CM Punk’s a guy we all know and love – well most of us do anyway. He was – in many ways – a legend during his time in WWE, and gained stardom when he became the longest reigning WWE champion of the modern era – a 434-day reign at the top, which is a period that many people still find staggering. His time with the world’s biggest wrestling promotion was also notable for his hatred towards Vince McMahon and the establishment, resulting in him walking away from wrestling. During his time with WWE, he had his detractors, but there was an overwhelming amount of love for Punk from the fans, and this love followed him out the door and into the world of UFC and MMA.
Punk’s an entertainer, there’s no arguing with that. He may be a straight-laced guy who doesn’t smoke, do drugs or drink, but Punk’s testimony to the fact that you don’t need to be intoxicated to lead an eventful, colorful life. A lot of you may know about the stuff on camera, the stuff that the WWE wants to see, but there’s plenty more that’s gone on in Punk’s life – things that have ultimately shaped him and have made him the man he is today. These are 15 insane real-life CM Punk stories.
14 Wedding Day Blues
The year 2014 was a difficult one for Punk. At the start of the year, he walked out of a couple of events in which he was scheduled to take part. He just packed up and left as he had had enough and told the management he was “going home.” Fans were wondering what the hell was going on; Vince tried to beat around the bush, but then in July, Punk came out with a statement that said he was “never ever” going to wrestle again. Then in that famous episode of Colt Cabana’s podcast, everything came to light. He revealed that in June, on his wedding day to AJ Lee, he was handed his termination papers and was officially fired by WWE. Unsurprisingly after that, he burned all ties with WWE. Vince later said it was unfortunate but purely coincidental – yeah right Vince.
13 He Was Arrested Over SummerSlam Weekend in 2014
One of Punk’s reasons for his hatred towards the WWE was because he felt he wasn’t getting his just desserts – he wasn’t getting the opportunities he felt he deserved being the star he was. He didn’t headline any major PPV events during his time with WWE – quite flabbergasting considering he was the longest reigning champion of the modern era. Towards the end of his career, as his appearances began to become increasingly more sporadic, fans were lucky if they saw Punk at an event. But read the section above about what Punk dealt with in 2014, and you’d understand why. So when Punk no-showed at SummerSlam, it was just another event that Punk had missed. At the 2014 SummerSlam event, rumors that Punk had been arrested were spreading like wildfire – Punk always has a way of keeping himself in the news, and he’s often sarcastic about these kinds of things. He soon took to Twitter to confirm that the rumors were in fact based on reality. Why was he arrested? That was unclear, but he stole the show once again – stole the Twittersphere this time as news of his arrest started trending.
12 No More Brotherly Love
This one’s quite a sad story, depending on how you look at it anyway.
Punk started out wrestling when he was just a teenager and actually left his family to try and give it a real go and make a success of things. Along with his friends, he formed the Lunatic Wrestling Federation. Just another poorly structured backyard wrestling show, you might be thinking? It was anything but, and actually turned out to be quite a success. Punk and his buddies rose to fame because of the Federation and actually made quite a bit of money out of the venture too. But the money train soon came to a halt, partly because of Punk’s brother – Mike Brooks. Punk came to the realization that huge sums of money were just vanishing, and he put this down to his brother and his thieving ways. Because of these missing funds, the Federation wasn’t in operation for long – it soon folded and Mike was held responsible. That’s the last time Punk and his bro had any sort of contact with each other.
11 Get That Suit Away From Me!
Some people like nothing more than to don a suit; a beautifully tailored suit can empower you, make you feel like a million bucks. If Punk wants a suit, he could get a suit – he’s got the funds to buy a wardrobe full of suits if that’s what he really wants. But the fact is, he just despises suits. He’s said he puts on a suit, maybe once a year, if he has to attend a special event, but apart from those rare occasions, he prefers to stick to jeans or a pair of trackies and a t-shirt. It’s all about comfort for Punk – he doesn’t want to give off a false impression of himself by walking around in three-piece Armani suits. He even got a dress code violation for his choice of attire. Allegedly, during a European tour, The Undertaker told Punk he should sort out his dress sense because he was the world champion at that point and had a responsibility of representing the company appropriately on overseas trips. Punk pointed out John Cena’s dress sense stinks, and then things got blown out of proportion. Apparently, Vince got wind that Punk thought he was better than Cena, which resulted in a dress code violation, plus Punk’s title belt was taken off of him at a Hell in a Cell match.
10 He Had a Crazy Goal of Wanting to Get Stabbed by a Fan
Now, most people aspire to be something, do something great, inspire a nation – something along those lines. CM Punk probably inspired a lot of fans during his time in the wrestling industry, and achieved his own goal of becoming a professional wrestler. Not only did he become a professional wrestler, he came, he saw and he conquered as well. But Punk also had another goal, a truly crazy goal, that he hasn’t managed to tick off his list as of yet.
Punk’s always been a fan – or used to be – of wrestling and kept a keen eye on independent shows. He loved the fan involvement in these shows, the interactivity of it all, like when sometimes fans would jump into the ring. After hearing a load of stories about wrestling in the olden days, he actually once said on an ESPN show that his goal was to get knifed by a fan. Now we all know Punk loves his sarcasm, but he seemed pretty genuine at the time. That’s one crazy goal to have, and one we probably all hope he never achieves!
9 A Wild Night Partying with Charles Barkley
He might be straight-laced, but that doesn’t mean that Punk doesn’t have a good time. During his appearance on ESPN, he revealed a crazy story that took place after one particular wrestling show.
In Chicago, he and his friends were beginning to party the night away when a girl came up to their table. She let them know that Charles Barkley – retired NBA player and current analyst – wanted to meet the group. They didn’t really bear this girl any notice and continued with their own antics. Awhile later, the girl came back with the message that Barkley desperately wanted to meet them. Curiosity got the better of them and they all ended up partying with Barkley in the VIP room. Barkley got a bit pissed that night – literally – but also got pissed off at Punk because he was teetotal. Hornswoggle was there as well and apparently, he got legless. A melee broke out in the bar and they all eventually found their way home. The next day, after a couple of hours of sleep, they went to the gym. Barkley entered, walked on the treadmill for five minutes, then swiftly exited the gym as if nothing had happened the previous night.
9. Ohio Commission Waived Five-Fight Rule for MMA Licensing Because of Punk
Everyone knows that professional wrestling isn’t “real” wrestling as such, but the Ohio Athletic Commission recognized the athletic feats of these athletes -- that they still have a substantial amount of training under their belts as well as a large skill set. Wrestlers do have to be well-versed in all the wrestling moves, and it’s now started to count.
Many athletes outside of the profession turn their noses up at wrestlers, often saying they don’t have a hope in hell of making a success of things in real sports. That was what many thought when Punk transitioned to UFC. But before he even stepped into the octagon, he had to get licensed. Apparently, Punk’s wrestling background really sped up the process and helped him get that license. The fact that he was being tutored under the watchful eyes of Duke Roufus, combined with his wrestling experience, meant that the mandatory five-fight rule was waived for Punk – no amateur fights were needed for Punk as the commission were happy he would have the arsenal required to compete safely in the octagon.
8 He's a Real Geek at Heart
CM Punk, a geek? When watching Punk compete at wrestling shows or in the octagon, “geek” is probably the last word that you’d associate with Punk. He’s got the beard, the tattoos, that anti-establishment rebellious streak inside him – certainly doesn’t look like anything about him is geeky. But looks can be deceiving. He’s a self-confessed lover of comic books and in 2012, he actually contributed to the hardcover edition of Marvel Comics' crossover event, Avengers vs. X-Men. He’s also written in Marvel Comics' Thor Annual #1 and has written for Vertigo Comics. He also regularly contributes to Marvel Comics' Drax ongoing series. So when he’s not training MMA, Punk is probably locked away in his room, with a pen and paper at his desk, writing his next comic masterpiece.
7 He's Lost Almost Every Single One of his UFC Training Fights
Transitioning from wrestling to MMA and the world of UFC was never going to be easy for Punk – it’s not a piece of cake for any wrestler for that matter making the switch. It was a huge gamble on Punk’s part, but he was enduring a terrible time at WWE, and had just fallen out of love with the industry and the profession in general. UFC was his next destination. He took one hell of a long time to make his UFC debut. We’ve all heard about the injures, but perhaps there’s something else – another reason why he kept everyone waiting. His team just didn’t think he was ready. Judging by his long-awaited debut, they might have been right because apparently, Punk didn’t exactly have the best time of it in his training camps. Apparently Punk didn’t win a single training fight, according to Michael Bisping – English MMA competitor – who revealed to the Sirius XM radio show that Punk was getting annihilated in training and wasn’t having any success.
6 His Mind Was Made up to Leave WWE After the Drug Test Incident
There were so many things – unsavory incidents – that led to Punk and WWE cutting ties. The way he was treated, his health, etc., and ultimately WWE handing him his termination papers.
But what was the final straw? For Punk, it was while filming an episode of RAW. His mind was pretty much already made up by that point, but this incident confirmed his decision. On that night, due to new policies the WWE had put in place, he was told he was going to have to take a drug test, so that wrestlers who had previously failed could get their old results erased. He was furious about this. He had so many health concerns at that point – that WWE was doing nothing to fix – and they wanted him, of all people – the straight-laced character that he is – to take a drug test? No way, Punk wasn’t having any of that.
5 He Has Hooked Up With a Ton of Women Wrestlers
Some women like the big hunks – the Brock Lesnars of the world – or the guy with all the cash leading a flashy lifestyle. CM Punk doesn’t really fit into either category, but his straight-edged approach has gained him plenty of admiration from the opposite sex. He’s a different type of character – not the norm for the wrestling industry. Geeky at heart, and successful with a bit of a rebellious streak, Punk is loved by females – just as well because Punk loves girls. He’s allegedly hooked up with a ton of women before he settled down with AJ Lee. Most of these women have been divas with the WWE. From Kelly Kelly to Maria Kanellis, Punk’s had a lot of hook-ups with WWE divas – a bit of a Casanova, but now he only has eyes for AJ Lee.
4 He Had Serious Real-Life Beef with Ryback
A lot of stuff got revealed when Punk sat down for a lengthy chat with then-friend Colt Cabana. The two-hour podcast gave Punk an opportunity to tell the world why he left WWE, what he felt about the establishment and a lot of those in it. Most of us knew of his distaste towards the likes of Vince and Triple H, but he also revealed that over the course of his wrestling career, he’d had plenty of real-life beef with fellow wrestler Ryback.
Apparently working with Ryback was very difficult for Punk, after he had injured him a number of times due to dangerous moves. He credits Ryback for “taking 20 years of my life,” has called him "dumb ass f*ck," and has nicknamed him "the steroid guy." It’s safe to say these two aren’t going to be on each other’s Christmas card lists.
3 He Pooped His Pants During SmackDown
We keep going on about that edition of Colt Cabana’s podcast. That’s because Punk – normally quite a private guy – revealed a lot, mainly about the company, but also a lot of other things too. He made us realize that the life of a wrestling superstar isn’t all sunshine and roses, although he’d have probably wanted to put a few roses out after this particular incident.
At the time, he was suffering with a staph infection – we’ll get onto that in a bit. He went to get some help – as you would – and the doctors he saw gave him a load of Azithromycin antibiotics. Apparently, a side effect of this medication is that it makes you lose control of your bowels – well, that was the side effect for Punk anyway. It happened in the ring too, on semi-live TV – a pretty embarrassing moment for Punk.
2 Had an Epiphany About his Life During a Drive to Cleveland for RAW
After a Royal Rumble contest, Punk was in his car driving to Cleveland to tape an episode of RAW. The events of the previous night had really gotten him down. He was told in the middle of the Royal Rumble that he would be eliminated by Kane – something Punk just couldn’t take. This just heaped yet another negative thought onto the already massive pile, and so the next day, during the drive to Cleveland, he took stock and reevaluated his life.
He had an epiphany during this drive – not just about his wrestling career, but his life in general. His future wife was sitting beside him, and he began thinking how he’d like to spend his life with her, where they would live, what he’d be doing at the time. He had an epiphany which helped him figure out a few things.
1 Almost Died After WWE Doctors Didn't Catch that he had a Staph Infection
Punk has named this as being his primary reason for leaving WWE and his hate towards the company. He almost died because a WWE physician misdiagnosed him. Punk has called Christopher M. Amann out for misdiagnosing and mistreating him when he had a staph infection – and concussion, but that’s another incident – and he’s currently involved in a legal battle with the WWE doctor.
Punk had a mass on his back and was convinced by his wife to visit a doctor – not one associated with WWE. His private doctor immediately diagnosed him with having a staph infection and he was sent to the hospital. They put him on a drip and cut the mass out – apparently, it was incredibly painful.
He had been wrestling while having a staph infection for three months, and if Lee hadn’t prompted him to go to the doctor, he may not be alive and kicking today.