UFC 225 is now nearly a week old and CM Punk's MMA career is likely in the rearview mirror after an ugly loss to Mike Jackson. In fact, the fight was so bad, UFC President Dana White suggested both men call it quits on their quest to be a part of the promotion. The next logical step might have been professional wrestling but no matter how many wrestling fans were hoping to see it, Punk has been adamant about the fact that he has no intentions of returning to the industry. What he'll do next is anyone's guess but that's a much better situation to be in than the one that was facing him just a few short days ago when he was fighting tooth and nail against WWE doctor Chris Amann over comments he made that could have cost him millions of dollars.
Punk won his case and the charges were dropped. The stress that was that trial, like his UFC career, is in the past but things could have gone a whole lot different. Why didn't they? After what Punk said about Amann on Colt Cabana's The Art of Wrestling podcast — and the stuff he said was nasty — why didn't Punk have to pay the piper? Here are just a few reasons.
Amann Had To Show Damages Beyond The Norm
This case wasn't as simple as saying 'did he or didn't he'. What we mean by that, is WWE doctor Chris Amann was claiming he was a victim of “defamation per se.” The difference between this and simply Punk causing damages is that Amann didn't actually have to show what those damages were, only that Punk's comments were so reprehensible that there was no way damages didn't occur. That's a pretty tall order.
Amann was arguing that the things Punk said on Cabana's podcast The Art of Wrestling in 2014 were not only false but damaging to his career as a medical professional and that there was no way he could have recovered. The only problem was, Amann still had a job with the WWE, is paid a big salary by the WWE and oversees a number of medical professionals in WWE. Amann was no worse off today than he was after the comments were made. In fact, an argument could have been made that he had moved up in WWE based on his position almost four years earlier.
It also meant that the jury had to believe Cabana's podcast reached so many people that Amann was bound to hear about it everywhere. The problem here was that most of the jury hadn't ever listened to or rarely ever listened to podcasts. It might seem strange, but podcasts aren't a wildly popular thing everywhere. A lot of people had no idea Cabana even had a podcast.
The Jury Liked Punk
Another crazy thing that happened during the trial was that the jury actually grew to like CM Punk. While things were iffy based on the fact the jury had to listen to the entire podcast which was full of expletives from Punk and some nasty comments directed at Amann, once Punk suggested he was in a bad place at that time, wasn't in the same place today, and started to cry when he had to relive his travel itinerary which the jury found as completely insane, they grew to sympathize with him.
The icing on the cake was when Punk revealed that the "CM" in his name stood for "Chick Magnet" which got a laugh out of the courtroom. Between the crying and the laughing, Amann's lawyers had to know they were in trouble.
The Jury Didn't Like Amann
The most obvious reason Punk ended up winning this entire thing was that because Amann was positioned as a guy people couldn't trust and probably wouldn't like much if they were dealing with him personally, Punk was the guy people sided with. It was proven Amann broke doctor/client confidentiality when it was discovered he had talked to other wrestlers about Punk's prognosis, the jury didn't understand why Amann would be claiming he suffered greatly when it was clear his job and position in WWE was still intact and the court case was never settled prior the trial (which was offered by Punk's side). Instead, Amann was asking for closer to $4 million in potential damages.
It was easy not to like him.
While this case was clearly stressful for everyone, when you look at how things went down, there really wasn't much doubt it would fall Punk's way and for all the stated reasons above, Punk is now free to pursue whatever career path he wants without a financial burden hanging over his head.