16 great moments of 'The Best in the World'
G.T.S. (Go to Sleep); Anaconda Vise
CM Punk: Bio
It’s not surprising that CM Punk cited the radical WWE Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as a childhood influence. After all, Punk was the embodiment of the anti-establishment, whose skill at igniting verbal “pipe bombs” was rivaled only by the late “Hot Rod” himself.
Punk even looked the part of rebel with his too-numerous-to-count tattoos and body piercings. Yet, he waxed way more philosophical than his exterior might have suggested and showed a diverse set of interests that included ghost hunting, G.I. Joe and the “Straight Edge” movement, a subculture that rejects the use of drugs, alcohol and a dependency lifestyle.
His in-ring repertoire was an assimilation of fighting styles, all of which were put on full display during his debut on WWE's relaunched ECW in 2006. Punk then added many accomplishments to his considerable résumé, including the ECW, WWE, World Heavyweight, World Tag Team and Intercontinental Championships.
Punk would become one of the most celebrated WWE Superstars of all time — and did so in spite of the events of 2011, when he assailed Mr. McMahon with his blunt opinions about the business and made a bold promise not to renew his contract with the company. Punk’s criticism struck a nerve with The Chairman who, against his better judgment, granted The Second City Saint a WWE Championship Match at WWE Money in the Bank in the Superstar’s native city, Chicago on the last day of Punk's WWE contract. Punk not only beat John Cena to win that match, but he also absconded with the WWE Championship as the seconds on his WWE contract ticked down.
Punk agreed to re-sign with WWE weeks later, compelled to return to the ring by a more lucrative contract and to prove that he was the undisputed “Best in the World.” The Voice of the Voiceless advocated on behalf of disenchanted WWE fans who felt the WWE product was in need of a good (roundhouse) kick in the teeth. He became two-time WWE Champion, proving his mettle by defeating the likes of Chris Jericho, Alberto Del Rio, Daniel Bryan and other elite Superstars.
As Punk’s WWE Title reign continued to climb, so did his contempt for those who failed to show him the proper level of “respect.” Proclaiming himself a “Paul Heyman Guy,” Punk aligned with the evil genius of the original ECW and one of his early mentors as his WWE Title reign grew to become the longest of the modern era.
Following that historic accomplishment, The Straight Edge Superstar continued to battle even the most lofty of competitors, challenging The Undertaker’s legendary Streak at WrestleMania 29, engaging in a hellacious war with Brock Lesnar at that year’s SummerSlam and battling and somehow defeating all three members of The Shield in a single match on Raw.
Punk was the first entrant in the annual Royal Rumble Match on January 26, 2014 in his final match with WWE. After Punk lasted until the final four, Kane, who had already been eliminated earlier in the match by Punk, illegally eliminated The Straight Edge Superstar from the outside and proceeded to chokeslam him through the announce table.
With verbal skills that matched his in-ring abilities, Punk cemented himself as one of the most prolific and influential WWE Champions of all time, and his historic career can be enjoyed on WWE Network.