Five Reasons Why I Like: CM Punk
Hi again. That's right, I like to act as if we haven't last touched base since I wrote my last wrestling article, "Five Reasons Why I Like: Stone Cold Steve Austin", but if you follow the Keystone Statement (if not for the love of God give us a like on Facebook, it's the closest thing to currency besides giving us actual money) you'd know I've written several things since then. Even managed to write several paragraphs regarding Christopher's shirt on "The Price Is Right" this past Wednesday with nothing to fuel my rambling besides an overpriced iced green tea mache latte (feel free to leave after that shameful admittance) and a love for Bob Barker.
But for all I know, maybe we haven't touched base since. Maybe you just strictly like wrestling or maybe you're just some late night creep freak who drunkenly Googled "keystone" or "statement" and somehow found your way to this rat's nest of a site. Perhaps you're a friend or relative of mine who likes to support my attempts at creative writing (if so, I affectionately say thank you and hi).
Pick your poison, but either way this is issue #2 of "Five Reasons Why I Like" where the concept is simple: I pick a wrestler and give you five reasons why I like them, and I try to gloss it up by adding relevant pictures and/or videos in support of said claims. Ironic that we started this whole sha-bang off with a beer-chugging redneck in Steve Austin and then follow up with a straight-edge city dweller in (cue the music):
Oh that's right, Nelly. It's clobberin' time with "Chick Magnet", "Chicago Made", "Cookie Monster", "Give us your own theory to what the initials stand for" CM Punk.
Punk's wrestling career ran from 1999-2014 and his WWE run was seven years of that. He went from independent wrestling darling, to Paul Heyman's independent wrestling darling, to Vince McMahon's "I don't get you" independent wrestling darling, to the 18-34 male demographic wrestling darling to WWE's biggest anti-hero this side of the aforementioned Austin. His WWE career was successful, yet tumultuous, to say the least, but for most of us wrestling fans it was one helluva fun ride and gave the WWE a much-needed injection of realism in a time where everything was (and still is) too scripted, too sterile and too damn corporate. Punk was that grimy bastard to show wrestling still had that "punch you in the mouth" attitude.
My first reason as to why I dig "The Best In The World" is because:
5. He's Got One Of The Greatest Entrance Tunes Of All Time
If you didn't watch (aka listen) to the video I posted above, take a minute or two to so and then give us a scroll back down. Give it a try.
Okay, now that right there, "Cult Of Personality" sir or madam, is a wrestling theme. It's also the same ringtone I've had for four years and counting. This is such a good track to come down the ramp to that Vince had to have paid Living Colour buku bucks for the rights so he could appease Punk in sticking around after his contract ran out in the summer of 2011.
And it's not like he had bad entrance music to start with - Killswitch Engage's "This Fire Burns" is a jam fitting enough to rearrange anybody's face to:
Seriously, it's probably the best run of intro music you could ask for. Some aren't as lucky:
Non-instrumental chants in pig latin would probably be catchier than this ear trash.
4. He's A Hockey & Slap Shot Fan
It seems most wrestlers favorite sport is either wrestling or football, which makes absolute sense considering a good swath of them played pigskin at a collegiate or professional level, but Punk is an ice man (and I don't mean one of the Dean Malenko sorts), and that's without the Canadian ties like a Bret Hart or having an NHL dad like Chris Jericho. The dude is just a gigantic Blackhawks fan, but isn't against showing his fandom off for other teams (which he's done for the Blues, the Sabres and the Devils). He's had trunks and shirts made parodying his Blackhawks allegiance, but his Twitter is also filled to the birdhouse with tweets about games and jabs at the LA Kings mascot.
Let's not forget to mention that Punk's Twitter pic is of one player coach Reggie Dunlop (aka Paul Newman) of the Charlestown Chiefs and has been for years:
If you've got love for Cool Hand Lucas Jackson, then you gotta get some extra props for that.
3. He's Well Traveled (And Well Wrestled)
Throughout his career, Punk has been everywhere that's anywhere in 21st century wrestling. He started from the depths of backyard wrestling, to wrestling in the midwest and northeast independents, to ROH, to (ugh) TNA, to everything under the WWE umbrella. Doing this opened him up for quite the hodge podge of opponents and tag partners. He's worked in the ring with the likes of Eddie Guerrero, Raven, Ric Flair, Samoa Joe, Daniel Bryan, Brock Lesnar, Dusty Rhodes, Booker T, Jeff Hardy, The Undertaker, John Cena and The Rock (the list absolutely goes on as I'm sure I'm still missing notables). It's up for debate if list of "who's who" will ever expand again, but irregardless, that's one damn fine looking resume.
2. He's Not Afraid To Get His Ass Beat (Verbally or Physically)
After his UFC loss to Mickey Gall, I've had friends who had said "Punk's a loser", "he's an embarrassment" or "He got his ass whooped in the octagon so his legacy is tarnished" and I say absolutely fuckin' not. What makes him a loser exactly? That UFC offered him an opportunity to fight a professional and he took it? The fact that he trained for months on end and stepped into foreign territory in front of millions of spectators on one of the biggest fight stages in the world with the odds extremely stacked against him? Yeah, sure, he lost the fight, but to dismiss that as a knock against him or his star power is just as dismissive as any of the WWE suits who said he wouldn't become a star. Let's see me or you accept that challenge behind our Chromebook's or iced green tea mache latte. How about you risk the chance of getting a "Jordan crying" meme Photoshopped over your choked out face? He succeeded in trying something that he wanted to do. Like Jack Buck, I'd say that's a winner.
1. He Is Who He Is
If you consider many things about CM Punk, him and I are on completely different wavelengths when it comes to certain things. He's atheist, I'm Catholic. He's a self-admitted jerk, I tend to look for nice guys to like. He may struggle in working customer service, while I flourish. He's skilled and coordinated with his body, I'm not and awkward AF. Saying and thinking you're "The Best In The World" at something is a lofty and ego-filled statement to make, but guess what? In wrestling, you absolutely have to have an ego. With few exceptions (Daniel Bryan & Mick Foley come to mind, but even they exemplify confidence in their abilities), almost every top guy has had an ego and it's clearly served them well. The same goes for Punk, and it has made him one of the last guys with that "take no bullshit" attitude that we almost never see in today's WWE because of that sterilization crap I previously talked about.
Now let me end this puppy with a rug that ties this whole room together - it's CM Punk, it's Steve Austin and it's Jim Ross sitting down to talk about the video game WWE '13, and things get a little bit hot under the wrestling boots: