A champion's homecoming

A champion's homecoming

Youngblooded ECW Champion CM Punk can vividly recall watching the heroes of yesterday -- the legends of today -- from a very ripe age in the city of Chicago. This Sunday at No Mercy, he returns to his hometown, to his city and finds himself the hero.

Growing up captivated by the alluring image of the squared-circle, CM Punk idolized the greatest champions in sports-entertainment history. Life proves to be a symmetrical sequence as today he is now one of them. Ever since he captured the ECW Title from John Morrison in September, the Superstar proponent of the straightedge movement has been living the dream he first envisioned as a rebellious youth in Chicago.

Bearing the weight of the Land of the Extreme around his tattooed waist, the ECW Champion is anxious for his homecoming at No Mercy. On that very momentous night, Punk will be surrounded by a sold-out arena filled with friends, family, neighbors and brethren -- all supporting him on his mission to slay a 500-pound behemoth.

"When I'm home, I run six to eight miles in the city," Punk explained. "I see people giving me the thumbs up, telling me to kick ass at No Mercy, saying that they're going to be there [at the event]. It's the greatest feeling in the world."

As the champion prepares to step foot onto the hallowed grounds of the Allstate Arena, he is confident that though the support of the capacity crowd makes him a little anxious, it will ultimately serve as an advantage in his title defense.

"It's a sold out arena in my hometown and I'm defending the ECW Championship," he said. "I'm getting butterflies just thinking about it. It's overwhelming, but it's amazing."

CM Punk will certainly need all the motivation he can get against a potentially indestructible challenger in Big Daddy V. He's undoubtedly aware of what level of damage the No. 1 contender can do -- in fact, he experienced it first hand just more than one week ago on ECW on Sci Fi. Essentially flattened by the quarter-ton mastodon, the Straightedge Superstar has felt the force of Big Daddy V and has been almost literally enveloped by his enormity.

Despite this fact, the ECW Champion refuses to be intimidated; instead, he seeks the opportunity to quell his craving for competition, even retribution against Big Daddy V. His athleticism and guile have earned him indisputable success in the Land of the Extreme. Put in front of Windy City cohorts, Punk is primed to ensure that the letter V will not become a symbol directly associated with the ECW Championship.

"Big Daddy V is a huge guy," admitted the indomitable champion, "but I've worked for 10 years to get where I am right now. Couple that with the fact that it's my hometown -- where I grew up watching wrestling -- that's bigger than Big Daddy V."

He added, "I've got a lot of heart and Big Daddy V's going to have to damn near kill me to take the title."

Determined to prevail on his territory, CM Punk proudly defends his ECW gold against a sizeable foe. Quite literally, No Mercy marks the Straightedge champion's biggest challenge. It's very possible that the audible support of wall-to-wall raucous Punk fans could evoke a unique feeling in the massive belly of Big Daddy V: Intimidation.

Could the one thing that Big Daddy V does best soon become his worst enemy? Will this effective dose of his own medicine, along with the fight in the ECW Champion, result in a huge win for CM Punk? Will Chi-town's warrior son emerge from the Allstate Arena with the title in tact? Catch this emotional match live this Sunday at 8/7 CT only on pay-per-view.

VOTE NOW: Will Punk prevail at No Mercy?

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