Last year, after much speculation, CM Punk officially made an announcement that he would be retiring from the Squared Circle and moving on to The Octagon. Not only did he decide to transition into MMA, but he chose the UFC for his first fight. Confused? You should be! It would be like LeBron James switching from basketball to golf and saying that he wanted to make his debut on the PGA tour. The marks will assert that Brock Lesnar successfully made the transition, so why not Punk? Lesnar was in a completely different category. He had spent a lifetime in amateur wrestling, and boasted a 106-5 record in college and university. Amateur wrestling is unquestionably the best base in MMA as we've seen Daniel Cormier and Yoel Romero successfully make the transition with similar pedigrees. The question is: why is Punk's decision being met with so much hate?
Hate levels have met their optimum peak for Punk because he's hearing it from both sides. MMA fans are miffed because the UFC is considered "The Big Leagues," and Punk has had a grand total of 0 fights. There's so many amateur fighters that are plugging away, just waiting for their shot. Meanwhile, Punk strolls in and will probably fight in the co-main event. Wrestling fans are even more angered with Punk because they feel like he turned his back on them, and the business that they care about so much. He's also received heat from fellow wrestlers because a lot of time was invested in order to build CM Punk as a Superstar. Last but not least, he's a self-proclaimed jerk. He's never been the most gracious "aw shucks" type of guy, which rubs people the wrong way. It's way easier to deliver heat on a guy's decision when you don't particularly care for him.
Here are the top 15 reasons MMA fans want CM Punk to get his ass kicked!
15 He Just Bailed
It felt like one minute he was there doing his thing on RAW, and the next minute he was gone. It was a bitter pill to swallow for wrestling fans because since the Attitude Era, they've been starved for a Superstar and Punk was that guy who people were looking forward to watching each week. He was not quite as "over" with the crowd as Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock, but he was well on his way. The fans felt like the rug got pulled from beneath their feet.
On another note, this is why the Daniel Bryan retirement is so tough to take, because Bryan was in the same spot as Punk in terms of being "over" with the crowd...and now he's gone too!
14 He Craps On The Business
Ah Punk, you couldn't just leave in peace? No, he had to send many parting shots upon his exit. Among his complaints: John Cena and "Dwayne" (The Rock) are ass-kisses, Triple H has no idea what he's doing, the WWE medical staff is incompetent (and then getting mad when being called-out on saying that), and last but not least, Ryback was constantly reckless in the ring with him.
On one occasion, Punk actually approached Ryback and said: "tell me right now, you're dumb as f*** and you suck, or you did it on purpose." Ryback responded with: "I'm dumb as f***, I'm sorry."
CM Punk has actually pulled out of his first scheduled fight with a back injury, and Ryback decided to poke fun of him on twitter saying: "My bad it was an accident, I'm dumb as f***."
13 He Took AJ Lee With Him
As we all know, CM Punk and former Diva (and champion) AJ Lee are married. She ended up quitting the company a little over a year after Punk left to go pursue MMA. Are we supposed to sit here and think that the timing was all a big coincidence?
It could be a case of her quitting because she actually agreed with everything Punk said about WWE and simply had enough. It could also be a scenario where she doesn't fully agree but chose to support her husband, or he may have very well asked her to quit. Either way, couples tend to walk into the party together, and leave together.
Oh, and by the way, AJ was a great worker and extremely hot, which brings us to our next point.
Jealousy is one of the main characteristics that can turn a woman RIGHT off, and us wrestling fans certainly have an abundance of this repelling tendency. As we established above, he's married to A.J. and then stole her from our very eyes.
But it's not only about AJ, look at the laundry list of hot women that CM Punk has dated: Maria Kanellis, Lita, Beth Phoenix (who is now married to Edge), and UFC fighter Felice Herrig. Seriously, this guy is giving John Mayer a run for his money.
11 Other Wrestlers Put Him Over
Similarly to when Brock Lesnar went to the UFC, many wrestlers resented him because they had previously put him over in order to build him up. Common folks don't understand this concept because wrestling is scripted, but don't get it twisted, "putting someone over" means something. Stone Cold Steve Austin went as far as walking out when asked to put Lesnar over without the proper build up.
Punk is feeling the same type of resentment from fellow wrestlers. He can complain about how he was passed up in the WrestleMania main-event for "Dwayne" all he wants, but it doesn't change the fact that many wrestlers put him over, cleanly, including John Cena.
10 Fans Are Becoming "Pro MMA"
There's been a nasty comparison lately between pro wrestling and MMA. There's always a guy at the end of the bar that's crapping on pro wrestling when it's on TV, saying stuff like: "yeah but what would that jacked guy do against someone in the UFC?" The truth is that the pro wrestler would probably lose in most cases. But these comparisons are ridiculous as pro wrestling is a combination of strength, athleticism, and acting. It's called "sports entertainment" for a reason, while UFC athletes are trained cage-fighters.
Regardless of how we feel, there's a large contingency of fans that would love to see Punk get starched in the first round, just out of principal that wrestlers don't belong in the octagon.
9 He Complains Too Much
"Punk doesn't complain, he just speaks his mind"... as The Miz would say: Really? Really?? Really!?
When Punk departed from WWE, he immediately did a shoot interview on the Colt Cabana podcast. He managed to call out just about everyone; Vince McMahon, Triple H, John Cena, The Rock, Ryback, Michael Hayes, the WWE creative team, the medical staff...nobody was safe from Punk's verbal lashing! The utter disdain in his voice was reaching Bret Hart (post screw job) levels.
8 He Takes Himself Way Too Seriously
Once Punk finally signed on the dotted line with the UFC, one of his first interviews was with TSN's Off The Record. The host, Michael Landsberg had prepared a parody type video package, insinuating that Punk should fight Jose Canseco, Drake, Justin Bieber...or Chef Boyardee.
Landsberg's intention was not to insult Punk, but rather to start the interview off with "tongue in cheek" humour. To Punk's defence, the video wasn't funny at all. But for the remainder of the interview, he sat there with a pouty face and gave smug answers as he was clearly insulted.
7 He Seems "Douchey"
CM Punk was in attendance for the TUF 17 Finale, and openly admitted that he started to root for Uriah Hall because he had a lot of Kelvin Gastelum supporters around him. He wanted to stir the pot and get them riled up. When an individual admits that they're being prickly for no reason, or just because their bored; it's a strong indicator that they're a tad "douchey" (as the cool kids would say).
He's also had countless Q & A's in his illustrious 0-0 UFC career. He visibly does not want to be there and constantly gives rude answers. While it's true that the fans that participate in these Q&A's are at least a 6-pack deep and ask stupid questions (Jon Anik actually asked last time if: "there was anybody in the crowd that wasn't hammered?") he should probably take it with a grain of salt and realize that they're just inebriated fans that have a microphone, and learn to not get so irritated. At the end of the day, it's the same drunken fans that are going to show up and watch him fight.
6 Not Gracious to The Fans
Speaking of the fans...we've established that Punk has gone out of his way to slam pretty much anyone that has a WWE contract. Since he's been so open about his feelings, and speaking his mind with just about everything. You would think that he could slip in a "thank you" to the fans for their support. He had a similar situation to Daniel Bryan in a sense that anytime WWE would try to push someone else, the fans would put their foot down and chant: "CM PUNK!" (they still do). The difference is that Bryan acknowledged the fans and thanked them immensely for their support while there's been not even a shred of gratitude from Punk.
5 Hasn't Paid His Dues
He complains that he got passed up for "Dwayne" at WrestleMania. His biggest beef was that he had been busting his ass for years while The Rock was out shooting movies. There's definitely some validity to that argument, but not when you end up doing the exact same thing to UFC fighters that have been plugging away for years. Up until Punk pulled out of his fight against Mickey Gall, he was being advertised on the main card of the UFC 199 Pay-Per View (and now will probably be slated to fight on UFC 200 - an even bigger card).
Do you really think he's doing all these Q&A's and doing all this UFC marketing for free? Due to his fame/status, he was able to leverage himself and get a solid UFC deal. There's nothing wrong with getting paid, but it will draw the ire of some fans when you consider that there are ranked fighters that are just "scraping by." For example, up until his loss against Urijah Faber in 2013, Ivan Menjivar was ranked in the top 10 in the Bantamweight Division. He also works a full-time security job at the airport because his UFC pay simply wasn't enough. A top 10 fighter that's devoted his life to fighting should not be forced to take a second job in order to be financially stable.
3 Not a Real Underdog Story
Fans can usually get behind a guy that's supposed to get his butt whipped and then somehow defies the odds, because everyone loves an underdog story (c'mon, who didn't like Rudy? Seriously). The problem is that Punk isn't a real underdog. Even if he gets dropped in the first round, he's going to go back to his smoke show wife and beautiful house (no, we've never been in his house but he allowed Ariel Helwani into his home for an interview, and we got to see his digs). This isn't going to make or break him, he's even admitted that this is more of a "bucket list" thing.
2 He Thinks He's a Rebel
Along with taking a main-card spot over a fighter who's actually earned it, he's also going to be marching to The Octagon dressed head to toe in Reebok. He was angered in WWE that Brock Lesnar was allowed to put sponsors on his shorts while no other wrestler was allowed that right.
He thinks he's rebellious and prides himself on never selling out. But in reality, all he did was switch from one company that was telling him what not-to wear, to another company that is telling him what to wear. When he makes his debut, rest assured he will be fully decked out in Reebok, just like the rest of the corporate machine.
1 He's Never Coming Back
We've thrown a lot of Barbs at Punk...to put it mildly. But we can't deny how great he was to watch in the ring. Despite his annoying characteristics, he was a phenomenal talent that will truly be missed. At the end of the day, most wrestlers do reconcile and end up coming back to McMahon. But it really seems like Punk has made his mind up as he's gone out of his way to slam every single door that would lead to a WWE return.