Punk sweeps the Land of the Extreme
Almost instantly after being handed his newly earned ECW Championship, the Straightedge Superstar dropped to his knees and clutched the gold symbol in his capable hands, overcome with the emotion of the moment. That night, CM Punk's victory was audibly welcomed by the torrent of raving Punk fans and even individuals in the ECW locker room that applauded his triumph.
Now, even after the new ECW Champion's big win, the Land of the Extreme is still buzzing over the new flag-bearer in ECW.
"I'm both happy and honored to have CM Punk as the ECW Champion. If there's anyone who represents what a lot of the Originals fought for -- work rate, passion and loving this business -- it's CM Punk. He is addicted to this business. And like I said, I'm proud to have a champion like him. There's a legacy here in ECW. Morrison is an amazing performer, but he has a really big chip on his shoulder. CM Punk represents what I envisioned the new ECW to be."
"What did CM Punk have to go through to get to this? A Fatal Four Way Match where I took out both Boogeyman and Big Daddy V. That night, Punk got lucky. It should've been me competing against John Morrison for the ECW Title. Granted, CM Punk is a great competitor who won the championship match [against Morrison], but that Punk should be looking for me to take that title."
"For someone who has been working this hard for as long as CM Punk has, he deserves it. I don't say that too often about too many champions, but he's dedicated his life to wrestling. I've followed his career and he always gives it all he's got every night. Now, who knows, maybe one day he'll have to put up the ECW Championship against me…and lose it."
"I'm very happy for [CM Punk]. Every Superstar in ECW aspires to be the ECW Champion. I, myself, am included in that long list of people waiting in line for the big one. But, I know what kind of a competitor CM Punk is and I know the kind of fighting champion he will be. This is a big day for ECW."
"I will give the devil his due; CM Punk went out there and won a very competitive match against John Morrison. I'll tell you one thing though: If I was in the ring with Morrison, it wouldn't have taken me four times to beat him.
There are a lot of great men that have held the ECW Championship, but there are also many men that some would refer to as transitional champions -- those who hold the title for a small amount of time until someone else comes along to take their rightful place as champion. CM Punk will join that great list of transitional champions that didn't even have enough time to leave their fingerprints on it…and the man he's temporarily holding that title for is YOUR Guiding Light, Elijah Burke."
Unlike the embittered Burke, our fans who were on hand at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati seemed to believe that CM Punk is and will be much more than a transitional champion in the Land of the Extreme. According to some, the Straightedge Superstar may be the one individual who will reshape ECW.
Andy Foster, Cincinnati:
This proves that dedication and getting up when you're knocked down pays off. Punk has been on the short end of the stick on many occasions. He's faced setbacks and has come close in many matches… and now he's a champion. Holding the championship has proven to be a lot tougher than winning it, so how long Punk can hang onto it will be the true testament to his abilities.
Ryan Glenn, Butlerville, Ohio:
"I'm glad I was here [in the U.S. Bank Arena] to witness this. I think this is going to change ECW forever. It's one of those things that will shape the direction of the brand for years to come. It shows how much [Punk] has progressed since his debut last year."
Lisa Christie, Cincinnati:
"The hot guys always win! I'm totally in love with CM Punk. He's always been a champion in my book and now he's the ECW Champion!"
Jane Lee, Madeira, Ohio:
"John Morrison was been barely beating Punk when he wasn't cheating to win. It was only a matter of time before the tides turned. Now that Punk has won, I don't think Morrison can create another formula for victory. It's CM Punk's turn now."
Mark Trillo, Cincinnati:
"His competitive nature led to him achieving goals that nobody thought possible. It's quite possible that CM Punk is the craftiest champion in [sports-entertainment]. Some champions are giants; some champions are built like inside linebackers; and then some champions win because they're smarter competitors than everyone else, and that's where Punk fits in."