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One year later, Superstars and WWE Universe sound off on CM Punk's "pipe bomb"
On June 27, 2011, the WWE Universe witnessed one of the greatest tirades of all time. When CM Punk clasped the microphone in his hands, it became more than just a mouthpiece to speak to the crowd and the millions of viewers watching worldwide. The mic became his dangerous weapon, his "pipe bomb." And with that weapon, The Voice of the Voiceless let loose with such powerful emotion and conviction that his address became the most buzzworthy moment of the year. The events that followed in the months to come only cemented Punk's words in the minds of the WWE Universe. Punk would go on to capture his first WWE Championship, become a pay-per-view main eventer, and rise meteorically from suppressed Superstar to "Best in the World." ( WATCH PLAYLIST)
For the one-year anniversary of Punk's legendary “pipe bomb,” WWE.com spoke to a wide range of WWE Superstars and Divas, and the former Superstar who presented Punk with his Slammy Award in 2011, to uncover exactly what made Punk's address so memorable. We also asked you to voice your opinion on the matter on Twitter, using the hashtag #PunkPipeBomb, and collected some of the best responses. Click through to find out what John Cena, Zack Ryder and more had to say, as well as members of the WWE Universe, regarding The Straight Edge Superstar's unforgettable outburst.
John Cena: When you see someone come into his own like that, it's inspirational. If you go back and watch that, even though Punk directed a lot of those comments toward me, it was almost like an opposing coach watching an all-star player have the game of his life. Like, man, you know you're getting whipped and you know you're going to lose, but you're seeing something great, and something that is going to stand the test of time.
When a guy like that has a night like that – a breakout night like that – I knew that, regardless of how many days CM Punk had been in WWE, now CM Punk is a household name. That very day. And since then, he has totally taken the ball and ran with it, and that was his whole original concept behind why he was saying what he was saying. 'Listen, I have talent. You guys are overlooking me. This is what I'm upset about. Could somebody please give me a shot?' And when he gets his shot, he becomes the WWE Champion – and keeps the WWE Championship. I was motivated, excited, and it's certainly a piece of the WWE timeline that nobody will ever forget.
"Road Dogg" Jesse James (who presented Punk his Slammy in 2011): I think it caused a revolution, to be quite honest with you. I think people who know the inside track, they always want to hear somebody who drops that on national TV. I think that's what brought CM Punk to the forefront, and now his popularity has just grown ever since. It's fun to see him on all our live events and just how popular he is. He never ceases to amaze me. It takes charisma, it takes personality, and Punk has loads of both.
Ezekiel Jackson: He stated that his WWE contract was coming to an end, and you don't know what to expect from somebody who's about to either quit or do whatever they want to do. He had absolutely nothing to lose. He could have said anything he wanted, and in a way, he did. It was so different. He stepped up to be a natural leader of the WWE locker room. You know that he was trying to make it known that he was representing us. You've seen things going in the direction that he wanted it to. One of the points he touched on was a smaller guy like him wasn't supposed to ever be WWE Champion, but then you've got him and Daniel Bryan [as a former World Heavyweight Champion] – smaller Superstars who became champions, who are getting their opportunities, and they're delivering.
Kaitlyn: I was watching it on TV since it was a travel day. When it happened, I was so shocked. I think I actually tweeted about it, like I was so curious about what was going down and what kind of impact it would have. I think his words kind of shifted things. In the WWE fans' eyes, watching that, it sparked a rebellion in a way and it kind of gave Punk this awesome chance to create himself in any way that he wanted. He totally reinvented himself. It was something that people could really rally around. He related to the WWE Universe and it felt so surreal.
Zack Ryder: I remember I was watching the backstage monitor and I was like, 'Wait a minute. Is this live on TV?' He was just saying these things about the company that seemed pretty unbelievable. They even cut the mic out from under him. You knew it was one of those moments that created controversy, and people were tuning in the next week to see what would happen. I definitely approved and agreed with what he was saying. I was saying similar things on my YouTube show, so when a Superstar like Punk voiced his opinion, maybe it made people realize a change was necessary.
Derrick Bateman: It was one of the most extraordinary moments I ever had while watching Raw live. There was this suspension of disbelief of what he was actually saying. And to top it off, wearing the "Stone Cold" Steve Austin T-shirt, it left you shocked. What I saw there was someone who believed he deserved to be on top, but wasn't quite yet, and he seized the opportunity to make himself a household name and put himself on top. He's got a 220-plus day title reign, so it's obviously worked for him.
Justin Gabriel: I was a huge fan of Punk before, and I think that day made me an even bigger fan. Just the way he walks and talks is so different. Everything he says, you want to believe him. For the guys in the WWE locker room, he definitely hit the right notes, but he obviously ruffled a lot of feathers. But that's cool. That's what we need. I think that's what we needed at the time and we need more of that going forward, too.
Below is a sampling of what the WWE Universe remembered about Punk's "pipe bomb":
@WWFSmackDown11: The moment he mentioned that Paul Heyman had been a supporter of his made me realize how real this promo was about to be. #PunkPipebomb
@SouthSiderKB: @CMPunk finally said what everyone was only thinking. He called out problems. He gave voice to the fans. #PunkPipeBomb
@Hawkeye007: CM Punk's epic tirade was great. I mean you had no idea what he was going to say. It was unpredictable. #PunkPipeBomb
@trinity21: every single word that @CMPunk said came straight from the heart and you could tell. That's why it was so amazing #PunkPipeBomb
@_LuckiestLoser_: It was Punk being Punk - not much is better than that. #PunkPipeBomb
@imquitegood: Because he had the guts to say what he thought. He got mad and did something about it.
@jaydee428: Stone Cold t-shirt #PunkPipeBomb
@XalivB: the way he spoke with conviction made sure he was heard by all. He spoke the truth and caused change. #PunkPipeBomb
@dnut53: cm punk told everyone what he thought and didn't hold back #PunkPipeBomb
@JTGoodz: because June 27th is my birthday and last year, that was the best birthday gift I could've asked for. #PunkPipeBomb
@RKOedPrincess: He held absolutely NOTHING back. #PunkPipeBomb
@BeccaProwlesx: "hey @ColtCabana, how you doin' *big wave*" #PunkPipeBomb
@ArielWWE4ever: The mic being cut off #punkpipebomb