Dueling Diary: CM Punk and Chris Jericho, Day 4

Page 4 of 5
March 31, 2012

Showtime creeps closer and CM Punk snaps a photo with his “road wife,” Kofi Kingston. This shot and a similar candid of him and The Iron Sheik is ideal fodder to be tweeted to Punk’s 782,000-and-strong followers. They’re instant retweets.

The mixed company of WWE Legends and current competitors keeps The Voice of the Voiceless busy until it’s time to take the floor of the American Airlines Arena. Suddenly, Punk slips away from the corralled throngs of suits, tuxes and Swarovski evening gowns as he barges into a private room where Mike Tyson’s inductors, Triple H and Shawn Michaels, rehearse their in-tandem speech. This isn’t the type of conversation that just anyone can walk into so gracefully, so nonchalantly, but CM Punk is far from your typical human being. The two top dogs preview some of their speech and engage in a brief talk with The Voice of the Voiceless.

The Straight Edge Champion’s first experience with the “Kliq” cohorts was at his first-ever WWE pay-per-view at Survivor Series 2006 as a member of Team DX. A half decade later, his presence among these iconic Superstars suggests that Punk – a rebel akin to anti-establishment antics much like the original D-Generates – has ascended to a spot very few will ever reach. Whether he wants to be or not, he’s in an elite club with membership that’s not easily extended just because someone holds the WWE Championship. It means that he’s made it and it means that he’s been acknowledged. It means respect, which is the greatest currency someone like CM Punk could ask for.

A FACE IN THE CROWD, 7:55 p.m.
Refreshed after some “DDP Yoga” earlier this afternoon, Chris Jericho parts the curtains to step onto the main floor at the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, converting a temporary lull from the crowd into a raucous reception. He’s again rolling with “American Idol’s” James Durbin, who takes his seat beside Jericho for the event while an entire arena swaths the No. 1 contender with a “CM Punk!” chant all around him.

Jericho preserves his façade and focuses on a most meaningful evening that will include the celebration of several men from his colorful past – from The Four Horsemen, who reigned over one of Jericho’s earliest home, WCW, to Mike Tyson, who once knocked Y2J out cold on Raw.

And, of course, there’s Edge, whose similar ascent in sports-entertainment always seemed to either augment or jeopardize his kinship with Jericho, depending on whether or not The Rated-R Superstar held a championship Chris coveted.

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