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Following CM Punk Day 2
Following CM Punk - Day 2
By Brandon Campbell with photos by Rich Freeda
March 27, 2008
All it took for CM Punk to become addicted was a blow to the head with a coconut. While watching wrestling as a young child, CM Punk witnessed WWE Hall of Famer "Rowdy" Roddy Piper bust open the tropical fruit on Jimmy Snuka's skull. Ironically, it was this moment that inspired the former ECW Champion to embark in a career in sports-entertainment.
"There was just something so romantic about what had just happened," Punk recalls. "It stood out so much more to me than someone hitting a homerun, someone kicking a field goal or catching a ‘Hail Mary' for a touchdown. There's something about smashing fresh produce over somebody's head and getting paid for it."
Growing up in Chicago, Punk was the average little boy -- hyperactive. He would wrestle with his family and friends. As Punk got older, his hyperactive nature turned into aggression, oftentimes causing him to be reprimanded for fighting.
"Getting in trouble a lot for fighting is how I got my name ‘Punk,' " says the Straightedge Superstar, reminiscing about his past. "Anybody who had some type of authority, I would just mouth off to. I was an individual with a capital ‘I.' Anybody who told me not to do something, I would do it anyway. When someone told me I wouldn't [accomplish] something, I'd prove them wrong."
But that was then and this is now. Punk doesn't get into trouble for fighting anymore -- because he says it's his job to fight. The Straightedge Superstar lets his tension out on opponents in the ring. He's widely popular for living a drug-free and non-alcoholic lifestyle, and is an example of how one should never judge a book by its cover. WWE.com will follow CM Punk all week before he appears in The Granddaddy of Them All in his second consecutive Money in the Bank Ladder Match to show our fans there's more to the former ECW Champion than meets the eye.
9:01 p.m., Oh My … Moment No.2
Despite losing in the first round to his nemesis for the second year in a row, Punk, a renowned fierce competitor, walks away with a consolation prize. Each WWE Superstar is given a THQ goodie bag for participating in the competition. "I think it's almost unfair that I get a PSP just for playing, three video games and a zip-up hoodie. It's almost criminal," a very humble Punk says. "Now, with my THQ Challenge out of the way, I can focus 100 percent on my Money in the Bank Match at WrestleMania."
8:24 p.m., Let the Games Begin
Punk comes out swinging in front of a packed House of Blues, but in the end, Burke — who goes on to win his second straight THQ Superstar Challenge — is too much for the former ECW Champ. "Eventually, my strategy of mashing buttons caught up with me. Elijah knows how to play the game. He beat me fairly soundly," recalls Punk. "But, hey, I can beat him in real life and he can beat me in the video game world. It's not like we were playing Guitar Hero here, a game in which I would mop the floor with everyone here."
6:30 p.m., Chop Heard Around Canada
Punk lands a chop to the chest of MuchMusic 2006 VJ Search Winner Tim "Deegenator" Deegan that would make Ric Flair proud. "It was a bad idea, but I'm the Deegenator — the next WWE Superstar. I'm going to meet him in the ring and I'm going to get him back," says Deegan. "If he can't take a chop, I think it's better for him to stick to interviewing," says the former ECW Champion in response to the Deegenator's threat.
6:17 p.m., Put on Your Best Face for the Camera
Before competing against Burke in the first round of the sixth annual THQ Superstar Challenge, Punk completes a round of interviews with national and international media. Punk's first interview is with IGN, a multimedia video game news Web site. After his discussion with IGN characters Gruesome Greggy and El Gringo Primo, the Straightedge Superstar knows that these interviews are unlike any others he's experienced. "I thought today's interviews were pretty cool. The questions they were asking me were very unconventional, which is rare. Usually, I am asked the same typical questions. I had a lot of fun," he says.
5:35 p.m., THQ Superstar Challenge
While being briefed by WWE's event organizers before media interviews, Punk manages to sneak a joke in that has every Superstar in the room laughing. The former ECW Champion is hours away from facing the person who eliminated him last year in the THQ Superstar Challenge -- Elijah Burke, an in-ring nemesis. "Last year, I practiced a lot and it didn't do me any good, so I'm going to mash buttons. I don't know which buttons do what. I don't know which buttons to hit. I'm just hitting buttons," Punk says.
10:19 a.m., Ready for His Close-Up
Though he's never been the type of Superstar caught up in his physical appearance, one person Punk never wants to face off against is on-set makeup artist, Holly Pergola. "I'm a wake up, get out of bed, throw on a pair of jeans and sneakers-type of guy. But hey, it's her job, so I let her do her thing," Punk says. For 20 minutes, the former ECW Champion encourages young voters to visit vote.wwe.com to learn more about the 2008 presidential candidates.
9:47 a.m., Take Five
Despite having a late-night workout session at Gold's Gym, the Straightedge Superstar is early for his 10 a.m. Smackdown Your Vote! video shoot, so he takes time to relax outside the studio. "It's kind of funny. On most occasions, I'm usually the person [who is] late, but I hate to leave people waiting for work-related things," recalls Punk, while wearing his new Smackdown Your Vote!'s "Apathy Sucks … Vote" T-shirt.