CM Punk has become one of the most globally recognized wrestlers in the world over the past few years, mostly because of the way he departed from WWE.
Punk’s last WWE appearance was at the 2014 Royal Rumble. He then went on to no-show Raw the following night, and fans began to realize that the self-proclaimed ‘Best in the World’ may not be returning to the company where he found fame.
The former WWE Champion remained quiet about his departure until he appeared on Colt Cobana’s podcast in November the same year. This then opened a can of worms when Punk stated that he left WWE because of an injury that was overlooked and the fact that he once again was told that he wouldn’t main event WrestleMania.
Punk was told that he would be facing Triple H at the ‘Showcase of The Immortals’ and he wasn’t open to facing The Game again. He wanted to main event WrestleMania at some point in his career and it seemed that WWE was not going to give him that, so he walked away.
He also had a short match in UFC earlier this year. After almost two years of waiting from the WWE Universe, Punk lost to Mickey Gall in his first ever UFC match in just over two minutes.
Shockingly, WWE still wants the WWE Universe to remember CM Punk, but there are a lot of things that they hope that the fans will forget about the record-breaking star.
15. Forget: The Law Suit With Chris Allman
Following CM Punk’s controversial episode of the Colt Cabana podcast, WWE had to respond to the many claims that Punk made. Punk stated that he was suffering from a staph infection for the last few months he was with WWE and that doctor Chris Allman had given him antibiotics and told him he would be fine.
Punk then went to see his wife’s doctor outside of WWE and they easily diagnosed it as a staph infection and sent him to the hospital to cut it out. Punk also claims that it could have killed him. Obviously, Allman sued Punk for defamation because this doesn’t sound good for him as a doctor to wrongfully diagnose a patient more than once. Allman sued Punk for one million dollars, and it is thought that WWE wouldn’t be happy that this is being said about their main doctor.
14. Remember: His Partnership With Paul Heyman
Paul Heyman has to be the best talker in WWE at the moment. And even though he is best known as the advocate of ‘The Beast Incarnate,’ Brock Lesnar, he also had a successful pairing with CM Punk.
Punk and Heyman were good friends outside of WWE and this then transitioned into their work on WWE TV. Even when they broke up and Punk was pitted against Brock Lesnar, it was still one of the best feuds that the company had going at the time. It was a creative way of splitting Heyman and Punk up and making room for Heyman and Brock to once again reign over the WWE. In reality, Heyman is responsible for a lot of Punk’s success in WWE as Heyman pushed for Punk to rise among the ranks.
13. Forget: CM Punk vs. The Undertaker – WrestleMania XXIX
Technically speaking, CM Punk was the final person to face The Undertaker with his WrestleMania streak intact, but because of how quickly WWE threw together the match and the involvement of Paul Bearer following his death, it is a match and a section of Punk’s career that many fans would rather forget.
Punk was a heel at the time and he used the fact that The Undertaker’s former manager had just passed away to his advantage. Punk managed to gain a lot of heat from it as well. While the match was one of the best on the WrestleMania card that year, it is one that fans prefer not to remember. It is also believed that The Undertaker was not pleased with the idea of working with a smaller opponent like Punk.
12. Remember: The Summer Of Punk
It was perhaps the biggest and most interesting Summer in recent memory, and it was mostly down to CM Punk. ‘The Summer of Punk’ saw CM Punk climb to the top of WWE in 2011 after he proclaimed that he would be leaving the company following the Money in the Bank pay-per-view and taking the WWE Championship with him.
Punk did walk away from WWE with the title, but he came back a week later and ended up fighting John Cena to prove that he was the worthy Champion at the very next pay-per-view, SummerSlam. With the ‘Pipe Bomb’ promo and the fact that it was a reality-based storyline for the first time in a long time, we can believe that WWE would want fans to remember this one.
11. Forget: His Comments About Susan G. Komen
Every year WWE supports Susan G. Komen and the man women who are fighting breast cancer or have already overcome the disease. The problem here is the fact that CM Punk did a little bit of research and found out that most of the money raised by WWE and fans every year, lines the pockets of the people who own the company rather than the survivors and sufferers:
If you're going to give money to a company that claims to raise money for finding a cure for cancer, please do some research.Komen is a scam
— Coach (@CMPunk) October 6, 2015
Punk tweeted this during one of WWE’s shows a few years ago and ensured that fans were aware of what they were paying for. WWE have continued to support the cause ever since, so it seems they didn’t even take Punk’s comments into consideration. However, it’s not exactly something they would like their fans to remember and dig into themselves. They surely would feel better if fans forgot about Punk’s tweet all together.
10. Remember: The Pipe Bomb
Let’s be honest: even if WWE didn’t want us to remember this one, it is definitely one that we will never forget. Punk made some real points about WWE and Vince McMahon but because he failed to walk away when he said he would, the meaning of the promo lost itself over time.
Looking back at it now, WWE has changed because of CM Punk. Whether the company will admit it or not and some of the points he raised in that famous Pipe Bomb promo have now helped change the company and its current outlook. WWE have Punk to thank for bringing it to the world’s attention and finally saying what no other star dared to say. They may not like it but WWE will want people to remember this promo in the future.
9. Forget: His Stint In TNA
WWE perhaps wouldn’t be very forthcoming about the fact that CM Punk actually had a short stint in TNA before he signed with the company. Punk joined TNA back in 2003 and had a short, forgettable spell with one of WWE’s biggest rivals (Punk was brought in to side with Ravne and his alliance known as The Gathering).
This was before CM Punk made the switch over to WWE and became a part of the ECW reboot. More recently WWE has found more success with past TNA wrestler with current Superstars, Austin Aries, A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe. Al of whom came from TNA. In Punk’s ‘Best in the World’ DVD, WWE mentioned that he spent time in Ring of Honor but failed to mention that he was also signed to TNA at the same time. Odd?
8. Remember: The Straight Edge Society
WWE are not stupid, they may currently dislike CM Punk because he walked away from the company, but they know that when it comes to creating some of the most entertaining storylines, CM Punk was very good at it (one of the best of his generation).
Punk himself recalled that he came up with the entire Straight Edge Society storyline and told Vince everything he needed to know about taking it forward. He was even happy to have his hair shaved in the end because he knew it was the best thing for the story. WWE will want to remember some of the best storytelling of the past few years, surely. And The Straight Edge Society helped provide some compelling storytelling which even included having a woman named Serena shaved off her hair in the middle of the ring.
7. Forget: Daniel Bryan’s Push Was Because Of Punk
WWE will never admit it, but CM Punk is the entire reason for the ‘Yes Movement’ and Daniel Bryan’s subsequent WrestleMania XXX win. WWE were stuck when it was made official that Punk wasn’t returning, especially since it meant that Triple H had no WrestleMania opponent, so they changed their plans.
Bryan was supposed to face Sheamus again that year but thanks to CM Punk fans coming up with the ‘Occupy Raw’ idea, WWE stole it and used it for Daniel Bryan. He was then pushed into a match with Triple H and put into the main event as a way to finally give fans what they wanted. If Punk stayed, Bryan would have faced Sheamus, Punk would have faced Triple H, and Batista vs. Randy Orton would have been the main event.
6. Remember: CM Punk, The Storyteller
Let’s be honest: CM Punk is one of the best talkers that WWE has ever had as a talent and when he was on the mic, the crowd could only sit and listen. Punk was a natural born storyteller. He even matched John Cena in every way and that is what made their feud even more intriguing.
Whether WWE wants to admit it or not, they got the best out of CM Punk. They managed to push him into the position that he deserved to be in but they couldn’t maintain it. It was some of the best wrestling viewing in the past decade and that was mostly due to Punk’s storytelling abilities. Punk knew how to pander to the crowd as a face and especially knew hot to gain heat when working as a heel.
5. Forget: The Shield Was CM Punk’s Idea
That’s right, the most dominant stable in WWE’s modern era wasn’t even WWE’s idea. It came from none other than CM Punk. Punk himself stated that he came up with idea of The Shield but he wanted it to consist of Chris Hero, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose.
It seems that WWE went ahead and put their own Samoan touch on the group by bringing in Roman Reigns instead of Hero, someone who WWE have recently signed. Punk even talked about the gimmick of The Sheild and the way that they were going to debut in WWE. This would be the idea that WWE then went along with but adding their own spin of course. Imagine what could have bene if WWE actually went with Hero over Reigns as the muscle of the group?
4. Remember: Mr. Money In The Bank
There is a lot of history that CM Punk managed to create during his time in WWE, and some of it WWE are happy to forget. Just like they were happy to wipe out his wife AJ Lee’s longest reigning Divas Championship record, they would be happy to erase Punk out of the history books if they could.
That being said, Punk has his own history when it comes to Money in the Bank. He is the only person to have ever held the briefcase on back to back occasions. He became the first person to win it twice and the first person to then win it twice in a row, with both of these records still intact (technically Edge won the briefcase a second time but not during the MITB match). Punk cashed in successfully both times and it played a key role in WWE’s programming at that time.
3. Forget: WWE Fired Punk On His Wedding Day
WWE are all about the Universe’s perception of the company and they would never want their fans to think any less of them. So when Punk went on Colt Cabana’s podcast and recalled that WWE not only fired him but they decided to send him the official papers on his wedding day, the company knew there would be a problem.
Punk was a huge star in WWE and he did a lot for the company. For them to fire him on his wedding day, despite the fact that he had been away from the company for quite some time at this point seems rather petty and immature for a corporate company. On the ‘Stone Cold Podcast’ Vince McMahon himself (who was believed to be a fan of Punk) would apologize for the misunderstanding.
2. Remember: His First UFC Match
It is hard for WWE fans to forget that incredible video just months after his departure from WWE when CM Punk announced that he will ‘see you in the Octagon in 2015’ sadly it wasn’t until September 2016 that he stepped into a UFC ring and it will be a match that every WWE fan will remember.
Punk walked away from WWE, so for the company to be able to watch him fail in two minutes and 14 seconds must have been great for them. As much as this makes WWE look even worse because that’s their former World Champion, it seems that WWE would rather brag about the loss than care about what it means for them. In fact, Stephanie McMahon recently poked fun at Punk’s loss on Monday Night Raw.
1. Forget: His 434 Day Reign
It’s obvious that WWE is not happy that Punk still holds the longest WWE Championship reign for their modern era. There were even reports that WWE was happy to have Roman Reigns wipe out the record if he hadn’t been caught violating the Wellness Policy earlier this year.
Much like WWE tried to teach Demolition a lesson for being a part of a lawsuit against them by having The New Day break their record, this is a very similar thing. It won’t be long before WWE finds a way to erase Punk’s name from their books for good and now with two titles and a Brand Split, it makes it a much easier mission. Who knows, maybe A.J. Styles will hold the WWE Championship long enough to surpass Punk.