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Wrestling / CM Punk

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"I have no breaking point, and all you have to do is look in my eyes and realize I have laughed in the face of temptation time and time again. I have never tapped out to society's attempts at peer pressure. You try to stick a beer in my hand with the same commercials that have hypnotized all of you people, and that sell you all your narcotics and things you're addicted to. Well, I'm harder than any alcohol you can drink, I'm straighter than any line you can snort up your nose, and I certainly can hurt you a lot faster than any pill you put on your tongue."

Phillip Jack Brooks (born October 26, 1978), better known by his ring name CM Punk, is an American professional wrestler, actor, mixed martial arts commentator, and former mixed martial artist.

He began as a backyard 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 the 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 Independent Wrestling Association affiliates (particularly Mid-South), National Wrestling Alliance territories such as Pro Wrestling ZERO1 and other promotions across the globe - his most notable work being in Ring of Honor and World Wrestling Entertainment. He set himself apart from his fellow wrestlers during this time with his character being outspoken, confrontational and anti-establishment with a tongue of unparalleled sharpness on the mic, but most of all carrying a "Straight Edge" gimmick (based on his actual lifestyle).

The gimmick consisted of him flaunting his Straight Edge lifestyle to other wrestlers, which led 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 Straight Edge principles and beliefs. He emphasized different aspects of the lifestyle to garner the intended audience reaction based on whether he was a face or a heel. As a face, his character was pretty much indistinguishable from his real-life personality. As a heel, he would lean into the elitist mindset of a hardline or militant straight edge, regularly claiming during promos that because he was Straight Edge, he was "better than you!"

However, his rise to WWE superstardom came in the year of 2011, namely during the summer of that year, which has since been dubbed the "Summer of Punk"note . On the 7/27/11 episode of Raw, he dropped his first (and most acclaimed) Worked Shoot on Vince McMahon, which would come to be known as a "Pipe Bomb"note . Then, after that year's 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, the night after that year's Royal Rumble, Punk walked out on WWE. He then announced his official retirement from professional wrestling as of May 29. On November 26 of that year, Punk would appear on the Art of Wrestling podcast with longtime friend Colt Cabana to explain the reasons and ongoing factors that led to his departure, which included a number of Creative Differences and backstage tensionnote  as well as accumulating negative effects on his healthnote . However, he publicly stated that the manner in which he was fired (being FedExed his termination papers on his wedding day) was the last straw for himnote . With the addition of the extended legal fallout he went through after going public about his grievances, it was solidified that he would essentially never have a working relationship with WWE again.

As Punk had begun to dabble in MMA training following his departure, he confirmed on December 6, 2014 that he had signed a multi-fight contract with UFC, and debuted at UFC 203 on September 10, 2016. He was released following two consecutive losses, after which he began working as a commentator with Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC). He made a surprise return to the wrestling world on November 12, 2019 by appearing at the very end of an episode of FOX's WWE Backstagenote , which he later joined as a special contributor and analyst.

In the time that he spent away from wrestling, Punk's stance on returning in any capacity, let alone entering the ring again — one of his most routinely asked questions — shifted back and forth between "under the right set of circumstances" and "never in a million years". However, the summer of 2021 saw intense speculation in the wrestling world that Punk was not only gearing up for a return but that it would happen under All Elite Wrestling. Due to a number of factors, including a lot of subtle teases from AEW's executives and wrestlers alike, the company would end up generating so much hype without explicitly confirming Punk's signing that its second episode of Rampage and its All Out pay-per-view — both held in the Chicagoland areanote  — sold out almost immediately. Sure enough, it was on August 20, 2021, during the Rampage episode, that CM Punk would make his official return to professional wrestling after seven yearsnote  by debuting in AEW. The moment must truly be seen to be believed (1, 2).

After Punk made controversial comments at a media scrum following All Out 2022 which led to a legitimate backstage altercation with Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks, all men involved, including Punk, were suspended from AEW. Punk returned after a nine-month absence on the debut episode of AEW Collision on June 17, 2023. At All In 2023, Punk was reportedly involved in another backstage altercation with Jack Perry (also known as Jungle Boy) over the use of real glass in a spot for Collision. Following an investigation, Punk was fired from AEW on September 2, 2023.

Over his career, Punk has amassed accomplishments across numerous promotions. In addition to a collection of title wins in small and independent promotions, he is a one-time ROH World Champion, a two-time ROH tag team champion, a one-time ECW Champion, a three-time World Heavyweight Champion, a two-time WWE Champion, a one-time WWE Intercontinental Champion, a one-time WWE Tag Team Champion, two-time AEW World Champion, and AEW Real World Champion (an unofficial title of his creation).

Punk married fellow former WWE wrestler AJ Mendez, better known as A.J. Lee, in 2014.

In addition to professional wrestling, Punk has also dabbled in writing comic books, most notably penning a story in Thor Annual #1 and a Drax ongoing series at Marvel Comics. He's also been building an acting career since the late 2010s, landing several supporting roles (a remake of Rabid, Jakob's Wife) as well as a film starring role (The Girl on the Third Floor), and another supporting role in the Starz series Heels.

"The Best Tropes in the World":

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  • The Ace: In WWE's ECW. After Bobby Lashley got drafted to Raw,note  Punk was the best wrestler on that brand, and everyone knew it (even if most of them couldn't quite admit it). He was this to such an extent that both the ECW Originals and the New Breed tried to recruit him at the same time, because they knew whichever side succeeded would win their feud. This is also why Punk and Lashley were kept apart despite being on the same roster and Punk being essentially booked as the best wrestler on ECW after Lashley (including a six-month undefeated streak), which should've made him a natural choice to be number-one contender to the ECW title. The bookers knew Lashley wasn't going to be on ECW for long and didn't want him or Punk to damage each other's credibilitynote . As it goes, Punk ended up ECW's most successful alumnus by far, winning the Money in the Bank Ladder match at WrestleMania 24 while still a part of ECW, and then winning the World Heavyweight Championship on his first night on RAW later that year. By the time Punk left the company at the start of 2014, he had become one of the most successful WWE Superstars in history, with five world title reigns (one lasting 434 days) and enough Popularity Power to rival the likes of John Cena.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Both onscreen and off, he was wrestling's resident bad boy and had no issues attracting women. This was especially the case during 2011-2012 face run, where he went from cult leader to full-on Anti-Hero and became massively over with the female demographic as a result.
  • Always Someone Better:
    • To Chris Jericho. From the end of Jericho's second WWE run and subsequent return to Punk's (initial) retirement, Jericho was never able to beat Punk in a one-on-one encounter, despite doing everything he could to get into Punk's head. First he tapped out to Punk at WrestleMania 28, and then he got his ass kicked by Punk in a Chicago Street Fight a month later. A year after that, he challenged Punk again in Chicago via Paul Heyman, and admitted to everyone that he needed to beat Punk in this match, exactly because of this trope. When Punk won their third match, Jericho finally gave up, acknowledging that Punk was better than him.
    • In turn, Randy Orton was this to Punk. For years, Orton was the one person Punk could never beat. It took until 2013 for Punk to finally pin him in a Fatal Four-Way match, and a few months later, he finally beat Orton clean in a one-on-one encounter, subverting the trope.
  • Anti-Villain: CM Punk was almost always irritable and seemed to have a visceral hatred for everything, but he did still follow the ROH code, at least publicly (breaking behind the backs of any relevant parties was fair game). That made his public refusal to follow it in regards to Raven that much more noticeable.
  • Anti-Hero: Whenever he is a face but most notable during 2011 where he feuded with Vince McMahon, Triple H and John Laurinaitis. His rebellious nature against authority figure is what make fans compared him with Stone Cold Steve Austin.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Raven, Samoa Joe, Randy Orton, John Laurinaitis, Paul Heyman, MJF... it's easier to name Punk's allies.
    • John Cena, who is without question Punk's greatest rival. Their feud was legendary, and helped launch Punk into the star he is today. While their rivalry got much nastier towards the end, when it came down to the wire Punk respected Cena more than any other rival he had in his career.
    • Jeff Hardy, Punk's second greatest rival. Initially, Punk treated cashing in on Jeff as just business, but when the fans continued to side with Jeff despite his obvious flaws and mistakes (in particular, Jeff's drug-addled lifestyle), he became increasingly resentful of his rival until he eventually snapped and became a Straight Edge Evil-preaching jackass. Their rivalry became so bitter and the two ended up hating each other so much that they eventually had a Loser Leaves Town match with one another to force one of them out of WWE (which Punk won). Even to this day, Punk is still considered the most iconic nemesis of Jeff's singles career.
    • The partnership of John Morrison and The Miz. Even in the early days of JoMo's and Miz's partnership, where the animosity between them was almost as bad as Team Hell No's, the one thing that both could always agree on was that they hated Punk. Notably, during the 2008 Royal Rumble, the moment both of them were in ring they made it a priority to target Punk.
    • Chris Jericho, who is one of the few enemies to make Punk lose his cool and truly piss him off, by bringing up the history of alcoholism in Punk's family and promising to make him betray his Straight Edge lifestyle by driving him to drink. Then, when that failed to do anything but just invigorate Punk for their match at WrestleMania, Jericho went as far as to make up lies about Punk's mother and sister to further get in his head. After Punk beat Jericho anyway, Jericho finally went all in and attacked Punk twice by preying on him when he was vulnerable to pour alcohol all over his body (and even smashing a bottle of it on the back of Punk's head). This led to a Chicago Street Fight, and Punk flat-out stated that their feud was no longer about proving who was the "Best in the World" — it was about him kicking Jericho's ass.
    • If Colt Cabana's podcast is any indication, Triple H is his Real Life one, due to a myriad of backstage reason. Perhaps the best example of this was on the go-home show of TLC 2013; as part of a "Championship Ascension" ceremony commemorating that both the WWE and World Heavyweight championships would be unified at the PPV, various former champions were reunited in the ring, where Stephanie McMahon, as part of her Heel Authority character, called her husband Triple H the greatest superstar of all time. Punk's reaction was barely-held Corpsing. (Keep in mind that he wasn't even direcly involved in any storyline feud with them, making it less likely that it was an in-character reaction.)
    • Also in Real Life, Teddy Hart, while both employed by TNA they got into a shoot fistfight that got Teddy blackballed from the company over unannounced spotfest Teddy did after a match with ROH that ended up not only endangering several of their coworkers but also Teddy himself.note 
    • And as of September 2022 in Real Life, Colt Cabana, "Hangman" Adam Page, Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks, all of whom worked in AEW and did not approve of Punk arriving in the company, leading to rumors of them accusing him of using his influence on Tony Khan to kick Cabana downstairs to ROH. They would, according to Punk, leak details on this to the wrestling dirt sheets and Page would cut the now-infamous "worker's rights' shoot promo on Punk which Brooks claims jeopardized a million dollar gate for their main event at Double Or Nothing. Punk would go on to air all these grievances in a media scrum following the events of AEW All-Out 2022 which lead to a backstage altercation between him and the Elite, resulting in all participants, Punk included, being suspended and their world titles stripped.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: During a 2011 segment with Shawn Michaels, Punk took a shot at Michaels' notorious drug use during the late 90s:
    Michaels: You and I are not alike. Certainly we've got similarities; we don't smoke, we don't drink, we don't do drugs...
    Punk: [with a smug smirk] Anymore.
    Michaels: ... fair enough.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Punk tore down WWE in a Worked Shoot, made the most ridiculous demands of any sort of contract in WWE history,note  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.
  • Artifact Title: The CM part of his name, which was from when he was in a tag team called the Chick Magnets, with a wrestler called CM Venom. Nowadays it basically has whatever meaning Punk comes up with when asked.
  • As Himself: He shows up as A.J. Lee's boyfriend and training partner on Heels.
  • 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.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: After what Jericho brought up about Punk and his family's addiction issues, you could hardly blame Punk for the Atomic BS-Bomb he said next:
    CM Punk: Jericho, YOU'RE BULLSHIT!!! You're bullshit and that's exactly what I'm gonna beat out of you!
  • Audience Participation Song: The crowds in AEW have taken to singing along to "Cult of Personality" whenever Punk makes his way to the ring.
  • Author Avatar: As Paul London pointed out, making him a booker while he was in Ohio Valley was counter productive, although it wasn't Punk's fault and he wasn't the only wrestler the task was delegated to while they were supposed to be developing as wrestlers. If such wrestlers were going to be bookers, using one who had already wrestled on TV and Pay Per View did make sense.
  • Ax-Crazy: New Nexus initiations showed signs of this. Aaaaand it was firmly cemented this as of 2-7-11.
  • Badass Boast:
    • "I'm the best on this microphone, in that ring, even on commentary! Nobody can touch me!"
    • "In anybody else's hands, this is just a microphone. But in my hands, it's a pipe bomb!"
  • Badass Preacher: Especially as the leader of the Straight Edge Society, but this could apply to him in general as a wrestler whether he was talking straightedge, love of wrestling, or his own greatness. As much as he could be a whiny, lying, preachy and obnoxious jackass, Punk was very talented and badass enough to put action to his yapping.
  • Bad Boss:
    • 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 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, FTR
  • Battle Cry: "IT'S CLOBBERIN' TIME!!!!!"
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • Punk is a result of this. Nexus wanted a newer, stronger leader, and they got one - they just got one who's not only both sadistic and Ax-Crazy, but also doesn't give a damn about them at all.
    • Many of the same fans who wanted to see Punk be the man to bring back Attitude Era-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-early 2013, especially after they started mocking Jerry Lawler's real-life heart attack and Paul Bearer's real-life death 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.
  • Beard of Evil: 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.
  • Berserk Button:
    • 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.
      • During their Chicago Street Fight, Chris also went after Punk's sister after she slapped him for taunting her with him beating Punk right in front of her — Punk promptly lost it and Chris got his ass kicked as a result.
      • 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.
    • Spilling his soda.
    • Even more kayfabe-wise: RESPECT.
    • Someone else mentions 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.
    • Improper grammar. He has a web series where he corrects the awful grammar of his haters.
    • Betrayal. Up until his feud with Paul Heyman, it's never played a big part of his character, but careful watching will show that Punk is extremely loyal to those he considers his friends, no matter what side of the heel/face spectrum he's on. He was willing to face several tag teams and their managers on his own to give Colt Cabana a better shot at winning a tournament, he was reluctant to face his ex-tag team partner Kofi Kingston during the Team Kingston vs. Team Orton Survivor Series match despite being the top heel in the company by that point and Kofi a face, and even after making a Heel–Face Return, he wanted to remain best friends with Heyman because the man had "never done [Punk] wrong". But as his feud with Heyman shows, if one such friend betrays him, they will only live to regret it.
  • Big Bad: Replaces Wade Barrett as leader of the Nexus after Cena defeated him.
  • 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.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To a lot of the younger talent, beyond his role as a trainer even. Actively reinforced in AEW, where Punk admitted that one of the reasons he signed with the company was to work with and help elevate the younger talent there, like Eddie Guerrero did for him when he was first starting out. And by all accounts, he's very much become this backstage.
  • Big Word Shout:
  • Blatant Lies:
    • As a WWE heel, one of his major tactics for garnering heat. He claimed to defeat Rey Mysterio without interference, and turned NXT-1's eight-man beatdown on him and Cena into an attack on only him by thirty six armed opponents. Or that he didn't defeat The Big Show and Kane because he had a one hundred and twenty degree fever.
    • He's beaten Rey Mysterio 600 times and has never lost to him.
    • 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.
  • Blood Knight: He himself said at the beginning of his WWE career that "My only addiction is competition."
  • Body Horror: The laundry list of injuries he accumulated towards the end before his walkout, as he revealed on the Art of Wrestling podcast, including the especially disgusting staph infection boil.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: With Colt Cabana in the Second City Saints.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase:
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Directly waved at the camera on two occasions during his "Pipebomb" promo in the June 27, 2011 episode of Raw, the first time directly acknowledging his usage of this trope and the second time shouting out Colt Cabana.
    CM Punk: Whoops, I'm breaking the fourth wall! [grins and waves at the camera]
  • Brick Joke:
    • 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.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: At one point in his feud with MJF directly preceding AEW's Revolution PPV, he cut a promo in which he produced a picture of him and MJF at an autograph signing from when the latter was a young fan of his. He commented that while the day of the signing was likely the greatest day of MJF's life, for him it was Friday, and further said that while he planned on Revolution being the worst day of MJF's life, for him it would simply be Sunday.
  • 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.

  • Call-Back
    • In a match with Alberto Del Rio, Alberto tried a strategy made famous by Eddie Guerrero: faking a chair shot and making it seem like the opponent did it by throwing him the chair and falling to the ground. Punk just threw it back at Alberto and fell down instead.
    • Following the death of Randy Savage, Punk added the Macho Man's elbow drop to his moveset.
    • When Collision made its premiere, commentators Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness mentioned that CM Punk and Joe haven't been fought against each other since their last meeting in Ring of Honor. This would culminate in Joe and Punk facing one another for the first time in the semi-finals of the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Was extremely proud of his award for "Despicable Move of the Year".
  • Carpet of Virility:
    • 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.
  • The Casanova:
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Straight edge means I'm better than you!"
    • "This is my house." (IWA Mid-South)
    • Since mid-2011, he's been using "Pipe bomb!" as his new Catchphrase.
    • "Best in the World" is another.
  • Character Development:
    • 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 Championship 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.
    • Punk's character in AEW has seen a marked shift from the one he used to portray in WWE, despite him clearly still being the same guy. It's been noted that he's always at his best whe he has a chip on his shoulder, which in WWE was when he was raging against the machine, but in AEW he's part of the machine, he has the respect and adulation and support from the back he always wanted, because AEW is the kind of company Punk was implying he'd like to make back when he cut the Pipebomb. He even said that he no longer needs to be the "Voice of the Voiceless" because the AEW fans already have a voice, and the company management listens to it. So now Punk's chip is about whether or not he can still hang with the young generation who are 15-20 years younger than him without being left behind.
  • Charlie Brown from Outta Town: A rare Real Life example. In 2019, Punk revealed after doing so in one show (where a familiar-looking masked man ran-in a match and used Punk's "Go To Sleep" Finishing Move before quickly leaving) that he had been making appearances under a mask in indie promotions for years, even after claiming to be done with professional wrestling for good.
  • Cheap Heat
    • In IWA Mid-South 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.
    • He's wrestled all over the world. Puerto Rico, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, the tip of Antarctica down to the antarc, and his trip to wXw in Germany was the worst of his life!
  • 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!
  • The Chessmaster: 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: During since his last face turn on Raw, 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 they turned on him as well not long into the new year.
  • Chick Magnet: The first meaning of the CM, and part of his face persona (which is based on real life), women just flock to him; Kelly Kelly, Serena, and Maria, and Beth Phoenix, and Daffney, and Traci Brooks, and Lita, and A.J. Lee. This even carried over to AEW, despite at that point Punk being Happily Married to Lee: When Punk feuded with MJF, who shortly beforehand had proclaimed himself to be one of the "Four Pillars" of AEW (alongside other three young wrestlers who were the future of the company: Darby Allin, Sammy Guevara, and Jungle Boy), said that he prefered to remove MJF from the equation and replace him with Britt Baker instead, an incensed MJF accused Punk of flattering Baker just because he wanted to sleep with hernote .
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Punk may have a reputation of having dated several hot women, but he doesn't take kindly to people hitting on his coworkers loudly and pathetically.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Hydro's punishment for calling CM Punk out was to have his shirt taken and his legs tied together while Punk mercilessly kicked him. Luckily for Hydro, Punk respected enough of the code to be stopped by the ref.
  • Combination Attack: Camel clutch while Colt Cabana does a reverse Boston Crab.
  • 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 the parking lot", in his own words. 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."
  • Continuity Nod:
    • He did an elbow drop with a ring bell on Ricky Steamboat in 2004 as Randy Savage had in 1985.
    • 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 WWE's ECW (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.
    • His plans on leaving the WWE with the WWE Championship are just like his plans for leaving 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 stipulation 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."
    • When he came out for his Dog Collar match against MJF at AEW Revolution 2022 he wore gear resembling his ROH look and entered to "Miseria Cantare by AFI, his ROH theme.
  • Create Your Own Villain: His decision to leave wrestling back in 2014 was MJF's Start of Darkness. He was a bullied MJF's hero growing up, so leaving caused MJF to (briefly) give up on his own dreams of becoming a wrestler, before deciding to commit as a roundabout way of spiting Punk. After Punk returned to wrestling by joining AEW and refused to show the same respect to MJF that he showed to everyone else on the roster, that was the last straw for MJF, and the two would start a bitter rivalry that lasted several months, before they even got the chance to actually wrestle each other at all.
  • Crowd Chant: CM Pussy and CM Hump when Tracy Brooks was his manager. (she was a "new" girlfriend and straight edge means no sleeping around)
  • Crowd Song: In AEW, the crowd would sing "Cult of Personality", whenever that song gets played.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Was used during his entrance.
  • Cue the Flying Pigs:
    • Punk's great at inciting this kind of reaction. For starters, there was that time Punk made Vince McMahon 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 
    • His hiring in 2019 on WWE Backstage is this for some people. Granted, he's being used as an analyst as opposed to an in-ring talent, and is employed officially by FOX as opposed to WWE - but after his acrimonious exit from the company, not to mention that podcast and the ensuing lawsuits, who ever saw Punk being connected to WWE again, even tangentially?
    • And, of course, after seven long years of people giving up hope that he would ever return to pro wrestling, he finally came back and under the banner of AEW to boot.
  • Cult: A reoccurring theme in every promotion he's been a major player in is his ability to gather followers like a cult leader. There's a reason his most iconic wrestling theme is "Cult of Personality" by Living Colour.
    • Raven's Gathering in TNA, with heavy implications he, Alexis Laree and Julio Dinero had been brainwashed. A person could even conjecture that Punk's character learned how to create and lead cults from Raven.
    • The Straight Edge Society was Punk's own cult.
    • And during his tenure as leader it appeared as if the New Nexus was one as well.
    • A common accusation from ringside commentators (and some Real Life critics) is that Punk has a cult-like hold over his fans, and even fans in general, particularly since they often cheer for him even when he is playing a despicable heel, an Ungrateful Bastard or even the kind of insufferable preachy fanatic that wrestling fans normally despise. Lampshaded in the 2011 "Money in the Bank" main event when Lawler and Cole noted that the Chicago crowd (who were admittedly early on Punk's side just because Punk is from Chicago himself) were ecstatically cheering for Punk throughout the match even though Punk was trying to embarrass the entire company and leave the fans without a champion!
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Busted out an old-fashioned piledriver in his February 25, 2013 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Punk is awesome at this. As the quotes scattered through the page show, Sarcasm Mode seems to be his default setting.
  • Defeat Means Friendship
    • Subverted at ROH Survival Of The Fittest. Punk's one man victory against The Outkast Killaz, The Ringcrew Express and Special K was enough to get Hydro to recognize the Code of Honor Special K usually defied, but Punk wasn't ready to return it and made a point of showing how much Hydro would have to improve before he would.
    • Of a sort; Punk was one of the first people against Triple H becoming COO and there was at least a month of build-up of their feud. Following his defeat at Night of Champions, Punk came out the night after and admitted that Hunter wasn't part of the conspiracy like he originally suspected; and that he was somewhat in the dark on the matter, that being he suspected John Laurinaitis, and Triple H also allayed Punk's complaints by giving him what he deserved, a WWE Championship match without outside interference (albeit Hell in the Cell, but Punk wasn't picky).
  • 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.
  • Delinquent Hair: Especially as a teenager. But even as an adult Punk has died his hair and even had his hair cut to resemble famous serial killers.
  • Determinator
    • In OVW, Danny Inferno punched him hard enough to beak his nose and rupture his eardrum, but still finished their match.
    • Punk once wrestled through a fractured skull, without pain medication. This injury was the same one that made him inactive between the end of the Straight Edge Society and the beginning of the New Nexus.
    • According to him, he wrestled at least the last three months of his WWE schedule with a staph infection. When he had it identified, the doctor stated that he could have died.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: The man who uses a "devil lock DDT" and dates a woman named Lucy Furr turned out to be a bad guy? Who would have thought?
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?
    • Punk deliberately invoked 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.
    • Turned into Bullying a Dragon/Too Dumb to Live: If you say that you are going to be the one to end The Undertaker's streak at WrestleMania, this is what you are, and Punk is no different, which he more or less admitted, though not with those words, in his promo the following night on Raw.
  • Didn't Think This Through: His rivalry with Delirious started anew in IWA Mid-South when CM Punk beat him for the Light Heavyweight Championship, only for Delirious to keep the belt because Punk was over the weight limit.
  • Discontinuity Nod: From his first AEW promo, he said "August 13th, 2005. I left Professional Wrestling. August 20th, 2021, I'm back." No guess for what happened in the middle.
  • 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.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Punk has mentioned on his website that he really hates being called Phil by fans. On the July 11, 2011 episode of Raw, Vince McMahon himself called Punk Phil right to his face, and the look on Punk's face was priceless. However, when it serves his purposes, like on the September 12, 2011 episode of Raw, Punk is Phil again.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Was none too happy about the lack of respect The Rock gave him at the Raw 1000. It became more and more of a Berserk Button onwards, as we saw after his cage match with Jerry Lawler, locking him inside the cage and beating him down every time Lawler wouldn't say Punk was "best in the world." Plus hearing him shout "Respect" every time he walks up the ramp.
  • 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.

  • Early-Bird Cameo
    • In 2003, he and Ken Anderson/Kennedy are briefly seen as fans of Brock Lesnar.
    • During John Cena's stylish 1930's-era gangster entrance at WrestleMania 22, Punk was one of the gangsters riding in the car with Cena.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: His pre OVW/WWE wrestling style was sometimes jarringly different. He used to do a pumphandle reverse piledriver for instance (Punk handle driver). Also, he was, by his own account, "about 240 pounds" and much bulkier, ostensibly trying to conform to something closer to WWE's vision of what a champion looked like from a size standpoint.
  • Enemy Mine
    • Put aside his feud with Ricky Steamboat when Generation Next also decided to after him and backed Steamboat up with The Second City Saints.
    • 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.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • 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. When Lawler threatened to kick his ass, Punk flat out said he wasn't going to stop him.
    • He was also the announcer who had the Oh, Crap! reaction when The Miz interrupted the angry little girl from the night he won the WWE title as she accepted the Slammy for "Most Memorable Fan Reaction" at the 2010 Slammy awards, although it's kinda ironic when you consider that Punk won an award that night, that he got because he also "interrupted a little girl."
  • Evil All Along: Admitted this on the January 7, 2013 episode of Raw regarding his June 27, 2011 pipe bomb and subsequent revolution.
  • Evil Power Vacuum:
    • One of the main contributing factors to Punk's second and permanent rise to the main event scene was Edge's first retirement, which left only John Cena and Randy Orton as the only full-time main event talent on the rosternote . Almost all of the other main event talent for the past few years had either retired (Shawn Michaels, Batista), semi-retired (The Undertaker, Triple H), were on hiatus (Chris Jericho), or temporarily downgraded to the midcard (Rey Mysterio), leaving WWE desperate for a new top star. Hence, the second "Summer of Punk", which saw Punk ascend to superstardom and claim Edge's spot for the rest of his career. Naturally, Punk's own departure from the company two and a half years later ripped its own hole in the main event, which was ultimately filled by Daniel Bryan, and even later on the members of The Shield after the stable broke up.
    • A consequence of Punk's rise to superstardom is that it caused him to make an effective Heel–Face Turn, meaning that RAW didn't have a real top heel for the rest of 2011. They tried to push Alberto Del Rio, and to a lesser extent The Miz and R-Truth, into filling that hole but ultimately none of them were able to connect with the audience as real main event talent. It took the return of Chris Jericho for RAW to have a main event heel again, and after Jericho went into another hiatus six months later, Punk himself making a Face–Heel Turn. Unfortunately, by that point Punk was too over with the audience, half of whom cheered him on no matter what he did (even with slimy Paul Heyman by his side), so when he came back after a two month-hiatus in 2013, he was automatically a face again. Ultimately, the problem was only solved when The Authority and their various intermediaries came into power in the latter half of 2013.
  • Evil Minion: His most famous was probably Milo Beasley in Full Impact Pro, if only because Beasley has seemingly been in such positions for various FIP malcontents perpetually since.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The Second City Saints actually managed to get booed against the Prophecy, especially after Christopher Daniels was pulled out by TNA, mainly because Punk was just so off putting and antisocial.
  • Eviler than Thou: To Wade Barrett. Once Punk was fully healed from his skull fracture and ready to return to action, all it took was one vulnerable moment in Barrett's leadership for Punk to usurp him entirely and take over the Nexus. The reality is that while Barrett was talented and charismatic, he was still a rookie, while Punk was a three-time world champion who managed to oust another major star of similar standing to Cena out of the WWE entirely, and almost entirely on his own. Barrett never stood a chance against that level of ruthlessness and experience.
  • Expy:
    • Someone in OVW got the brilliant idea to turn him into a Chris Candido substitute. Specifically, Chris Candido when he was working his failed cheerleader gimmick, with poor Alexis Laree in the role of Tammy Lynn Sytch. Paul Heyman saved Punk and Laree from this gimmick, every member of The Spirit Squad not named Dolph Ziggler was not so lucky...
    • As a commentator, he channels a good deal of Bobby Heenan, with John Cena as his own Hulk Hogan.
    • When he really grew his hair out during the Straight Edge Society angle, Punk came to look a lot like a certain other, if completely different savior, Chris Hero.
    • 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 XXVII 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. The main differences there are that Austin wasn't friends with Dana White, as banged up as Punk was Punk still had a good neck, Austin didn't have Marvel Comics to fall back on and Austin didn't have another domestic product to jump to.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
    • 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.
    • Punk accomplished a more long-standing one 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.
    • 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.
  • The Farmer and the Viper:
    • Referenced directly in Punk's very first promo after winning the ROH World Championship, where he declared his intention to take the belt with him to WWE and signed his WWE contract on said belt.
    • And he planned on doing the exact same thing at Money in the Bank. He did, but then returned.
    • Later ended up as the Farmer during his feud with MJF when after seemingly convinced that MJF turned over a new leaf after his confession of his Dark and Troubled Past and bullying. Unfortunately MJF used the opportunity to gaslight Punk, beating him bloody and literally throwing Punk words (specially the ROH promo) back at him.
  • Felony Misdemeanor:
    • 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'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.
    • One of Punk's many ridiculous demands during his contract negotiations was having ice cream bars with his likeness on them, which absense Punk treated as an example of how he was being held down. "WHERE THE HELL ARE MY DAMN ICE-CREAM BARS?"
  • Finishing Move:
    • 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".
      • And starting in "Summer of Punk II" in 2011, he brought back the Anaconda Vice as one of his finishers again, and is now equal to the GTS in his moveset hierarchy. It is also the Vice that he used to win the WWE title for the second time, which then culminated into his 434-day reign.
    • In the indies, he also had a top-rope double-underhook face buster which he called the "Pepsi Plunge". Since said face buster is most famously known as Triple H's pedigree it was correctly assumed Punk would not be using it in WWE. However, Punk has gone on record saying that nobody in WWE told him he wasn't allowed to use it anymore; He stopped of his own accord.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: As the Second City Saints chased BJ Whitmer and Jimmy Jacobs for the ROH tag team titles, Punk and Whitmer's animosity gave way to respect, which was finally shown at ROH The Final Encounter in 2005.
  • Flanderization: CM Punk had declared that microphones were pipe bombs in his hands long before he ever showed up on WWE television. As soon as he said so on Monday Night Raw however, "pipe bomb" quickly became shorthand for any angry, insulting promo; to the point AJ cutting down Total Divas, which wasn't even in the same context as Punk's famous rant, was called a "pipe bombshell".
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule:
    • Punk feud's with John Cena in the summer of 2011 appears to be a rehash of the 2005 "Summer of Punk" angle where Punk threatened to leave Ring of Honor for WWE with the ROH World 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 angle 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 McMahon. 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 an angle, 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. 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 angle 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 John Laurinaitis, the one sent to tell the timekeeper.
    • Also, the gimmick 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 even gave John Laurinaitis the GTS in the same way Austin gave the Stone Cold Stunner to the authority figures of his era.
  • Foil: To Jeff Hardy. They're both slight, heavily tattooed guys who don't fit the mold and move to the beat of their own drums, but that's just about where their similarities end. Jeff is a high-flying daredevil with notorious addiction problems, while Punk wrestles with a more ground-based style and is Straight Edge to the core. While Jeff is confident in his abilities, he's also humble and openly acknowledges and accepts his faults, but also won't tolerate any disrespect. Punk, meanwhile, has an over-inflated ego with a hidden savior complex and superiority complex, and looks down on those who don't live up to the same standards he has. This is one of the reasons their rivalry worked so well; they were the perfect foils to each other and it translated into their dynamic.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • This may or may not have been somewhat contrived by Punk himself (see Continuity Nod), but his infamous Worked Shoot promo on the June 27, 2011 episode of Raw foreshadowed several things that have happened in storyline involving him in the year-plus since:
      • It's in this promo where John Laurinaitis is first name-dropped.
      • Also, he feuded with Triple H (which somehow metamorphosed 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) and saying that both of them were Paul Heyman guys. Lesnar would later reappear in the WWE after the following WrestleMania, Heyman followed him shortly afterwards, and Heyman aligned himself with Punk after Punk's heel turn. 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.
    • In the weeks leading up to Punk's AEW debut, the promotion scattered several hints on Dynamite that foreshadowed Punk's return:
      • Perhaps the very first one was Darby Allin stating that AEW was the place to go to prove that "you're the best... in the world."
      • MJF quoted the opening line of Punk's infamous pipebomb promo almost word for word during a promo on Chris Jericho. ("As you lay there, hopefully as uncomfortable as you possibly can be...").
      • Kenny Omega was seen wearing "Cookie Monster" and "Chick Magnet" shirts.
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: Punk has subtly become this ever since his whole "leaving with the title" angle. After all, Punk's 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 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 Championship match with John Cena on Raw 1000, 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.
  • Full-Name Basis: His Feud with Randy Orton has had him politely referring to him as Randall Keith Orton.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum:
  • Fun with Acronyms: 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, but he later declared that it had no real meaning. However, he has humorously made up different stories and meanings for it when asked about it ("Cookie Monster Punk takes no guff!", "Fear the power of Chuck Mosley Punk!", "Nothing is quite as excellent as the wrestling of Charles Montgomery Punk!", etc.). John Morrison once "theorized" that the letters stood for "Craves Men".
    • To Michael Cole:
      "Don't worry, buddy, you know the CM stands for Cole Miner."
  • The Fundamentalist: When he's a heel, he's a straight edge fundamentalist.
  • Funny Background Event: On the 32nd episode of the JBL and Cole show, during JBL vs Cody Rhodes, Punk is seen on the floor sleeping.

  • Game Changer: In the fall of 2021, AEW signed in rapid succession Punk, Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole, and Ruby Riott. The injection of massively notable talent (specifically Punk, who had not wrestled in seven years, yet still retained a devoted cult following through that time) gave the company a shot in the arm at a time when the AEW roster had not seen much of a shake-up in a while. The result was Dynamite and new sister show Rampage pulling numbers (over a million viewers) AEW had not seen since the first month of existence when they were still a novelty, with 18-49 demographic ratings that toppled even WWE Raw; filled Arthur Ashe Stadium (home of tennis' U.S. Open) with 18,000 fans at a time when WWE struggled to hit 5,000 in return to live arenas; and led All Out 2021 to crack over 200,000 PPV buys, a first for a non-WWE PPV since 1999. The publicly expressed joy of Punk, Danielson, and Riott (now christened Ruby Soho) returning to action in front of rabid fans with more creative freedom than they had in WWE had wrestling journalists reporting that more disgruntled WWE talent were now counting down the clock on their WWE contracts in hopes of making a similar jump, and noting that jump of talent may be the most important since Scott Hall and Kevin Nash infamously jumped to WCW.
  • Glass Cannon: Punk doesn't have much trouble slamming Undertaker, Kane, even 375+ lbs guys like Umaga, but he'll also sell strikes from non athletic blobs like Paul Heyman. Yes, only when Heyman has a weapon like a Singapore cane, but Madusa and Chris Benoit wouldn't even do that much and they were hardly unstoppable monsters. Only in that he reacts though, Punk's endurance still let him go to the hour mark in IWA M-S garbage matches, come back from extended beatings from the much larger Joe and make it through Hell In A Cell.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair:
    • Punk's changes in hair have matched his heel and face status. He's admitted to modeling his hair cuts after serial killers.
    • Ring of Honor and face WWE 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-heel Manipulative 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 Payback, his hair is again more scruffed up. His facial hair strikes a similarity to Wolverine.
  • Good is Not Nice: Infamously surly and curmudgeonly even as a face.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Nexus has a new, selfless leader that is ready to sacrifice everything to help them, what could possibly go wrong?
  • Grammar Nazi: As seen here, poor grammar is a major Berserk Button for him.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Gets one courtesy of John Cena.
    • Extreme Rules 2012. Chris Jericho's balls, meet kendo stick. Yeowch.
  • Guyliner: During his OVW days, especially when with Seth Skyfire
  • Handwraps of Awesome: He even had a "wrapping" motion as one of his Character Tics for awhile.
  • Happily Married: Married A.J. Lee in a small, private wedding on June 13, 2014.note 
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: In Real Life, his UFC tenure suffers from this. Despite over a year of training before each fight, he's still 0-2 via consecutive Curb-Stomp Battles.
  • Hate Sink: If Samoa Joe was The Face of ROH, CM Punk was definitely its heel. While the legends of the business usually had their friendly bouts with or gave their praises to Joe, Punk consistently antagonized them for heat.
  • 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.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: An interpromotional case from the early days of TNA and ROH. In ROH, Punk was playing a sadistic Knight Templar heel feuding with Raven over the latter's constant drug use. At the exact same time, Punk was one of Raven's followers as a member of the face group The Gathering in TNA. Obviously these were never brought up on the other show, but it did lead to a Hair vs Hair match in ROH being vetoed so Raven could have one against Shane Douglas in TNA instead.
  • 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.
  • A Hero to His Hometown: Whether a face or a heel, CM Punk is beloved and practically worshiped by everyone in his hometown of Chicago. When Punk returned to wrestling by signing with AEW, his first appearance was, naturally, in Chicago, which came with a bigger face reaction than just about any other wrestler in the world has gotten in the past five years, and one of the biggest pops of all time. It's even been said that "CM Punk in Chicago" is the modern-day equivalent of "Bret Hart in Canada", because of how much Punk is connected to and identified with his hometown.
  • He's Back!:
    • The July 25, 2011 edition of Raw ends with John Cena "winning" the WWE Championship, supposedly "vacated" after Punk left the WWE with it, from Rey Mysterio. Just before the show ends, "Cult of Personality"note  blares over the arena, and CM Punk enters, holding the real WWE Championship belt.
    • His return to professional wrestling after seven years in August 2021, in an episode of AEW Rampage was much with a rapturous pop. In his hometown of Chicago no less. The AEW on TNT Twitter account accompanied that moment with a cheeky Shout-Out to another Chicago hero.
      Chicago, IL. (August 20, 2021)- The following statement was released today by CM Punk in response to his career and future plans.

      "I'm Back."
    • Punk was Put on a Bus in September 2022 in the fallout of All Out 2022, where he shot all over on AEW's poor business decisions and several of his colleagues, including The Elite, prompting a massive backstage altercation that ended in part with him getting suspended indefinitely and vacating his titles. Combined with nuclear backstage heat, a serious arm injury expected to take him out for at least 8 months, and an eerie silence from AEW on when or even if Punk was set to return, it seemed like Punk's time in the promotion was over... and then he did make a comeback on June 2023 on the premiere of AEW Collision (once again, in his hometown of Chicago), proudly announcing that he's here to stay as the true reigning World Title champion (technically, no one had actually beaten him for it).
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Punk's beloved dog Larry is like a child to him. Punk talked about Larry a lot during his podcast with Renee Paquette (including singing their "Morning Song" for her amusement), when he made his iconic debut on AEW Rampage he was wearing a hoodie with "Larry" printed on the chest, and during his feud with MJF he got seriously pissed off when MJF offhandedly threatened to kill Larry if Punk brought him backstage.
  • Heroic BSoD: In Punk's case, more of an Anti-Heroic BSOD, but Chris Jericho bringing up Punk's alcoholic father as a sticking point for his Straight Edge lifestyle and promising to make Punk "drink" his loss away after WrestleMania XXVIII 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.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • He used to be this with Colt Cabana, to the point of being ROH Tag Team Champions twice, having his last match in ROH against Cabana, and even namedropping him during the "Pipebomb". Unfortunately, in the aftermath of the Chris Amann lawsuit, the two had a major falling out over the legal fees, leading to them suing each other. It was settled out of court, but the damage was done and their friendship was destroyed; notably, when Punk signed with AEW three years later, the company made no active attempt to associate the two of them in any way whatsoever despite having no issues drawing upon everyone else's past history on the indies, and the episode of Being the Elite following Punk's debut in the company and return to wrestling showed Cabana playing games with other wrestlers backstage while the return was clearly heard happening, with Cabana actively ignoring it.
    • In the WWE, one of his closest friends and "road wife" is Kofi Kingston. Even after Punk left WWE, Kofi was one of the few people he remained in contact with.
  • 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.
  • Hijacked by Ganon
    • In 2003, "Father" James Mitchell took the Gathering (CM Punk and Julio Dinero) away from Raven.
    • Punk took over leader of Nexus from Wade Barrett and basically turned it into another version of the Straight Edge Society, except without the Straight Edge philosophy. This actually backfired, because as he was already well-established, he ended up overshadowing the entire group to the point that he was the only reason anyone actually cared about the stable after that point (not helped by the fact that the only thing he really used them for was Dumb Muscle against Randy Orton).
  • His Story Repeats Itself: His feud with MJF eventually came to resemble his star-making feud with Raven from back when he was first starting out as a wrestler, except with Punk as Raven and MJF as Punk, eventually culminating in an insane dog collar match. Whereas a young Punk resented and hated Raven for personifying everything Punk hated about his alcoholic father, MJF despises Punk for leaving wrestling for seven years and abandoning his fans (or, to be more specific, MJF himself), and is willing to do everything he can to spite his former idol as a result. Punk himself acknowledged that MJF was basically a younger him, and the first of his many past choices coming back to haunt him.
  • Honor Before Reason: On the October 24th, 2011 episode of Raw, John Laurinaitis offers Punk the one-on-one WWE Championship shot against Alberto Del Rio that he wants, but Punk knows there's a catch. The catch is that Punk has to tell the WWE Universe that he respects Johnny Ace. Punk first responds by saying he respects "Funk Man", while doing a pretty good impression of the guy's voice. Johnny Ace isn't amused, and gives Punk one more chance. Punk, for a moment, considers it, then goes on to remind us why he's the master of ""The Reason You Suck" Speech." (It's a bit paraphrased):
    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.
  • How Much More Can He Take?:
    • 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.
  • Human Shield: Learned to use referees as them to fend off Delirious's bell induced early match flurry.
  • Hypocrite:
    • 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.

  • I Always Wanted to Say That: When Punk temporarily took Cole's duties as relayer of the Raw GM's messages. "Sorry, I'm a little nervous, I've always really wanted to do this. I HAVE RECEIVED AN EMAIL!"
  • Idiot Ball
  • Important Haircut: Punk debuted in the WWE sporting long, jet-black hair, with it being a integral part of his gimmick during his "Straight Edge Savior" angle. Then he was shaved bald by Rey Mysterio Jr. in a wager match, this being the first in a series of events which would reshape his character into being the "Best In The World."
  • Improbable Weapon User: 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...
  • In-Series Nickname: MJF maliciously calls him "PG Punk", suggesting that he's lost his edge and become more family-friendly since his younger days (as well as tacitly referencing WWE's "PG Era", when Punk first came to prominence). He's also called Punk "Punky Brewster".
  • In the Blood: In Real Life, Punk chose to be Straight Edge after hearing that his father's alcoholism may be hereditary. This fact was placed into his WrestleMania XVIII feud with Chris Jericho, who promised to make Punk Turn Out Like His Father.
  • In the Hood: Has favored zip-up hoodies for a couple of years now. As of late 2013, he's almost always seen wearing one during his ring entrance.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: "CM Punkrock" on The Flintstones
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • "This is not a belt, this is a championship title."
    • Averts it with the WWE-mandated practice of calling themselves "Superstars"; Punk still referred to himself as a "wrestler" even as the company tried to sever all ties to the word in the media and on-air.
  • Insult Backfire:
    • 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, positive and negative, using it in a pretty effective Shut Up, Hannibal! moment.
    • 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."
    • In the Pipebomb promo, he references "glad-handing, nonsensical, douchebag yes-men like John Laurinaitis." Laurinaitis was later turned into an onscreen character.
    • When MJF mocked him for always being second-best in WWE, whether to the "You Can't See Me" Man or the King of Kings, he gladly accepted the title of second both for himself and on behalf of Chicago, to which he said that his hometown owns the nickname of "the Second City" "not because there's a city that's better than it, not because there's a city that was first...[but] because when it burned to the ground, we just built right back up on top of the smoldering embers."
  • Irony:
    • 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 Championship 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. 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 even lampshaded it, harboring no hard feelings to Del Rio and solely blaming Triple H and Kevin Nash.
    • 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.
    • In Punk's 2011 "Pipebomb" promo, he lambasted the WWE for wasting great talent, and putting The Rock and Cena in the main event at WrestleMania, despite the former no longer working for the company. Come 2014, and he legitimely walked out on WWE. The reasons (other than a purposefully misdiagnosed staph infection)? WWE was wasting great talent (in this case Daniel Bryan), and that The Rock was fighting Cena in the main event of WrestleMania (again).
  • 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."
  • It's Personal:
    • With The Phrophecy in general and BJ Whitmer in particular over an attack on Punk's girlfriend. Before that Punk just saw them as inevitable rivals to The Second City Saints
    • With The Embassy, Jimmy Rave in particular, after Rave disregarded Punk's advice about Prince Nana and tried to blind Punk. Before that they were just annoying guys who happened to be get in his way sometimes while he pursued more important things, like The Prophecy.
    • What started as a feud over who was the best in the world turned into this when Chris Jericho revealed to the world that Punk's father and sister were addicts, alcoholic and drugs respectively. Punk was not pleased.
    • Punk won a Fatal Four Waynote  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.
    • His feud with MJF went down this road far more gradually than previous examples, and it didn't truly become personal on Punk's side until towards the end; but it was very personal for MJF from the beginning, even if Punk hadn't realized it yet. See, dear MJF used to be a massive Punk fan when he was a kid, and was absolutely devastated when his hero left wrestling behind just when MJF "needed him most". He confessed as much on a live promo on Dynamite, making Punk feel extremely guilty for his actions. The following week, Punk apologized to him and they hugged... at which point MJF gave him a Groin Attack, beat the shit out of him with the rest of The Pinnacle, and then busted him wide open, all while ranting about how he was still a snake and that he'd show Punk during their match at Revolution that he was the "devil" himself. In the aftermath, Punk cast out any and all doubts he once had and made it all too clear that he had come to hate MJF as much as MJF hated him.
  • 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 when they tried to bar all wrestlers from wrestling there after the RF video debacle. As of 2011, they must be starting to regret it. John Zandig of CZW had even less use for Punk, who has more or less outlasted or outshone everyone else he picked up from IWA Mid-South.
  • 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.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Punk's Live Journal (and, later, his Twitter) oftentimes comes off as the writings of a grumpy old man.
    • Also, his actual gimmick. 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. At least Lesnar justifies his Jerk Jock attitude because he's a very secluded Farm Boy from Minnesota who is misanthropic, but CM Punk is a straight example to the point of being an ass towards kids out of being asked for an autograph.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • His speech on July 11, 2011 brought up a few interesting points, most notably that his speeches have made wrestling interesting to non-wrestling fans for the first time in who 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.

  • Kick the Dog: Singing Happy Birthday to Rey Mysterio's daughter. No seriously... He even won an award for it.
  • Knight Templar: The Second City Saints were a baby face variety. Then again, only CM Punk had a serious agenda and they were not always baby face.
  • Knocking the Knockoff: During the first half of the Turn of the Millennium, CM Punk wrestled for many promotions, one of them being CHIKARA. After an abrupt (bad) ending to his career there, CHIKARA's creative team came up with CP Munk, a wrestling Straight Edge chipmunk, as a form of Take That! towards him. Punk himself at first was enraged by this but then declared that he shouldn't be offended by this, because "nobody from Chikara will ever be over enough anywhere for anybody else to parody them". Claudio Castagnoli may have proved that wrong, but ironically, CHIKARA itself would end up closing in 2020, a year before Punk's pro wrestling return.
  • Knuckle Tattoos: DRUG FREE
  • Ladykiller in Love: Got married to A.J. Lee in June 2014. She's probably one of the few women (if not the only woman) that Punk has ever entertained the idea of marrying. He must really love her, as he proposed after only six months of dating — for comparison, Punk was in serious relationships with Maria Kanellis, Lita, and Beth Phoenix that lasted far longer than his relationship with AJ, yet never hinted at being willing to marry any of them.
  • 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 Deeb the distinction of being "Punk's Mary Magdalene" aided the religious overtones, so it's not just Punk's doing. On Punk's 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.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Punk won his first world title by doing this to Edge (a two-time MITB winner) in 2008 via the Money in the Bank contract. At SummerSlam 2011 he himself lost his WWE Championship thanks to a Money in the Bank contract.
    • His own cash-in on Edge was in itself retaliation for Edge costing him his first ever title in WWE, the ECW Championship, on a whim.
  • Leitmotif: Punk has used various entrance themes for the entirety of his Professional Wrestling career, including "Miseria Cantare (The Beginning)" by AFI in Ring of Honor and "This Fire Burns" by Killswitch Engage for the first half of his WWE career. Nonetheless, he is best identified with Living Colour's "Cult of Personality," as he used it on the most defining moments of his career in both ROH and WWE (the "Summer of Punk" angles), the UFC and, most recently, AEW.
  • Living Legend: How he's treated in AEW, and rightfully so. That being said, it's also deconstructed, because many members of the roster are old enemies of his from both his days in the indies and his days in WWE, and resent how successful he became before he left wrestling. Now that he's back, many of them are also looking to settle whatever score they had with him, and Punk is all too aware of it.
  • Loser Leaves Town:
    • 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 his 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.

  • Manly Tears
    • After losing the Ring of Honor World 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 its 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, before his real-life marriage to AJ Lee, he never had a steady girlfriend, in and out of the business, which is why he has a reputation as The Casanova, and even his marriage with Lee happened only after he had walked out of WWE in what would become a seven-year hiatus (he was served his release papers on the day of his wedding).
  • Mask of Power: After being shaved bald until Big Show removed it.
  • 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."
  • Metal Scream: At the beginning of the opening theme during his first WWE period, "This Fire Burns" by Killswitch Engage: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
  • Moral Event Horizon: In Real Life, he sees WWE deliberately firing him on his wedding day, as this. invoked
  • Mythology Gag:
    • 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!"
    • CM Punk's debut match against Darby Allin featured several direct references to and recreations of spots from one of Punk's favourite matches, Bret Hart vs the 1-2-3 Kid from a 1994 RAW. Someone even made a video comparison of the matching spots and X-Pac himself thanked Punk and Darby for the homage.
  • Name of Power: A double underhook Russian leg sweep DDT called the the Devil Lock...still wasn't really a finishing move though.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: After Daniel Bryan used Kane to attack Punk, Punk returned the favor. All that lead to was Laurinaitis putting Kane in the match between Bryan and Punk for the WWE Championsip at No Way Out.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: He attacked both John Cena and Big Show during their match which would decide the number one contender for the WWE Championsip. A.J. Lee made it into a triple threat match between the three. Something that Cena pointed out the week after was his doing while Punk was pointing fingers elsewhere.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: His match with Cena at Money in the Bank 2011. On both ends. And taken up to eleven in his Extreme Rules match with Chris Jericho at Extreme Rules 2012.
  • 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?"
    • He did the same thing with MJF during their war of words on Dynamite. Other than the occasional laugh or chuckle, all he really did was stare stoically as the kid got all his jabs in. Then, when MJF was done, he started speaking and promptly began verbally eviscerating him in return.
  • Noodle Incident: A fictional one from his Twitter.
  • 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 November 7, 2011 episode of Raw, when Alberto Del Rio criticizes him for not asking him upfront about a WWE Championship 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 championship victories, but what surprised and disappointed him was that Del Rio wasn't expecting Punk to go that route.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Constantly remarked that MJF, his first true Arch-Enemy in AEW, was a lot like him when he was younger, down to the "talking too much" bit. That's actually one of the reasons he ended up hating MJF so much to begin with, because MJF was the embodiment of all the worst traits of his younger self.
  • Not So Stoic: Punk consistently puts on a snarky, carefree attitude at pretty much all times, but this changed in his 2012 feud with Chris Jericho. When Jericho bad-mouthed Punk's family week after week on Raw and accused Punk of being on the verge of drug/alcohol abuse, the only responses he could muster were looks of dejection or yelling at the top of his lungs.

  • 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 being 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, 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!"
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Every time he goes to fight against a heel younger than him in AEW, especially MJF, who is seventeen years younger and used to be a fan of his as a kid.
  • 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... some would argue Tracy Brooks was really the sane one and Punk was merely the guy with noticeable attention span.
    • CM Punk definitely was the sane one in his "love triangle... square" considering Daniel Bryan was certifiably insane at that point, AJ Lee vehemently denied it but was well on her way to getting committed and Kane's reputation precedes itself.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: After his close loss to The Undertaker at WrestleMania 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 The Rock and losing the title to him, 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.
  • Off Screen Moment Of Awesome: By WWE's doing, and it would come back to haunt them. While Punk was champion of the International Wrestling Cartel he had a title vs. title match with Eddie Guerrero, whom WWE wanted back badly enough to allow him to keep some of his dates with other companies before making his return. However, they refused to let the Cartel film this match, which went to a time limit draw and bonus overtime. Then CM Punk became WWE Champion and this "dream match" wasn't available for WWE to sell. Of course IWC lost out too, but at least they got to sell tickets thanks to the match.
  • Parental Neglect: By his own admission, which he decided to take out on Raven, who also suffered from it. Further elaborated on in Punk's DVD.
  • Perky Female Minion: Lucy Furr, Traci Brooks; Serena, Serena, Serena... how can a bald woman look so hot?
  • Pet the Dog
    • He dismissed Colt Cabana from The Second City Saints' tag team title defense at ROH Survival Of The Fittest, opting to face three other teams and their managers alone, so Cabana, who had advanced in the first round of the tournament, could have a better chance at winning the whole thing. It wasn't to be, as Cabana was knocked off by Mark Briscoe, but it's the thought that counts, and he did pin Samoa Joe with a sunset flip.
    • 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.
  • Playing Drunk: On the April 23, 2012 episode of Raw, Chris Jericho is pointed out to what he believes is the scene of Punk drinking backstage, which not only would violate Punk's Straight Edge lifestyle, but (apparently) violates company policy, so GM John Laurinaitis states that if he can prove Punk is drunk, the title will be vacated and be handed over to Jericho. Cut to Jericho, Teddy Long, and two police officers in the ring calling out Punk. When Punk makes his entrance, he slumps, he nearly trips over the floor and he even accidentally drops the title, as soon as he opens his mouth; it's the same deal, he slurs his words and stutters. Punk proceeds to fail reciting the alphabet backwards and can't even walk in the marked straight line in the ring. The officers determine Punk is intoxicated (without a breathlyzer), and per agreement, Punk has to vacate the title. He looks disappointed in himself as he hands the title to Teddy Long but as soon as he hands it over, he begs for one more chance which Teddy Long reluctantly grants. Cue him reciting the alphabet backwards perfectly while walking down the straight line, he even moonwalks back to the start when he finishes it and does it again by doing the famous Ric Flair strut, and then you realize that this has all been one long ruse to Out Gambit Jericho and get in the ring alone with him so he can freely beat the shit outta Jericho, which is exactly what he proceeds to do.
  • Popularity Power:
    • 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. This was given a Lampshade Hanging by John Cena, who commends Punk for being able to get this reaction. 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.
    • Punk is so popular that even after he walked out on WWE and on wrestling in general, crowds kept on chanting for him for the seven years he was gone, partially to piss off WWE management, and partially because they missed him that much. When he finally returned wrestling by signing with AEW and debuting in his hometown of Chicago, he was greeted with what the official account of the Guinness World Records proposed was the biggest wrestling pop of all time. People in the stands were literally crying as they welcomed him home, because that's how much he meant to them.
  • Power Stable:
    • (in ROH): The Second City Saints
    • (in IWA Mid-South and Chikara): The Gold Bond Mafia
    • (in TNA): The Gathering, with Raven, Alexis Laree (Mickie James) and Julio Dinero.
    • (in Full Impact Pro, which is/was affiliated with ROH): The New Dawn
    • (in WWE): The Straight Edge Society was supposed to be one, but it fizzled out rather quickly. The New Nexus, on the other hand... also fizzled out quickly once he was in charge.
  • Power Trio: (in AEW) CMFTR with FTR
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • On the January 2, 2012 episode of Raw, Punk says that if John Laurinaitis screws him out of the WWE Championship, "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 March 19, 2012 edition of Raw, they had to censor some the words he said to Jericho.
      CM Punk: You're bullshit!!!
  • 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.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: This was the situation Punk (unintentionally) created for Mike Jackson after his second UFC match where he lost yet again. While Jackson won the match and dragged it out to prove that he was Punk's better and that Punk had no business being there, he was raked over the coals verbally by Dana White despite being the winner of the match, with Dana going so far as to say Jackson would never fight in the UFC again and that as far as he, White, was concerned, Jackson's record was still 0-2 in his mind. Additionally, Jackson's victory over Punk was later overturned and declared a no-contest because Jackson tested positive for marijuana, making the whole bout feel hollow despite Jackson's dominance over Punk.

  • Real Men Wear Pink: Wore pink trunks as a tribute to the deceased Randy Savage.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The guy's so awesome at them, he has his own page.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Punk is Red, Cabana is blue.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Any time he gets his hands on a microphone.
  • The Resenter: Towards those guys who put up with TNA's games instead of staying to help ROH, particularly Low Ki, AJ Styles and Samoa Joe, since they were also common names thrown up when someone mentioned the best wrestler in ROH.
  • Revenge by Proxy
    • He beat up the Outcast Killahs in front of Rob Feinstein and then threatened to kill a member of the ROH locker room unless Feinstein produced the man who attacked Lucy.
    • Colt Cabana tied up Christopher Daniels while Punk threatened to murder Allison Danger in front of him when they thought Daniels's was the one who jumped Lucy. Punk was mistaken, BJ Whitmer was the one who did it in revenge for Punk knocking him out in their first match.
  • The Rival
    • Really unhappy to go overseas to foreign promotions and find out he still ended up dealing with the same crap he had in the United States, Chris Hero.
    • To John Cena as a face. Had a lighter hearted rivalry with Delirious before.
  • Rival Turned Evil: To Hero and John Cena, whenever he was a heel.
  • Rogues Gallery: Punk developed a cast of recurring enemies during his WWE career, whether as a heel or a face. This includes The Miz and John Morrison (who initially bonded over their hatred of Punk when they were forced into a tag team together), Chavo Guerrero Jr., Shelton Benjamin, Kane, Dolph Ziggler, and Alberto Del Rio. He also occasionally crossed paths with Edge, who cost him the ECW Championship at the beginning of 2008 (Punk got the last laugh by cashing in on Edge to win his first World Heavyweight Championship). Then there's his actual arch-enemies: Raven, Jeff Hardy, John Cena, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, and Paul Heyman. After Punk returned to wrestling by signing with AEW, you can add Eddie Kingston, MJF, and Adam Page to the list.
  • 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.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Seems to be Punk's default setting.
  • 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 Championship 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.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Punk was quick to decry John Cena for coming back after being fired to attack Nexus. He does have a point, but the problem is that The Nexus did the same thing on their debut.
  • 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. Smark Broken Base of WWE.
    • Punk and Cena, as a pair, were basically the 2010s equivalent of Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan, respectively: a normal-sized antihero whose mic skills are far and away the best in the company, and a buff All-American Face who primarily appeals to children. However, Punk's wrestling style is a blend of high-flying and MMA moves, and was basically driven out by terrible working conditions and his better judgment tells him to never set foot in a ring again even though nostalgia makes him want to, while Piper wrestled with a more Boring, but Practical feet-planted style, and split with the company amicably several times but always came back, and Cena is polarizing on-screen and by all accounts a great guy in real life, as opposed to Hogan's universal popularity in the ring and polarizing reputation outside of it.
    • 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.) This applies to their in-ring work as well. Orton is considered one of the most naturally smooth and gifted wrestlers of all time, but if Orton's disinterested in a match or bored he'll blatantly phone it in. Whereas Punk's offense has always been considered just a bit "sloppy" by some fans, but will always give it his all in the ring. 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.
    • Punk and Shawn Michaels are both average-sized wrestlers who were counted among the best of all time, don't drink or use drugs,note  and neither was particularly about having to turn heel because the biggest face of the previous generation wanted to come back and beat them in a one-off appearance. However, Michaels is a born-again Christian who considers Triple H his best friend and only retired from wrestling because he had to. Punk is a lifelong atheist, he and Triple H absolutely despise one another, and even though he was in terrible health when he quit wrestling he has since recovered enough to be medically cleared to fight in UFC.
  • Ship Tease: Punk has had it with Kelly Kelly, Serena, and A.J. Lee. He didn't show much interest in any of them, which is ironic because in Real Life Punk has been linked to numerous women. Kelly went to him from Mike Knox with literally no effort on Punk's part, Serena was more of a pawn, and AJ just strung him along in order to get back at Daniel Bryan.
  • Shout-Out:
    • 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 a double under hook back breaker 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.
      CM Punk: I'm not just a Minor Threat.
      • 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 Yankee pinstripe attire.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: A serious... ly funny one directed at Alberto Del Rio and his tiresome "Destiny" speeches:
    Punk If you say "Because it's my destiny!", I swear to Jeebus I'm going to start drinking.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: When confronted by Jerry Lawler about "betraying the WWE Universe" by giving The Rock the GTS, Punk shut up Lawler with this:
    Punk The Rock is not the WWE Universe!
  • Slut-Shaming: Straight Edge doesn't just mean no substance abuse or recreational drugs, it also means no promiscuous sex, which became a running theme of his IWA Mid-South put downs. Although his best known instance was in Full Impact Pro, during a falls count anywhere match with Homicide that strayed close to an erotic display. The ROHbots threw this back at him for his inability to keep a relationship.
  • Smug Smiler: Especially in his heel role. It's his signature expression.
  • Smug Snake: He bragged about beating the Undertaker, as if the victory was not handed to him by Theodore Long and said his loss was unfair when the officiating bias was removed.
  • Smug Straight Edge: The epitome of this trope.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Anytime he and MJF have a mic in hand, you know a brutal battle of words is going down.
  • 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.
  • So What Do We Do Now?: 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.
  • 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.
    • You can argue that Punk himself became this to WWE's ECW in 2007. Initially Punk was regarded as a young, rising star with potential, while the ECW title scene was dominated by Bobby Lashley and his ilk. But then Lashley started feuding with Vince and moved to Raw, and Punk became the center of the ECW Originals vs New Breed storyline — in which it became increasingly more obvious that the storyline was to put him (and only him) over. Then his ECW title chase/reign dominated the show for the rest of the year and into early 2008. That being said, this wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Punk was by far and away the most popular wrestler there, and it can be argued that he and the then-newly christened John Morrison were the only reasons why anyone would watch the show at all, especially considering how WWE's ECW was a pale imitation (one might even say bastardization) of the original ECW (coincidentally, Punk wouldn't have been out of place in the original ECW, probably owing to his popularity amongst the hardcore fans). He essentially carried the show, and if it hadn't been for him, it wouldn't have lasted as nearly as long as it did, which would be detrimental as WWE's ECW was a launching platform for much of the younger talent (most notably, the aforementioned Morrison, who stayed on the show for a year after Punk left, and Morrison's partner the Miz). A similar thing happened when Christian returned in 2009 and carried it through its last year — without him, there wouldn't have been a Sheamus or (however briefly) Zack Ryder.
  • Stalker with a Crush:
    • Punk's perky female disciple, Serena, very briefly started as this.
    • And then came A.J. Lee. Which would become rather Hilarious in Hindsight since they're married in real life.
  • Still Got It:
    • This has been Deconstructed in his AEW run. His return match against Darby Allin at All Out 2021 proved that not even 7 years out of the ring and a failed MMA career could stop CM Punk from being a top-tier professional wrestler, but as his run has continued, while Punk was still undefeated for a time (and even his first loss there to MJF came through cheating), he would often be struggling to put away opponents who would normally be considered far beneath the level of someone who calls themself "the Best in the World" (e.g. QT Marshall, a guy not particularly portrayed as threatening in AEW). Punk is clearly affected by this and is desperate to prove he can still keep up with the new generation of wrestlers after so long away from the ring.
    • A verbal example would have to be his instantly-legendary promo-off with MJF on the November 24, 2021 episode of Dynamite. As lampshaded by MJF in this promo, Punk still proved to be a competent talker but most of his promos involved invoking a Cheap Pop and saying how happy he was to be wrestling again against whoever his opponent was, with only a single segment with Eddie Kingston showing any spark of the man that captivated the wrestling world a decade prior. Then this segment happened, where Punk allowed MJF to get his jabs in, No-Selled them, and then proceeded to verbally destroy his younger rival (who is one of the greatest talkers in the industry today), proving that even with seven years out of the game, he's still the greatest wordsmith in modern-day professional wrestling.
  • Straight Edge Evil: And proclaimed he was better than anyone else because of it. Taken to its logical conclusion on Smackdown where 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.
  • Take That!:
    • 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?
      Punk: 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.
    • 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. And then there's Punk's statement on the January 10, 2011 episode of Raw:
      Punk: Only an idiot would jump off the Titantron.
      The Spoony Experiment: Sorry, Hawk.
    • He took a potshot at Shawn Michaels, saying that not only was William Regal better as a trainer of Bryan Danielson, but that Shawn "took $3,000 from him and that's it."
    • 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?
      Punk: That's funny, because "Godawful" is how Alex Riley wrestles.
    • Towards Kurt Angle after Kurt got mad that Randy Orton, Jerry Lawler, and Michael Cole used his Finishing Moves. Kurt later redacted his statement by saying that his Twitter was hacked.
      Punk: "my twitter account was hacked", is the new: "I'm a sloppy drunk douche".
    • CM Punk showed up at the WWE Panel at San Diego Comic-Con, with the WWE title as he making comments about how they are trying to crown a new champion.
    • He tried doing this in regards to John Cena, but that didn't work out so well.
    • 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 not only pointed out that his was bigger than Laurinaitis's, but early on he said Johnny's comparison with Pac-Man was spot-on because of "the lack of balls".
    • 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!"
    • Punk's debut in AEW had him state that he left professional wrestling in 2005, when he left ROH, and that he's actually been gone from wrestling for 16 years as opposed to 7.
  • Take This Job and Shove It
    • The Summers of Punk: Punk, sick and tired of all the crap he had to deal with in ROH/WWE, decides to walk out the door the moment his contract expires. He also decides to take the ROH/WWE Championship with him.
    • Post-Royal Rumble 2014, he left WWE without warning.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: An extremely charismatic, oddly attractive and highly talented wrestler. The only problem? He's a manipulative, jerkass of near sociopath levels.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome
    • After Punk's UFC debut ended in him taking an embarrassing beating at the hands of opponent Mickey Gall and tapping out in 2 minutes and 14 seconds, the triumphant crowing from his haters could be heard ringing all across the net. Punk's enemies reveled in this "proof" that Punk was a no-talent wimp, to the point of disregarding the fact that Gall is actually a really good fighter, undefeated in his first four professional bouts (now, as of Punk's AEW debut, 7–3), whose first opponent had lasted only 39 seconds longer than Punk before tapping out to the exact same move, and whose second one had tapped out in 1/3 of the time that Punk lasted.note  While it's true that the anticlimactic result of the bout was a bit of a letdown after 2 years of build-up and that Punk had possibly received an unjustified amount of attention (and money) considering it was his debut, a lot of people were obviously just ecstatic to see him fail.
    • The haters have been proven ultimately right in regards to Punk's athletic ability when Tomato Can Mike Jackson (not that one) beat him from pillar to post and intentionally dragged the fight out to prove a point: Punk doesn't belong in the UFC or MMA. Still, UFC's brass didn't see anything to celebrate as Jackson was suspended for his conduct.
  • Tear Up the Contract: At the end of the July 11, 2011 edition of Monday Night Raw. The respective segment, fresh off the events of the June 28th, 2011 edition of Raw, where Punk declared his intentions of letting his contract expire and get out of the company holding the WWE title, began with Vince McMahon wanting to renew the contract, giving him the things he demanded until the whole ordeal devolved into name-calling and rage on both sides. Then John Cena came to put Punk in his place, and Punk dressed him all over the place, even going as so far as to tell Cena that he wasn't the underdog anymore, he was an empire "like the New York Yankees". Cue the usually calm John furious at the comparison punching Punk, and Punk getting out of the ring and shredding the unsigned contract.
  • Temporary Blindness: Suffered from it at the hands of Jimmy Rave after Rave joined Prince Nana's Embassy.
  • Token White: How Low Ki viewed Punk during the Pro Wrestling Guerilla Tango and Cash Invitational, where Punk was rooming with B-boy, Samoa Joe, Homicide, Rocky Romero and Kazushige Nozawa. (not the case at the shows themselves though, as Punk teamed with Chris Hero)
  • Took a Level in Badass
    • 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 himself. 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.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: Punk returned to wrestling in 2021 a much happier man than he had been when he left WWE in 2014, and has maintained that positivity so far. He's delighted to find himself in a company that cares for both its workers and its audience and is just happy to be able to work with such a promising field of young talent so he can give back to the industry (contrasted against Bryan Danielson who said that he's here to kick everyone's heads in). He's even lampshaded that the crowd is going to tire of "happy, smiling CM Punk" eventually so he's going to enjoy it while it lasts, but the AEW audience has been fine playing along with it for now.
  • Tournament Arc
    • 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.
    • He was in a post main event match of the IWA Mid-South Volcano Girls Tournament with BJ Whitmer and Samoa Joe. Punk's team lost.
    • At Armageddon 2008, he beat Rey Mysterio to become the Intercontinental Champion... ship's number one contender. He then lost to William Regal, essentially coming up short once again, but later managed to beat him in a rematch for the championship.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: The toxic influence to the somewhat meek and comical Colt Cabana during their time in The Second City Saints, turning him into a giddy sadist whenever Punk was around.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Pepsi. The soda inspired the name of one of his famous finishing maneuvers (the Pepsi Plunge) as well as signature move hammer lock lariat "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."
  • 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.
    "Are you stupid enough to think I would jump off this titantron?"
    • 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.
    • He can also be this as a face. Just look at his first meeting with MJF — after MJF claimed there was no one in AEW on his level, Punk simply showed up and silently confronted him in the ring. After a starstruck MJF tried to schmooze up to him, he took one look at the guy, chuckled, and then turned around and left, thoroughly pissing MJF off.

  • Uncle Pennybags: Not on-screen, but in Real Life. Dude bought Joey Mercury a house.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: On the July 11, 2011 episode of Raw 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 Championship by Vince McMahon.
  • Unperson:
    • After he "left" the WWE after the 2011 Money in the Bank with the WWE Championship. It lasted all of eight days.
    • Subverted after his real life walkout after the 2014 Royal Rumble; he no longer is mentioned or appears on camera and in other new material, and his merchandise was discontinued. However, unlike other WWE targets, such as Chris Benoit and, between 2015 to 2018, Hulk Hogan, he did retain his profile (which was moved to the alumni page), and old videos and articles remain online, and he's occasionally acknowledged in documentaries — like when Brock Lesnar first left, they're mostly ignoring his history instead of outright erasing it, probably to leave the door open in hopes of an eventual return.
  • 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.
  • Unwanted Assistance
    • This is the problem he's been having with Raw GM John Laurinaitis. In the gauntlet match on Raw at the end of 2011 with Dolph Ziggler, Punk has Ziggler pinned, but the ref is talking with Laurinaitis, who came out and "fairly" removed Swagger and Vickie Guerrero from ringside for earlier interference, during the match. Punk goes to ward him off, only to get Zig-Zagged by Dolph for the 1-2-3, which earns him a WWE Title match the following week. In that match, Punk has Ziggler locked in the Anaconda Vice and tapping, only for the ref to miss it again because the Raw GM is "dutifully" instructing the man to replace a turnbuckle pad that came loose during the match.
    • This has resulted in Laurinaitis installing himself as the special referee for the Punk-Ziggler title rematch at Royal Rumble, and the Precision F-Strike of a warning delivered above.
    • After being warned that he would be stripped of the his title if The Shield interfered in his match against The Rock at the Royal Rumble, he called them out on Smackdown, and told them not to get involved, saying they stood for justice, and it would be a great injustice if Punk lost the title.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Punk's decision to cash-in on Edge in 2008 for his first world title is what started Edge's summer-long Villainous Breakdown that saw him become completely unhinged and terrorize SmackDown!, especially after his wife Vickie Guerrero reinstated the Undertaker and forced Edge in a Hell in a Cell match against him in retaliation for him cheating on her with their wedding planner Alicia Fox. This eventually culminated in him losing the match and being to "sent to hell" for three months. In short, by taking advantage of this one vulnerable moment, Punk completely and utterly wrecked SmackDown! for several months through no real effort of his own.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After The Rock beats him for the title (in part due to Vince finally putting his foot down when Punk tries to cheat his way out of losing the title again), Punk has a breakdown the following night, screaming at the top of his lungs that he was screwed and the Rock needed someone else's help to win the title.
  • Villain Decay: CM Punk used to be famed for his tendency to make fans rush the ring to get a shot at him. Eventually the IWA Mid-South fans stopped trying to take swipes at him or even arguing to his face and started laughing at his insults.
  • Villain Song: "Cult of Personality", specifically when he's a heel.
  • The Voice of a Generation: CM Punk referred to himself as the "Voice of the Voiceless", saying things to Mr. McMahon that everyone else would like to say but can't. It made him ridiculously popular. He became the Trope Namer for the "Pipebomb" term in wrestling as part of his remembered moment in 2011:
    This is power. The voice is power. In anyone else's hands, this is a microphone. In my hands, it's a pipebomb.
    • His return for the wrestling scene as part of WWE Backstage program in 2019 (being contracted by FOX and not by WWE) just reaffirmed this, now being able to criticize the "product" as a free agent without being afraid of being suspended or punished by WWE.
  • 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.
    • In real life, this was the case with Colt Cabana. They were good friends until the outcome of the lawsuit between both and the former WWE doctor Chris Amann favored Punk.
  • 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.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: How he sees himself, as either a "saint", cult leader or the heel part of the "voice of the voiceless".
  • Wham Line:
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • As a commentator; Punk was really fond of pointing out the odd morals of the Designated Hero John Cena. Punk has called him out for his brutal beatdown of Wade Barrett after Barrett'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 that, 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.
    • His ENTIRE basis for attacking Orton. Unlike Cena, as Punk best put, there is nothing defensible about Orton's actions and he deserves everything that happens to him. Subverted by the fact that, in all likelihood, Orton's fully aware of this. He just doesn't give two shits.
  • 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.
  • Worf Had the Flu: By his own words, he's only lost to Chris Hero because he had a 114 degree temperature and the gout!
  • Worked Shoot: 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.
  • "World's Best" Character: Main gimmick is also being the "Best in the World", quote also included in his t-shirt (in the back) and in his titantron.
  • Worthy Opponent
    • Personally requested Matt Sydal and Delirious as his final two IWA Mid-South opponents.
    • 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.
    • This is how he treats all his young opponents in AEW, even putting over how tough they were to defeat after the match, regardless of how heated things got prior to the match. Except MJF.
  • Writing 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.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain:
    • 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 face paint, 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 Miz Girl level discontent, and many still hold a grudge against him for it years later, especially since Punk and Jeff never had the chance to feud again before Punk's (initial) retirement.
    • John Cena eventually calls him out on this as part of a Kirk Summation.
  • You Are Fat
    • Well at first he thought you IWA Mid-South fans were just pregnant. But now he see's that you're just big.
    • Having fat children was one of the things he disliked about the residents of the otherwise beautiful city of Chicago at Money in the Bank 2011.
  • You Are Not Ready:
    • Since he couldn't get his rematch with Samoa Joe and wasn't even winded from his tag team title defense at Survival Of The Fittest, Punk demanded that ROH hold him over with stiffer competition. When Hydro challenged him to a one on one match in response, Punk said Hydro was not on his level but ended up taking the challenge anyway to prove it, letting the contest continue on three separate occasions Punk could have ended it.
    • Said the same exact thing to MJF after he busted Punk open the Dynamite before their Dog Collar match, noting that MJF had been demanding to face the Punk of old for months, and that he wasn't ready for it. Sure enough, Punk showed up to the match in his classic ROH gear and music, and proceeded to put MJF through complete hell.
  • You Are What You Hate: Both Eddie Kingston and MJF have accused him of becoming this; no longer is he the rebellious renegade of old, but rather a dynasty not unlike John Cena. Notably, while Punk was annoyed by the insinuations, he wasn't actively angered by them, nor did he outright deny them, because they're correct — Punk was one of the biggest stars in WWE, on the same level as Cena, and as a result of that he immediately became one of AEW's biggest stars (if not their absolute biggest) after he signed with the company. Like it or not, he is a dynasty and a legend in his own right, and has no issues acting like it either.
  • 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.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!:
    • 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.
    • Pulled yet another one of them on John Cena, who thought he had finally defeated The Nexus. See Hijacked by Ganon.
    • 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 Championship 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 July 25, 2011 episode of Raw. John Cena had just won the "WWE Championship" from Rey Mysterio, who had won the 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 January 23, 2012 episode of 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.


Video Example(s):


Bret Hart vs. the 1-2-3 Kid

The 1994 Raw match between Bret Hart and Sean Waltman became such a legend that CM Punk and Darby Allin did an homage to it nearly 30 years later.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / Homage

Media sources: