the ring and attempts to get the jump on Heyman. Guess what happens.
Punk somehow showed off both these skills within the last 20 seconds off his match with Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 27. First, you have Punk approaching what looks like a vulnerable Randy Orton, cue the RKO outta nowhere!...except Punk is able to avoid it by ducking away right when Orton jumps, showing that Punk is familiar with Orton's technique of playing possum. But immediately after that, Punk decides to go for a springboard aerial move, showing that Punk is apparently not familiar with Orton's tendency to catch people in the air with an RKO (which inevitably happened, causing Punk to lose the match).
After winning the WWE Championship at the Money In The Bank PPV, Punk prevented Alberto Del Rio from pulling the classic Your Princess Is in Another Castle MITB cash-in by simply kicking him in the head and leaving with the title. (He didn't even bother pinning him, because what does he care if Del Rio still has a guaranteed title shot?) Doubles as a Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
He even Lampshaded Cena's Five Moves of Doom at Night of Champions in 2012. Cena went for his shoulder block combo early, and CM Punk quickly countered, which resulted in a standoff. Punk then tapped his own shoulder twice, pantomimed a missed punch and shook his head while saying something to Cena, seemingly telling him that he's too smart (in kayfabe) to fall for that like everyone else.
In that same match, CM Punk actually did end up getting the two shoulder blocks and then missing a right hand, which Cena countered into an attempted Protoplex. CM Punk countered into a crossbody, however— perhaps (again, in kayfabe) CM Punk purposely threw the punch because he knew it would lead to the Protoplex, which he was prepared to counter.
A God Am I: During a confrontation with The Rock on the first Monday Night Raw of 2013, CM Punk drops this pipebomb.
CM Punk: When you step into that ring, Rock, know that your arms are just too short to box with God.
Punk's changes in hair have matched his heel and face status.
Ring of Honor and faceWWE Punk had long, unkempt hair and no beard, marking him as a young, tough guy that had a strong sense of individuality and self-confidence.
Straight Edge Evil Punk grew a beard and chest hair, marking him as crazed and dangerous which fit with his character of an evil holy man.
His shaved head went hand in hand with a Humiliation Conga that saw the end of his tenure on Smackdown.
When he moved to Raw, his hair was at a scruff that really didn't stand out at all, he was a tweener commentator with a penchant for snark.
As he grew evil and took over The Nexus, his hair grew longer and now he's slicking it back and he now looks almost demonic, combined with his status as an uber-heelManipulative Bastard, it fits perfectly.
As for in Chicago, where he was practically a full blown Anti Hero Face? Started off slicked back, got scruffier as the show went on until he looked like a battle weary Badass, enjoying the fight he had and the fact he got the title in his hometown. Oh, and he shaved the evil looking goatee.
Now that he's heel again, he's shaved his hair and chin again.
And soon after he turned face at WWE Payback, his hair is again more scruffed up. His facial hair strikes a similarity to Wolverine.
Glory Seeker: Even after his vaunted 434-day championship reign ended, Punk would still seek respect and glory by any means, including challenging the Undertaker's Streak at WrestleMania 29 - something he himself admitted on April 15, 2013 episode of RAW.
Heel-Face Turn: Punk had been going full blown anti hero, what with fighting with the faces in a 12 man tag match and staying on Raw during the walk out. Hell, after Triple H saved him from a post match beatdown from Miz and R-Truth, he even did the standard face "thanks bro" handshake.
Heel Face Return: Managed it without changing his characterization at all. All he did was come back and people cheered him — though returning at a PPV in Chicago and subsequently ditching Paul Heyman soon afterwards certainly helped.
The 7/25/11 edition of RAW ends with John Cena winning the "championship" from Rey Mysterio Jr. Just before the show ends, "Cult of Personality"note his entrance theme when working in Ring of Honor and other indy shows blares over the arena, and CM Punk enters, holding the real WWE Championship belt.
Correctly and eerily predicted by Archie, the six-year-old son of Cousin Sal on Jimmy Kimmel Live, which was taped prior to that Raw's airing but aired an hour after Raw went off the air.
Hidden in Plain Sight: One of CM Punk's spots was to steal an article of clothing from the audience before hiding amongst the attendees (how well it worked varied on how much the crowd liked or hated him). He has done variations of it in WWE too, posing as musicians for Chavo Guerrero and Alberto Del Rio's celebrations and a camera man to jump Brock Lesnar.
CM Punk: "Ok... I respect the fact that each week, you come out each week, live, with this completely lost deer in the headlights look on your face. I respect the fact that you don't know how to hold a mic. I respect the fact that you would wrestle with a mullet and was never any good yet somehow still got to the top, showing the world new found levels of ass kissing, but above all I respect the fact that someone with so little has done so much. I.Respect.You."
Though it was more like how much more can Chris Hero take, as it took CM Punk 55 minutes to beat him in a Tables Ladders and Chairs match. Later topped when Hero won the IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship from Punk in a 2 out of 3 falls match lasting 92 minutes!
His match with John Cena at Money in the Bank 2011. Punk suffered an abdominal stretch, a suplex that took him out of the ring and landed him on his back onto the floor, several STFs, and around five AAs, all of which he kicked out of, and that's not counting all the punishment he took prior to all that. And he still won.
Humans Are Bastards: In early 2011, he climbed to the top of the TitanTron and threatened to jump off. The crowd chanted, "Jump! Jump!" Punk mocked them and stated he had no intention of jumping, he was testing them to see how they would react, and they failed miserably.
Showed up during his feud with Cena and Orton, particularly when he told Cena that "Good things happen to good people, and I am a good person." Look, Punk may have legitimate criticisms against Cena and Orton, but a good person he is not.
This is actually a large part of CM Punk's entire heel persona. Despite calling out his opponents for all the crap they pull, not only is he just as bad if not worse, but he's often guilty of the same exact things.
Cena eventually calls him out on this as part of a very well done Kirk Summation.
Punk himself has lampshaded this by putting variations of the following quote in the same segments where he is calling others out on their garbage:
"Am I a bad guy? Absolutely! I don't wear a white hat!"
Accuses the Rock of beating him for the title with Vince's help, when Vince only interfered because the Shield ambushed the Rock while the lights where out in an attempt to help Punk retain his title, and even then merely restarted the match.
He also recognized that he grabbed it when it came to Paul Heyman. It doesn't matter if you were best friends — Pauly would sell out his own mother if he saw the writing on the wall. The fact that he didn't realize this and trusted Paul is what probably pisses off Punk the most.
"This is not a belt, this is a championship title."
Averts it with the WWE-mandated practice of calling themselves "Superstars"; Punk will still refer to himself as a "wrestler" even as the company is trying to sever all ties to the word in the media and on-air.
Calling the Boston-raised John Cena "the New York Yankees" and trying to rub in Cena's Broken Base backfired on the August 8th, 2011 episode of RAW when Cena, after some thought, decided he liked the comparison in a different way because both of them get a huge reaction from the crowd, both positive and negative, using it in a pretty effective Shut Up, Hannibal!.
Kevin Nash once said Punk looks like a guy who should be managing a Waffle House. Punk's response: "I like Waffle House; I don't know why you would say that."
Punk and the Money in the Bank concept in general. Punk is the only one to have ever won the Money in the Bank Ladder match twice - and back-to-back to boot - and is the second person to cash in the briefcase twice. In fact, he cashed in his first one and won his first world title off of the other guy who's cashed in the briefcase twice - Edge. Then he won the WWE title at the 2011 Money in the Bank pay-per-view off of John Cena in his hometown of Chicago, in a match that would catapult him into superstardom after he ran off with said title on the night his contract expired - which happened to be the same night as the PPV.
The most ironic part? He would lose the WWE title to Alberto Del Rio, who cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase, which he won at the very same pay-per-view that Punk had won the title.
Punk tweeting "Walking out is for pussies" during the Triple H COO walk-out storyline, and then walking out on the company after the 2014 Royal Rumble.
It's All About Me: Or, the way he'd probably put it: "It's all about the WWE Champion...which just happens to be me."
What started as a feud over who was the best in the world, turned in to this when Chris Jericho revealed to the world that Punk's father and sister was addicts, alcoholic and drugs respectively. Punk was not pleased.
Punk won a Fatal Four Waynote That included Randy Orton, Sheamus and The Big Show to determine who would face Undertaker at WrestleMania and possibly end the streak. Punk made things personal when he interrupted Undertaker's tribute to Paul Bearer, who had died a week prior and stole the urn.
It became VERY personal for Punk when Paul Heyman cost him the Money in the Bank ladder match for the WWE Championship contract, especially since the two were best friends. Punk bluntly stated that he will take down everyone who benefited from Paul's betrayal, including his clients, his associates, his friends, his family, and anyone who stands between the two of them, and he will hurt him, and hurt him good.
It Will Never Catch On: Punk briefly wrestled for TNA. They saw nothing in him. Didn't even bat an eye when Punk ditched them to go wrestle for ROH. As of 2011, they must be starting to regret it.
Jack of All Stats: Good striker? He knows Muay Thai, so check. Submission maneuvers? Anaconda Vice and others, so check. Top-rope moves? Yep. A couple of power moves? Yes. He tends toward strikes and submissions, but mostly everything he does in the ring, he does well.
Punk's Live Journal (and, later, his Twitter) oftentimes comes off as the writings of a grumpy old man.
Also, his actual on-screen character. He openly admits that he might be a bad guy for some people, but he only wants the best for the wrestling business in general and will do anything to accomplish that.
Jerkass: As a Heel. As Rey Mysterio soon proved during their feud together circa 2010, the fans didn't hate Punk because he was Straight Edge — they hated him because he was an arrogant asshole.
His speech on 7/11/11 brought up a few interesting points, most notably that his speeches have made wrestling interesting to non-wrestling fans for the first time in god knows how long.
At the 2012 Slammy Awards, Punk went postal when John Cena won the "Superstar of the Year" award, demanding why someone who got destroyed by Brock Lesnar, lost to the Rock, lost to Punk, failed to win with MITB, and couldn't win Ziggler's title shot won an award over someone who held the WWE Championship every day of 2012. While these Slammys were determined entirely by popular vote, Punk brought up some credible points. To his credit, John Cena obviously agreed as the look on his face when he came out to recieve it was a combination of Oh Crap and This Is Gonna Suck, not aided by the fact that the award show was in Philadelphia.
Large Ham: He actually avoided veering into this territory when he did the Straight Edge gimmick on the indies, but the WWE version of it saw Punk turn up the hamminess after Luke Gallows showed up and Punk started adding religious overtones to his promos. Matt Striker giving Serena the distinction of being "Punk's Mary Magdalene" aided the religious overtones, so it's not just Punk's doing. On Punks DVD, he confirmed that this was the intent, and he could get away with much of it because he was at Smackdown at the time.
Or, in this case, WWE - CM Punk's defeat of Jeff Hardy in a steel cage match on SmackDown in 2009 sent Hardy packing.
Subverted with hits 2011 Money In The Bank match with John Cena. Punk was leaving either way, but if Cena lost the match and Punk left WWE with the title, Cena would be fired. Punk won, but Cena was saved by Triple H relieving Vince McMahon of his duties due to a vote of no confidence.
After losing the Ring Of Honor Championship to James Gibson, CM Punk had what was thought would be his final match for ROH with Colt Cabana, where he could be seen tearing up after it conclusion.
Punk was so overwhelmed by the loudly positive response to his ECW debut match that he cried afterward. In a taped segment the next week, he gave thanks.
Married to the Job: Punk's extremely dedicated to the wrestling business due to his love for it, and is known to never do anything halfway when it comes to wrestling. As a side effect, he's never had a steady girlfriend, in and out of the business, which is why he has a reputation as The Casanova.
Mask of Power: After being shaved bald until Big Show removed it.
Mean Character, Nice Actor: At least regarding his Straight Edge gimmick. Reportedly, in real life, he's closer to his face gimmick, for the most part indifferent to those who do drink, smoke, etc. It's only when he's playing a heel that the more militant "Better than you" persona comes into play.
Away from his straight edge gimmick, it's more of a mix. He does seem more polite than the character he plays (although it'd be hard not to), but he seems to have a low tolerance for stupidity and a short fuse. If you're deliberately being obnoxious, expect to get a verbal beatdown.
Messianic Archetype: Since starting his Straight Edge Society, he claims to be able to "save" people from their addictions. He even grew the Jesus beard and, at Elimination Chamber 2010, urged people watching the show to put their hand on the screen and "feel CM Punk flow through you."
This promo for the "Hell in the Cell" PPV, likely referencing his "victory speech" from Ring of Honor.
Even Lampshaded by Punk the week before the PPV when he asked the audience in an incredulous tone, "Am I really the Devil?" Many fans, even those who were fans of his, shouted "YES!"
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: After Daniel Bryan used Kane to attack Punk, Punk returned the favour. All that lead to was Laurinaitis putting Kane in the match between Bryan and Punk for the WWE Championsip at No Way Out.
No Sell: A verbal example during his first war of words with The Rock, which isn't easy by any stretch. Even John Cena reacts to the Rock's words, even if he's brushing off the insults with a laugh or a comeback. Punk? He's just staring a hole through Dwayne, only breaking silence during the "Cookie-Pus" chants, not to dissuade them like most would after a Rock insult, but to note how easy it is for Dwayne to get them to chant for ice cream like Punk did last year. The rest of the time, he maintains a nonplussed, almost bored look during the Rock's "kiddy" promo as if to ask, "Are you done yet?"
Not Me This Time: Said he didn't put The Undertaker in a coma, though he did say he wanted to. The July 2nd, 2010 episode of Smackdown confirmed he was telling the truth.
Not so Above It All: This is exemplified in his promo on the 11/7/2011 Raw, when Alberto Del Rio criticizes him for not asking him upfront about a WWE Title match and instead waited after Del Rio had been KO'd by Big Show to lock him in the Anaconda Vice and force him to grant Punk's title match. Punk turns it around on Del Rio, citing how he used shortcuts and blunt weaponry to garner his two title reigns. Punk lampshades the hypocrisy of that notion by admitting he's been just as "slimy and underhanded" in the past as Del Rio when it comes to some of his championshipvictories, but what surprised and disappointed him was that Del Rio wasn't expecting Punk to go that route.
Oh Crap: Part of Punk's excellent Wrestling Psychology is his expressive face; CM Punk is great at putting people over with the speed of his shift in attitude. Punk can go from smirking at his eminent victory to shitting his pants in terror at an unexpected turn of events in a matter of seconds.
Perfect example is when he faced The Undertaker at WrestleMania 29, Punk had Taker down with the Anaconda Vice Grip, it looked like Punk had it, when suddenly Taker rose up, still in the lock and looking Punk straight in the eyes in anger. Punk's reaction, well, just screamed "Oh CRAP!"
Only Sane Man: This is how Punk usually views himself even among his allies in the Second City Saints, now whether he actually is or not...
OOC Is Serious Business: After his close loss to The Undertaker at WM 29, rather than come out and brag about his title reign or talk about his greatness, Punk spoke rather humbly about his reign, saying he had always been looking for the next challenge around the corner and could never really enjoy his 434 days as WWE Champion. Even after finding a great challenge in Dwayne Johnson and losing the title to The Rock, Punk felt he found the ultimate challenge in trying to end Taker's streak. He took the Phenom to his limit...and the normally very verbose Punk simply stopped there, embraced Paul Heyman and walked off without saying another word, to the shock of both Heyman and the audience.
Pet the Dog: Repeatedly taking a beatdown from Kane, who was targeting him as being guilty for attacking The Undertaker. Why is this Pet the Dog? Punk had an alibi, but didn't want to reveal that Serena had been caught breaking her pledge to the Straight Edge Society (he forgave her the following week, though).
Pint-Sized Powerhouse: If you look at the power moves he uses, especially picking the Go To Sleep (a fireman's carry drop with a knee to the face) as his finisher, and that he can execute this move on huge men like Luke Gallows and Kane, this is pretty true.
The angle with John Cena landed him the complete opposite of X-Pac Heat. For the purposes of his feud with Cena, he was technically supposed to be a heel, but what Punk did with the angle was so awesome that by about a week before the PPV, most people in the crowd just couldn't boo him.
Referenced by John Cena, who commends Punk for being able to get this reaction. Interestingly enough, this has worked both ways and to some made Cena more likable as well, making their feud one of the most entertaining feuds of the generation.
It's reached to the point that even after turning heel, his fan base did not diminish in the least. Even having done some of the most reprehensible and outrageous acts in WWE history, people can't find it in themselves to just boo him.
On the second day of 2012, no less. This is what Punk says will happen if Johnny Ace screws him out of the WWE title.
"I'm gonna beat you like a bitch."
And it's not the harshness of the language, either. Punk probably swears the most out of any other wrestler (minus Steve Austin and The Rock) as he went on a Cluster Bitch Bomb with liberality. It's the context in which he used it, saying that he'll beat Lauranitis like a dog if screwed.
On the 3/19/2012 edition of Raw, they had to censor some the words he said to Jericho.
Put on a Bus: After his WrestleMania match against The Undertaker, to heal several injuries he's sustained during his run at the apex of the company. He returned two months later at the Payback PPV facing Chris Jericho.
Done so again when he abruptly left the company after the 2014 Royal Rumble.
The Quiet One: This is the last trope you find on the page of someone known for being outspoken in Punk, but he pulled it off. Punk comes out to face Jericho on the 2/6/2012 Raw, after Jericho bashed him for being a "Jericho wannabe", walks up to him, "pipe bomb" in hand and looks like he's about to go off on the former Y2J, but instead drops the mike, holds up his WWE title to incite the crowd, turns around and leaves a fuming Jericho in the ring, all without saying a word, a mocking, nonverbal Ironic Echo of Jericho's return and his subsequent "trolling" of the WWE fans.
CM Punk legitimately lives a Straight Edge lifestyle, and this eventually became the basis for his career-defining heel gimmick.
Also, CM Punk's winning Ring of Honor's world title in what was said to be his last scheduled match before leaving for WWE; instead of telling fans that he had more appearances scheduled before his actual departure, ROH let Punk lead the fans on that he was going to steal the title, take it to WWE with him, and break the title's line of succession. He even went so far as to sign his WWE contract on the belt in one of his most infamous promos.
Rumors of him not resigning with WWE led to a similar angle in which Punk has vowed to take the WWE title with him in exile upon defeating John Cena at Money in the Bank 2011. (Which he did.)
Potentially a Worked Shoot, but his feud with Jeff Hardy has many, many elements of this, Punk brought up some extremely reasonable points when pointing out the enabling nature of the fans and Jeff towards each other.
In WWE, there are a multitude of references towards Punk being extremely gifted in the women department, references that (by all accounts) are all true.
Punk's ECW championship win occurred when it did because John Morrison was about to go on a Wellness Vacation. It's believed that his initial Money In The Bank win happened under similar circumstances, as Jeff Hardy (whom WWE was pushing as their next big face at the time) did the same thing and missed WrestleMania because of it.
At the end of the 6/27/11 edition of Raw, Punk went off. Calling out Cena and Rock for kissing Vince's ass, name dropping Ring of Honor and other wrestling promotions, applauding Paul Heyman, and acknowledging a wallbreak. The show ends abruptly with his mic being cut off, though the audience was enjoying every second.
After talking about how Cena had always liked to consider himself the underdog just like the Boston Red Sox, Punk told him that it was no longer the case for either the man or the team.
Punk: I'm not gonna have you sit here and belittle me, say I've lost sight, I've lost sight of things, John? The reason I say I'm gonna take that and walk out is because I don't fit a certain mold, because I am the underdog, and that's exactly what you've lost sight of! Earlier in this ring, you mentioned great wrestlers like Eddie Guerrero and you said that they used to look at you and say "the kid couldn't hang," and now you stand here and look at me as the kid that can't hang...What you are is what you hate! You're the ten-time WWE Champion, you're the man! Ladies and gentlemen, the champ is here! You, like the Red Sox, like Boston, are no longer the underdog! You're a dynasty! You are what you hate! You have become the New [YorkYankees!"
Gives one to Triple H, John Laurinaitis, and John Cena on the August 8, 2011 RAW, calling the former two out on the firings of several superstars and the latter out on being above it all.
He would then level a MASSIVE one two weeks before the 2012 Royal Rumble at Johnny Ace, seen here. It's especially notable in that it was the one thing that finally caused Johnny to lose his cool.
Punk: You don't like me, but it has nothing to do with who I am and if I could be your psychologist for a moment, it has everything to do with who you are not. See, the people have no idea who you are. That's because when you were a competitor in sports entertainment as you like to call it, you had the look, but oh boy oh boy did you ever suck. And that must have been really, really difficult Johnny, your brother being one half of the legendary Road Warriors, and you never amounting to much more than roadkill. See you were boring, you weren't charismatic, you were vanilla—that's right, boring! And it kills you that you never made it to this stage, the WWE, as a competitor, so you traded in your lame-ass tights for your equally lame-ass suit. You went from somebody who just sucked to somebody who just sucked up. And now that you're your corporate Yes-Man, you take your eyes and you look at a guy like me and you can't stand the fact that the last year of my career, I've achieved more than you have in your entire life!
Recognition Failure: On filming the last Smackdown of 2011, a security guard refused to let Punk into the building, claiming he had never heard of him and refused to believe he was a wrestler. A second security guard was able to confirm Punk's identity and let him in.
Revenge by Proxy: Colt Cabana tied up Christopher Daniels while Punk threatened to murder Allison Danger in front of him in revenge for Daniels's attack on Lucy. Punk was mistaken, BJ Whitmer was the one who attacked Lucy in revenge for Punk knocking him out in their first match.
Running Gag: At the Royal Rumble 2010 event, Punk would find himself the only man in the ring several times, and would preach his Straight Edge lifestyle during the downtime. At the following PPV Elimination Chamber, Punk and R-Truth would start the match. Punk made short work of Truth and started right back where he left off at the Rumble.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In the summer of 2011, Punk had grown tired of his place in the WWE and decided to leave, but not before giving a speech about what just was wrong with WWE in general. He also decided to take the WWE title with him on his way out. Crossed over into a Real Life example in 2014 where he went home the day after the Royal Rumble and didn't come back.
Shadow Archetype: He and John Cena are almost complete opposites that also have a lot in common. John is a clean shaven, heavily muscled, classically handsome, rap loving, football playing, suburban born, WWE raised, uber face. Punk is a slight, scruffy, tattooed, that has his own appeal, metal and punk loving, poor city kid that spent years in the indies and became a heel to raise himself to stardom. Yet both are determined, charismatic men that are adamant in their beliefs and define the casual fan vs. SmarkBroken Base of WWE.
Also has some elements of this with Randy Orton, as Randy represents the evolution of WWE's legacy, being a 3rd-generation WWE star who spent practically no time on the indy circuit and was groomed to be a top WWE star from a very early age. Punk, on the other hand, toiled away in the indies for several years before landing with WWE and always had to fight the corporate machine (while Orton, if not a product of that machine, was certainly helped along by it.) Ironically enough, one thing Punk has in common with John Cena is that, even when both he and Randy are faces, they don't seem to get along much.
Ship Tease: Punk has had it with Kelly Kelly, Serena, and AJ Lee. He didn't show much interest in any of them, which is ironic because in Real Life Punk Really Gets Around. Kelly he stole from Mike Knox with literally no effort on his part, Serena was more of a pawn, and AJ just strung him along in order to get back at Daniel Bryan.
Chicago, Punk's hometown. Majorly in ROH back when he ran the Second City Saints. It hasn't been very important to the character during his WWE run, but we do see glimpses of it; the motif of four six-pointed stars on his wrestling trunks mirrors the flag of the city of Chicago.
One of his trademark moves in the indies was called "Welcome to Chicago, Motherfucker".
After one of his matches in WWE, Punk actually brought out the Chicago flag; Matt Striker has also referred to him as "the Second City Saint", which is also a reference to his indy days (where he teamed with Colt Cabana and Ace Steel as the Second City Saints).
And at WrestleMania 22, John Cena paraded into Chicago's Allstate Arena accompanied by a vintage car and some actors portraying "Al Capone's gangsters" in 1920s garb. One of the actors was - guess.
This also led to Crowning Moment of Funny backstage when Punk in his suit and tommy gun met up with Triple H (who was dressed as "Conan the Barbarian"); the two took one look at each other and dissolved into hysterical laughter.
The T Shirt Punk started wearing at MITB 2011 and on has the trademark red and white of the Chicago Bulls. Subtle, and may not have been intentional, but it works. Or they could be another reference to the flag of chicago.
In one promo, he threw out a lot of references to Straight Edge bands.
Similarly, on the February 7, 2011 Raw, he said, "And I am a patient boy, I wait, I wait," which is a line from the Fugazi song, "Waiting Room." Fugazi is the band that Minor Threat leader Ian MacKaye formed a few years after Minor Threat disbanded.
He once wore a Colt Cabana T-shirt while commentating on Raw. Colt Cabana was one of the Second City Saints alongside Punk and Ace Steel.
On the Raw following the death of Randy Savage, Punk wore the exact same ring gear as Savage during his classic Wrestlemania III match with Ricky Steamboat (except he had his own name on the trunks).
He also added the Savage Elbow Drop to his regular moveset, after the Macho Man passed away in 2011.
"Hey, Colt Cabana, how you doin'?"
Simplest of all, he has a tattoo of the Cobra emblem on his arm.
Punk ended up on the receiving end of one of these on October 13, 2011, when during a hockey match between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, the Penguins' Arron Asham got in a fight with Capitals' Jay Beagle. Asham cleanly punched Beagle out, after which he did Punk's trademark "Go To Sleep" motion◊.
In a big match against John Cena that took place in Boston, Massachusetts, CM Punk was his usual subtly-trolling, heel self with his black and white Yankeepinstripe attire◊.
So Unfunny It's Funny: When Cena got injured, Punk showed up on the next Raw to rub it in the fans' faces. He told the crowd he had searched for Cena in the building all day and couldn't find him. He then came to the conclusion of "I couldn't SEE him!" while doing Cena's signature hand wave taunt. The delivery was so groan-worthy and Punk acted so smugly proud of himself for that joke that it was kind of hilarious.
This seems to be his mindset after coming up just short of ending Taker's undefeated streak. After talking a bit about his reign, new challenges and taking the Phenom to his limit, Punk simply stopped after that last point and walked off with a lost expression on his face.
That's the main issue with the biggest stars in the company - when you've done it all, what is there left to do in this business? Really, there only two things Punk hasn't done - win the Royal Rumble, and headline WrestleMania.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Punk's main reasoning the week after as to why he gave The Rock a GTS on the 1000th Raw episode; he believes the WWE Champion should be at the epicenter of each broadcast instead of someone who just comes and goes as they please. It's somewhat justified given Punk's reign has been overshadowed by Cena's storylines and the Rock's presence, but Punk comes off as somewhat bitter that the spotlight isn't on him rather than the WWE Title.
Straight Edge: What he is in real life and in character, and whenever he's a face he doesn't make a big deal of other peoples habits, however when he turned heel in 09, he became...
Straight Edge Evil: And proclaimed he he was better than anyone else because of it. He formed a stable, The Straight Edge Society, that included Luke Gallows, Joey Mercury and Serena, all people whom he saved from their vices.
Tag Team: Besides the Chick Magnets? Hate Breed with Ace Steel in IWA Mid-South, Ring Of Honor and, ever so briefly, TNA.
Both a recipient and a giver. In CHIKARA, CP Munk (a straight edge chipmunk) is a sendup of Punk in response to him noshowing an event. Punk's response?
"Some days I get real pissed about it, because it's disrespectful. [...] Most other days I just laugh it off because nobody from Chikara will ever be over enough anywhere for anybody else to parody them."
Though now that Claudio Castagnoli is signed, with other former CHIKARA workers in the wings, that might come back to bite Punk in the ass.
Also after his feud with Jeff Hardy that ended with Jeff leaving the company, Punk mentioned Jeff Hardy's arrest for drug trafficking on the air.
Jeff would throw one Punk's way in a drugged-out tirade in a video against Punk in a diner. It more just proved Kayfabe!Punk's point than anything.
Various ones at The Miz, and his "apprentice" Alex Riley - When Riley fired a Take That towards Punk's repeated remarks about his then-recent DUI by remarking that Punk's commentary was "Godawful". Punk's response?
"That's funny, because 'Godawful' is how Alex Riley wrestles.
Pulled one on Triple H when he asked if Triple H made his own decisions or did what his wife (Stephanie McMahon) told him to do. Included a spot on impersonation of Triple H. Didn't work out so well in annoying the target when Trips pointed out that people have been making that accusation for eight years.
Take a shot at Chris Brown. The latter responds by accusing him of steroids. Punk was not amused.
John Laurinaitis once again: when he tried to claim that he was going to be on the cover of the new WWE game (complete with a mock-up of the cover on a poster), Punk interrupted and revealed the real cover (featuring him), on an enormous graphic that descended from the ceiling. And pointed out that his was bigger than Laurinaitis's.
When some started to complain about the the Lighter and Softer nature of WWE's TV-G Saturday Morning Slam (which in all fairness is a program on the CW's kid-friendly Vortexx block), Punk responded with this tweet:
next week! Grown ass men will watch a show designed, marketed and targeted for children! Then complain about it!
Raven used to say CM Punk had an inflated opinion of himself and that he wasn't as good as he claimed to be. Then CM Punk ran into Eddie Guerrero and realized it. After that meeting, Raven admitted CM Punk had improved enough to become as good as he long claimed to be.
At least as far as booking is concerned. He went from wearing a ridiculous mask and jobbing to The Big Show to going over John Cena and holding the WWE championship for a year. In Real Life over that same time, he went from a bit player in WWE to a main cog in the machine - and, unlike Cena, he has a strong following in both casual and smark circles.
He's been in many and always came up short until he beat Colt Cabana to become the first Mid American Wrestling Heavyweight Champion after Axl Rotten vacated the belt.
At Armageddon 2008, he beat Rey Mysterio to become the new Intercontinental Champion...ship's number one contender. He then lost to William Regal, essentially coming up short once again.
Trademark Favorite Food: Pepsi. The soda inspired the name of one of his famous finishing maneuvers (the Pepsi Plunge) as well as signature move the Pepsi Twist, and he has a tattoo of the old Pepsi logo on one of his shoulders. He originally got the tattoo as a joke, since members of his fraternity were getting beer logo tattoos.
His old nickname "The choice of a new generation" was originally a Pepsi slogan from the 80s. At the end of the promo where he said that Straight Edge also means "no promiscuous sex" (see The Casanova above), he said, "I'll show you why I am the choice of a new generation."
Airbrushing Around Trademarks: The tattoos on his shoulders, a Pepsi logo and a tattoo of the COBRA logo, are usually airbrushed/photoshopped out of WWE promotional photos and video games featuring Punk to avoid lawsuits.
Troll: Part of his heel persona; he'll fake out the audience by pretending to jump from the Titantron, pretend to have The Undertaker or "Stone Cold" Steve Austin come out and kick his ass, steal other wrestlers lines and implement them into his promos, and he even taunted Randy Orton by doing The Pose right in front of him.
He's also been known to mimic certain wrestlers in-ring style. Most prominent was during his tag match against Rey Mysterio and Alex Riley, which featured Bret Hart as the special referee; throughout the entire match, Punk could be seen performing many of Bret's classic moves, including the Five Moves of Doom. Most memorable moment was when he performed a backbreaker very slowly right in front of Bret, smiling and making eye contact the whole time. He got his comeuppance at the end.
On July 11, 2011, he cites Cena as the reason he's leaving WWE and generally treats him like dirt. This is despite the fact that he'd not even have his Title Match on Sunday if Cena hadn't put his own career on the line to get Punk's suspension revoked out of respect for the fact Punk earned said match.
Continues after his return, despite the fact Cena was willing to be fired to prevent Punk from being screwed out of the WWE Title by Vince McMahon.
Unsportsmanlike Gloating: The day after leaving WWE as champion, Punk posted a picture on Twitter of the WWE Championship belt...now being kept in his refrigerator.
Stealth Pun: Punk was probably under the impression that he had 'frozen' the WWE Title picture by leaving. Of course, WWE just tried to vacate it and then put it back on John Cena, and Punk couldn't have that, so...
We Used to Be Friends: BEST friends, in fact, with Paul Heyman. Which meant Punk knew Pauly better than anyone else, and the fact that he didn't see the betrayal coming is what pisses him off the most.
Weapon of Choice: A microphone, which he refers to as a pipebomb in his hands. While this usually refers to what he has to say, Jeff Hardy, Triple H, and Zack Ryder found it has another meaning...
Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Frequently incorporates the motifs of the Flag of Chicago in his ring gear, particularly the four six-pointed stars.
During his feud with Paul Heyman in mid-late 2013, whenever there is a huge gathering of wrestlers, Punk seems to never be among them. During the big walkout on Triple H, he at least explained his reasoning. But during the "New Corporation" arc, he is just... not there, despite Triple H demanding the entire locker room to come out to the ramp on threat of being "future endeavored." Perhaps he was busy obsessing over the best ways he can destroy Paul Heyman.
As a commentator; Punk was really fond of pointing out the Moral Dissonance of the Designated Hero John Cena. Punk has called him out for his brutal beatdown of Wade Barrett after Wade's defeat, his constant trespassing during the three weeks he was fired, and when he called Vickie Guerrero fat, repeatedly; eventually Punk got pissed enough to go after Cena with a chair.
This continued on the following Raw when Punk called Cena out on all of the above, pointing out the Blatant Lies about Cena saying he was going to leave and then showing right back up to trespass repeatedly; when Cena went to defend himself for attacking Wade Barrett after their match at TLC 2010 by bringing up his multiple Nexus beatdowns and the fact that they (technically) ended his career, Punk proceeded to call him a hypocrite because he ended Batista's career by tossing him through a stage after having won an I Quit match just for the sake of doing it.
And he's gone on to base to as his reason for targeting Cena as he's gotten tired of this.
And the second target of New Nexus became Randy Orton. Why? Because of when Orton called him a fluke champion, jumped him from behind with Legacy, beat him down, and punted him in the head, causing him to forfeit his World Championship, as well as generally being a selfish, cold individual. You know it's bad when no matter what King tries to say on commentary, Orton will always looks like he deserves every single thing he gets.
The issue with this is that Randy recognizes that his actions are reprehensible and he is in no way a good person. He just doesn't care.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Punk in 2011 had this during his epic heel run, in particular with his promo attacking Randy Orton after costing Orton his title at Royal Rumble 2011. Orton's refusal to apologize for injuring Punk and forcing him to vacate the belt only added towards it.
Punk was one foot out the door during the summer of 2011. Then the "Pipe Bomb" promo happened. The rest, as they say, is history.
There are still people who think his quitting WWE is one of these.
Worthy Opponent: John Cena. Despite his frequent criticisms, he doesn't hate Cena, he just hates the fact that Cena's being presented as the best wrestler in the company while he's toiling away in mid card hell after being the top guy of Ring of Honor and heralded as one of the best wrestlers in the world. This goes both ways, as Cena considers him a great wrestler and did everything in his power to give him a fair shot at the WWE title. This is arguably one of the reasons their match at Money In The Bank was so excellent.
Punk loves to fake out the audience (as stated above) and then mock the audience for believing it.
One of his earliest ones in the WWE was after he managed to get Jeff Hardy out of the WWE. Afterwards, Jeff's music hits and the fans lose their minds as "Jeff" comes bobbing out to the ring in facepaint, arm stockings, and "Hardy Boyz" tattoo. After a little, it becomes fairly obviously it's not Jeff Hardy returning but Punk simply dressed as Jeff. The Jeff Hardy fans were not amused, bordering on Angry MizGirl level discontent.
John Cena eventually calls him out on this as part of a Kirk Summation.
You Can Leave Your Hat On: Early in his career, at the tender age of 22, he performed a lap dance at an indy show for a raffle winner alongside Real Life best friend Colt Cabana. Watch it here.
You Keep Using That Word: During their alliance in late 2011 to early-mid 2012, Punk had to remind Paul Heyman that he is Heyman's friend, not a client like Curtis Axel or Brock Lesnar. While Heyman has spoken on behalf of Punk in the past, it still makes sense since Punk had already built a successful career in the WWE without the on-air guidance of Heyman, unlike Curtis or Brock.
Punk pulled this on Jeff Hardy in 2009; after Hardy had just beaten Edge in a Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Championship, Punk cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and made Jeff's reign as champion a very, very short one.
Alberto Del Rio attempted this on Punk by trying to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase (at Vince McMahon's insistence) immediately after Punk won the WWE Title from John Cena. It failed when Punk gave him a boot to the head and high-tailed it through the crowd. Unfortunately the second time he wasn't as successful.
Pulled yet another one on the 7/25/11 RAW. John Cena had just won the "WWE Title" from Rey Mysterio Jr., who had won the fake title himself earlier that night (because of Punk leaving with the belt a couple of weeks before; he was never defeated, therefore RAW actually had no champion). Then a strange theme began playing, and several tense moments later, who else should appear but Punk himself, carrying the real title belt.
Ended up on the wrong end of this on the 1/23/12 RAW. After one too many confrontations with John Laurinaitis, the latter of which ended with Laurinaitis setting his Amoral Attorney (David Otunga) on Punk in a sneak attack, Punk finally snapped, choked out Otunga with the Anaconda Vice, then gave a red-letter GTS to Laurinaitis...only to have Dolph Ziggler appear from out of nowhere and drop Punk on the back of his head with a Zig Zag.