Run a search of my musings here at Pop Culture Squad — and I admit there’s not as many as there should be — and one name will pop up more than anyone else. Phil Brooks, AKA CM Punk. If you’re new to this site, or new to me? He’s a professional wrestler. My favorite professional wrestler. Well, perhaps I admit here now, dejected, my former favorite professional wrestler. Let’s not dilly dally around the obvious.
Of course, I should give the requisite mansplanation of Punk 101 here, to spare you from beleaguered googling. Here’s the skinny, as svelte as I can make it:
CM Punk was an “indie darling” garnering small-but-growing fame by way of very small wrestling promotions across the country from 1999-2005. Eventually, the indie scene faded and Punk made way to Stamford to be with the biggest pro wrestling, er, sports entertainment company there was (and is): WWE. Punk worked in the WWE until 2014. He won the World Heavyweight title in one of the most memorable storylines in modern pro wrestling history — all stemming from his infamous Pipe Bomb promo. And after getting burnt out on the road, and due largely to the way WWE was run… Punk quit cold turkey.
Over the next seven years Punk dabbled in everything his heart desired. He wrote comic books. He made a horror movie. He got his clock cleaned in UFC. Twice. And he landed a little role on Steven Amell’s Heels on Starz.
And then? Phil unretired. I was over-the-moon. I wrote about it at great length. Here, read about it if you want.
To sum that article up though? I’ve loved Punk since the Pipe Bomb promo. He broke rules I’d never seen broken. He wasn’t a roided-up mass monster like most of the WWE roster. He was different in a literal sea of sameness. And he could be a good guy without being the pandering robot John Cena chose to be. No offense to John, but c’mon… Punk never felt the need to have “the orange shirt era”. But I digress. Continue reading “So Long, and Thanks for the Fish, Man #084: Punk You!”