Friday, April 11, 2008

CM Punk: WWE - The Pinnacle of Professional Wrestling

CM Punk debuted in the WWE on the ECW brand starting in July of 2006. He immediately started cutting face style promos about his straight straight edge lifestyle. He also began to claim a Muay Thai background. He made his TV WWE wrestling debut on August 1st, 2006 at the Hammerstein Ballroom. The roof nearly came off of the place as the crowd went absolutely nuts for CM Punk. The journey had begun.

Our straight edge superstar then began a feud with Mike Knox over Knox's (kayfaybe) girlfriend, Kelly Kelly. After that feud, Punk went on to team with Degeneration-X and The Hardy Boyz at Survivor Series 2006, which his team one. At the abysmally awful ECW Pay-Per-View December To Dismember, CM Punk was the first knocked out of the elimination chamber match.

Soon after the PPV, CM Punk started a feud with Hardcore Holly who ended his 6 month singles undefeated streak on January 9th, 2007. He bounced around on ECW feuding with the likes of Matt Striker before qualifying for the 2007 Money in the Bank ladder match at Wrestlemania 23 by defeating Johnny Nitro. In that match CM Punk was knocked off the ladder mere seconds before Mr. Kennedy pulled the briefcase down - highway robbery if you ask me.

From then on CM Punk got involved with a stable named The New Breed, lead by Elijah Burke. He feuded with them for several months, which included a singles match between them at Judgement Day which he won. The feud culminated in a tag match at ECW One Night Stand 2007 that saw Tommy Dreamer, CM Punk & The Sandman defeat The New Breed in a tables match.

When then-ECW champion Bobby Lashley was drafted to RAW, he was forced to vacate the ECW title. A tournament was set up that eventually ended with a match at the Vengeance PPV. The scheduled participants in this match were CM Punk and Chris Benoit, however Benoit no-showed the event due to what the WWE called "personal reasons". Johnny Nitro was substituted for Chris Benoit and won the ECW Title, defeating CM Punk. We would find out a few days later that Chris Benoit had tragically murdered his wife and son, then taken his own life. CM Punk was torn apart as he looked at the opportunity before the PPV as wrestling a hero, and teared up the next night on RAW when they ran a Chris Benoit tribute (before they knew it was a murder-suicice).

Punk started a feud with ECW Champion Johnny Nitro, who now had changed his name to John Morrison. CM Punk failed to capture the ECW Title from John Morrison in their PPV match at Summerslam, but then finally succeeded on September 1st, 2007 on ECW Television.

Punk held on to the title from September 2007 to late January 2008, during which time he defended his title successfully against Elijah Burke, Big Daddy V, The Miz and John Morrison. On January 22nd, 2008 on ECW TV CM Punk finally lost the ECW World Championship to Chavo Guerrero after Edge interfered and speared CM Punk.

And then finally after years of hard work, struggle and dedication, CM Punk went to Wrestlemania 24 on March 30th 2008 and won the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, granting him a title match at any time within the next year for any title he wants. This elevates CM Punk to almost a main event level player, and I imagine that we will soon be seeing the spotlight shining quite a bit brighter on this young star.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

CM Punk: Beginning of a Straight Edge Legacy

CM Punk, also known by his real name Phil Brooks, was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 26th, 1978. His rise from obscurity to the main event in the wrestling business is unparalleled. He is known as the straight edge superstar, and that's not only his gimmick, but also his lifestyle. While he is new to the WWE, he has been in the wrestling business for quite a while, his prior experience fueling his meteoric rise since he first showed up there.

CM Punk first got his start in wrestling in a backyard wrestling organization called the Lunatic Wrestling Federation. The name CM Punk arose when he was put into a tag team named the Chick Magnets, comprised of him and CM Venom. The great mystery is solved, as CM originally stood for 'Chick Magnet'. He didn't last long in that backyard wrestling federation though. Unlike his friends, CM Punk saw wrestling as more than a fun hobby - he wanted to make a go at the pros.

Our straight edge superstar then went and signed up at Ace Steel's wrestling school in Chicago. While he was training, he competed at St. Paul's Steel Domain Wrestling. It was there that he met another excellent wrestler with which he shares quite a history to this day, Colt Cabana. They became great friends and gradually began to work their way into the wrestling business together. On the independent circuit they formed a stable with other graduates of Ace Steel's wrestling school called the Gold Bond Mafia.

Most of CM Punk's early years on the independent circuit were spent wrestling for IWA: Mid-South. He had many feuds there with Colt Cabana and Chris Hero, as well as winning several titles, including the promotion's heavyweight strap. Punk's high profile matches with Colt Cabana drew attention from the wrestling business as a whole, and he soon started working in Ring of Honor and an emerging TNA.

Soon after Punk's debut in Ring of Honor, he turned heel and began a lengthy feud with Raven, involving many bloody matches. In full on heel mode, he would tell fans that he was better than them because he was abstinent, drug and alcohol free, and straight edge. This got over quickly with the fans. Later on in his Ring of Honor career, he teamed with Colt Cabana to win the ROH Tag Titles twice.

Meanwhile in TNA, Punk became a part of Raven's eclectic group 'The Gathering'. He was never very highly featured in TNA, and for many 'The Gathering' was seen as a flop angle redux. Punk then went on to quit TNA Wrestling when TNA refused to allow its wrestlers to also work Ring of Honor shows.

Back in Ring of Honor, Punk was having a series of highly acclaimed matches with Samoa Joe for the ROH World Title. In June of 2005, CM Punk accepted a deal with WWE, however went on to win the ROH World Title that same month from Austin Aries. CM Punk then went heel immediately, and as he defended his title started claiming that he was going to take the title with him to WWE. He finally lost the ROH World Title to James Gibson (known in the WWE as Jamie Noble) on August 12, 2005 in Dayton, Ohio. His final match with ROH (for the most part) was the very next night, a 2 out of 3 falls match that he lost 2-1 to his good friend Colt Cabana. CM Punk would later make one last unscheduled appearance in ROH on February 11th, 2006. He teamed Bryan Danielson to defeat Jimmy Rave and Adam Pearce in the main event of the evening.

Punk then started training with WWE developmental. He was assigned to then WWE developmental territory OVW and debuted on September 26, 2005. On November 9th, Punk went on to win the OVW Television Title, which he lost to Aaron 'The Idol' Stevens in a three way match on January 4th, 2006.

CM Punk then made his first debut in the WWE when he made a cameo as one of John Cena's 'gangsters' during his entrance at Wrestlemania 22 on April 2nd, then finally went on to win the OVW Heavyweight Championship on May 3rd. During this time he also captured and then lost the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship with Seth Skyfire. On August 30th, 2006 CM Punk finally lost the OVW Heavyweight Championship to Chet 'The Jet'. He was then brought up to the main WWE roster full time.

Check back often for more CM Punk news and notes!