Punk's year funked?

Punk's year funked?

If the ECW Champion was to take a brief competitive caesura, refrain from looking ahead to the next challenge and retrospectively re-examine his 2007, CM Punk would certainly agree that the past 12 months have been the greatest of his career.

Beginning with his first-ever appearance in the all-important Royal Rumble Match last January, the Straightedge Superstar then competed in front of 75,000 fans in Detroit at WrestleMania 23 -- the prime showcase where all WWE Superstars dream of performing. Months later, when it seemed CM Punk couldn't get any hotter, the young and tattooed ECW Superstar captured the ECW Championship in early September, achieving the pinnacle position in the Land of the Extreme.

Suddenly, in the closing weeks of the year, the Straightedge Champion hit several bumps in the success-laden road. CM Punk was not only battered, but also pinned by the 500-pound Big Daddy V in a tag match at Armageddon. Then, two nights later, the ECW Champion found himself frog splashed by an unexpected assailant in Chavo Guerrero.

Punk now stands on the cusp of a new beginning: 2008. And, despite a long, physically tormenting week heading into the holidays, CM Punk has not been beaten yet.

"This is all worth it," he explained as he slightly raised his lustrous gold title. "I have had the year of a lifetime and as long as I keep fighting, 2008 is only going to bring bigger things for me."

Retreat just isn't in the vocabulary of the ECW Champion. For too long, he's worked too hard to allow one bad week to spoil the 51 before. According to the Straightedge Superstar, he wouldn't be able to call himself champion if he wasn't able to take a beating and bounce back from it.

"Suffering defeat and getting beat down affects you physically," Punk said, candid as always. "But, pulling yourself up after you get pinned or beat down affects your confidence, in the right way. It gives you confidence. It's what makes you a champion."

Regardless of the events of the last live edition of ECW on Sci Fi, the young champion walks into the New Year with his chin firmly up. It's very possible that this same chin, however, will be the target of Chavo Guerrero, Big Daddy V and many other lethal Superstars.

This truth only makes CM Punk anxious for his first taste of action in 2008.

How will the Straightedge Champion's year commence? Find out by catching ECW on Sci Fi on the very first day of the New Year, when the action returns to you this Tuesday night at 10/9 CT.

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