Punk's lesson in extreme table etiquette

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June 02, 2007

CM Punk gritted his teeth as he leaned on the splintered remains of a table. He tried to pull himself up. His ribs and back ached, thanks to crash-landing through the table, courtesy of an explosive Pounce from New Breed enforcer Marcus Cor Von during a No Disqualification Match with Elijah Burke.

But a deeper pain made the Straightedge Superstar wince -- phrases such as "What if?" and "If only" burned in his mind. Moments before Cor Von's interference, Punk had Burke reeling. It looked like Punk wanted to send the New Breed leader hurdling through a table, but he hesitated. Punk, who is more accustomed to using his Muay Thai and Ju Jitsu training and grappling skills to gain victories, did not seem to know what to do with the table Burke had brought into the ring. He looked out to his screaming legion of fans for guidance, but they couldn't help him. And ultimately, that cost him the victory.

Punk knows he will have to be better prepared this Sunday at One Night Stand when he joins ECW Originals Tommy Dreamer and Sandman to battle the New Breed. The man dubbed by some experts as a future champion will compete in his first-ever Tables Match, and knows he couldn't have better mentors in the ways of Extreme Rules than ECW legends Dreamer and Sandman.

"I'm not used to using furniture in the ring, but I couldn't have better backup than Tommy Dreamer and Sandman," Punk told WWE.com. "The New Breed is not outmanned, but they are outgunned. I have a great team … these are two of the most hardcore ECW Originals."

Our fans will see a historic union of ECW's past and present when Dreamer and Sandman team up with Punk. Dreamer and Sandman are ECW pioneers Punk grew up watching. They represent a time in ECW when Tables Matches and mayhem were the norm. But unlike the New Breed, Punk respects what Dreamer, Sandman and other Originals have meant to ECW. And Dreamer and Sandman admire Punk because they believe he embodies the never-say-die attitude and passion they have always brought to their countless wars in ECW. Rob Van Dam also noticed Punk's "old school" ECW attitude and was one reason why he tried to recruit the Straightedge Superstar to the Originals. (Punk chose to remain on his own, a decision the Originals respected.)

As two veterans of Tables Matches, Dreamer and Sandman will gladly share their Extreme secrets with Punk. The New Breed -- Burke, Cor Von and Matt Striker -- do not have much experience in Tables Matches, either. But they have shown that they can more than hold their own in Extreme Rules Matches -- they upset the Originals in a Six-Man Extreme Rules war on the ECW on Sci Fi after WrestleMania 23.

Despite his inexperience, Punk is well-aware of the dangers of using tables in the ring. But he is ready and willing to put his health and career on the line at One Night Stand.

"Just look at what happened with Rob Van Dam and Hardcore Holly," Punk said. "You can lose an eye. You can get a gash, like Hardcore Holly. Hopefully, that won't happen to us, but will happen to the New Breed this Sunday."

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