Before they were bigtime Superstars

CM Punk

Many fans of The Best in the World are familiar with his dynamic debut in summer 2006 in front of rowdy New York City fans at the famed Hammerstein Ballroom. But that wasn’t the first time CM Punk appeared in a WWE ring.

Visit CM Punk's Superstar profile | Watch Punk's ECW debut at the Hammerstein Ballroom

During his days as a standout in the Ring of Honor organization, the eventual long-reigning WWE Champion caught the attention of some WWE fans. The Second City Savior didn’t appear on Raw or SmackDown, but he twice appeared on Sunday Night Heat in spring 2005. Competing under the name of independent wrestling mainstay Chad Collyer, Punk tagged with Chad Russell Simpson as the oddly named Team of CM Punk in a bout against the duo of Maven & Simon Dean.

One month later, Punk was defeated by Val Venis, but the match impressed WWE officials enough to sign the Chicago native to a contract.