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Following CM Punk Day 3
Following CM Punk - Day 3
By Brandon Campbell with photos by Rich Freeda
March 28, 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.
8:44 p.m., What's on the Tube?
As soon as Punk walks into his hotel room, he sprawls across his bed to relax. Punk has an early morning call time to attend the WrestleMania Reading Challenge Finals, so he wants to go to sleep early. Before he does that, the former ECW Champ watches SmackDown to study the techniques of his Money in the Bank Ladder Match opponents, Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho and United States Champion MVP. WrestleMania is two nights away and Punk is as focused as ever.
8:11 p.m., What a Day
After a day spent with friends and another strenuous workout session — lasting nearly three hours — the Straightedge Superstar is spent. "I'm exhausted and I want to just go up to my room," says Punk, as he travels up the hotel elevator.
3:49 p.m., Oh My … Moment No. 3
Punk visits Orlando's Citrus Bowl to take in the atmosphere just days before competing in his second consecutive Money in the Bank Ladder Match. While sitting in the empty stadium, which will be filled with more than 70,000 ecstatic fans this Sunday, Punk can't help but reflect on WrestleMania 23. "This year I get to right a wrong," says the former ECW Champion. Last year, in his first-ever WrestleMania match, Punk almost snagged the briefcase before being knocked off by a flying ladder thrown by eventual winner, Mr. Kennedy. "WrestleMania this year, to me, is all about winning. I have experience in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match now. I have experience at WrestleMania. What little butterflies I had last year are gone. That's the thing about me. No matter how many times I get knocked down, I always get back up."
3:04 p.m., Just Kicking It
Punk listens to his iPod as he kicks the punching bag in between reps on the weight machine. "I like rock and heavy metal music. Right now, I'm listening to Throwback."
2:46 p.m., Valuable Friendship
In today's world, good friends are hard to come by. Punk and WWE developmental talent, Colt Cabana, often work out together. Punk and Cabana have been friends for 10 years, and first met in a Chicago wrestling school. The two became best friends while making a name for themselves on the independent wrestling circuit. "Punk and I come from opposite sides of the world. He's a scummy punk and I'm a momma's boy from the suburbs," admits Cabana, who is with Florida Championship Wrestling, WWE's official developmental territory. "Colt and I bonded in wrestling school, because we were two guys who thought it was weird that other wrestlers didn't want to drive the long hours to work. Yes, we're completely opposite, but we have one thing in common -- passion for this business," Punk says.
2:04 p.m., Good Times
While some people may consider exercising and lifting weights hard work, others find it fun. For CM Punk, his excitement comes from hitting the gym. "I go to the gym during my downtime. How sad is that?" Punk reveals with an ear-to-ear smile. "I go to the gym to relax, almost." Punk takes a 20-minute drive to his favorite fitness center, Gold's Gym, a sports club he prefers because it's open 24 hours a day. When it comes to Punk's schedule, convenience is vital. While lifting weights, the Straightedge Superstar likes to focus on an individual body part to strengthen his 6-foot-3, 222-pound physique. Today, the Chicago native devotes his attention to his shoulders.
12:47 p.m., Late Start
The schedules of WWE Superstars are usually jam-packed leading up to WrestleMania, so when one of sports-entertainment's biggest Superstars, such as CM Punk, has a day that doesn't include public appearances, he or she takes full advantage. On this day, Punk's first perk is to sleep in. Lucky for him, there is a Cracker Barrel nearby where he eats a late breakfast.