CM Punk is one of those wrestlers who has a rabid fan-base, fans that would cheer for Punk above all other wrestlers, no matter what. This is noticeable anytime Triple H, Stephanie, or even Vince McMahon himself makes an announcement on WWE programming that the fans don’t like, as they will often chant “CM Punk” at such times. Chanting “CM Punk” at members of the McMahon family or WWE executives is sort of like the fans’ way of saying that they agree with why Punk left.
Like any wrestler who has achieved the pinnacle of success in the business, CM Punk has a lot of people who like him, and a lot of people who hate him. Punk has rubbed a lot of people in the wresting business the wrong way, but there are others who see him as a guy who will stand up for himself and others if he feels WWE or someone in a high ranking position is acting unfairly.
How CM Punk left the WWE sometimes overshadows all of his great accomplishments in the ring. But there is no denying that his MITB WWE Championship win in Chicago over John Cena will ultimately go down as one of the most feel-good moments in the history of the company. Not to mention his “Pipe Bomb Promo” is one of the most iconic promos of all time.
For all the great CM Punk memories that have been created over the years however, there are just as many things that fans would like to forget. Here are 15 moments that even CM Punk probably wishes he could take back !
15. Threw a Fan’s Autograph Book in the Trash
In the summer of 2012 there was an incident at a St. Louis airport between CM Punk and a fan that resulted in security having to be called in.
Evidently an overzealous fan ran up to Punk to request an autograph and possibly because he was feeling like his personal privacy was not being respected, Punk is reported to have thrown the fan’s autograph book in the trash. This led to some shouting between Punk and another fan and security had to be called in.
After the incident Punk took to Twitter and called the fan’s behavior rude and expressed that there is always one idiot who ruins it for others.
14. He Wrestled for TNA
CM Punk used to wrestle for TNA Wrestling, which is not something he likely brags about.
Wrestling for TNA is not something very well respected amongst wrestling fans, seeing the promotion as something of a stain on the industry. This sentiment towards TNA has been built up over many years of the company putting out a sub-standard product; something that many feel is embarrassing for pro-wrestling and its fans.
Punk appeared as a member Raven’s TNA version of the Flock, along with Julio Dinero. In sort of a strange twist to this tale Punk was engaged in a bitter feud with Raven in ROH at the very same time they were allied in TNA Wrestling.
Punk would quit TNA in 2004 after the company began to no longer allow their talent to also wrestle for ROH.
13. Bitterness on “Art of Wrestling” Podcast
Many are of the belief that CM Punk came off as bitter on the famous Art of Wrestling episode hosted by Colt Cabana.
Certainly some of what Punk feels bitterness towards WWE for is warranted, but some of Punk’s complaints seem to point to a cross-eyed way he may have been looking at the wrestling industry at the time.
On the podcast Punk told a story of it having been a career goal of his to main event WrestleMania, which is a problematic goal to begin with considering achieving it is not merit-based and not as a result of performance in an actual athletic competition; the main event of WrestleMania is always just the wrestlers that Vince McMahon decides to put in that position. So for Punk to have decided that this was a career goal of his is concerning to some wrestling fans.
On the podcast Punk tells a story of his pleading with Vince McMahon to put him in the WrestleMania main event along with John Cena and The Rock, even offering to get eliminated in the match early. Many fans also felt that this story also demonstrated that Punk was taking the “show” the WWE produced too seriously.
12. Feud with Chris Jericho
CM Punk would address comments made about him by Chris Jericho on the Colt Cabana podcast as well. Jericho had made public statements that he was surprised and/or upset that Punk chose not to stay in contact with many of the wrestlers on the WWE roster after he left the company. Jericho mentioned that he had texted Punk and he never responded.
In addressing the beef with Jericho, Punk stated that Jericho was just trying to get him to come onto his podcast, and felt that Jericho’s text had an agenda behind it.
The next episode of Monday Night Raw Jericho took a subtle jab at the beef by using the line “Everybody knows I always have an agenda.” Jericho would say off-camera that he still considers Punk a friend.
11. He Hit a Fan
In early October 2012 there was an incident where CM Punk punched a fan during an episode of Monday Night Raw. Punk, carrying his WWE Championship belt, had run into the stands and was surrounded by fans at the time the incident occurred. There is some pushing amongst the fans and then the camera catches Punk turning around and decking some guy. The fan in question claims he never shoved Punk, and initially it was being reported that the fan would be filing charges, though that appears to never have happened.
There are reports that some fan shouted that they should push Punk down the stairs, and also that some fans were pushing Punk while he was standing amongst them.
Punk apologized for the incident.
10. Filed a Restraining Order Against his Mother
In 2013 reports began to be leaked out that CM Punk had filed a restraining order against his own mother.
In court documents that Punk filed in 2012, he claims that he had given his mother over $100,000 and she continuously sent him harassing emails asking for more and threatening to kill herself if he didn’t give it to her. Punk also claims that his mother had threatened to release potentially embarrassing information to the public if he did not send her more money.
His mother is said to suffer from bi-polar disorder. Punk was successful in obtaining a two-year restraining order against his mother.
9. Called Fan “a Homo”
CM Punk appears to have a bit of a short fuse, or perhaps just very little patience whatsoever. During a WWE tour of Australia, Punk got into it with some fans seated near the entranceway. While much of what the fan was saying cannot be heard Punk is clearly caught referring to the fan as “a homo” after making a comment about the guy’s haircut.
WWE issued an apology over the use of the word “homo” as a derogatory term and said it did not condone Punk’s actions or comments. To his credit Punk also sincerely apologized, stating that he was embarrassed by the comments he made.
8. Interrupted Rey Mysterio’s Daughter’s Birthday
CM Punk prevented the Mysterio family (that is their last name, right?) from celebrating Rey’s daughter’s 9th birthday. At this point of his career, Punk was the leader of the Straight Edge Society and was feuding with Rey Mysterio.
Mysterio was in the ring along with his son Dominic and his daughter, celebrating his daughter’s birthday when Punk interrupted. Punk wasted no time in listing all the things he was going to do to hurt Rey and challenged him to a match at WrestleMania.
Punk even sang Happy Birthday to Rey’s daughter in a really creepy and threatening kind of way. Rey’s daughter looked legitimately scared by the incident, but it’s entirely possible that she was just being a good actor.
You can imagine this only worked to further the build-up towards Rey and Punk’s WrestleMania match that year.
7. “CM” Doesn’t Stand for Anything
A very long time ago the “CM” in “CM Punk” stood for “Chick Magnet”. Punk was in backyard wrestling company and he was in a team named the “Chick Magnets”, but Punk kept the name even after he was no longer involved with the team, or even the backyard-wrestling group.
Since that time Punk has turned “CM” into something of a joke acronym, meaning it doesn’t really stand for anything. When people ask what it stands for Punk is said to give all sorts of answers, ranging from “C Montgomery” (a take on the Mr. Burns character from the Simpsons) “Chicago Made” and “Crooked Moonsault”.
6. Undertaker Told Him to Dress Better
Punk’s sense of fashion evidently did not sit too well with the Undertaker back in 2009. Reports are that the Undertaker had attempted to ask Punk to try and dress a little nicer since he was representing the company as World Champion. Punk, who dresses in much the same way his male teenage fans tend to, noted that John Cena also has a dressed-down casual fashion sense. This comment evidently did not land well, it was seen as Punk comparing himself to John Cena, with John Cena being a much larger star at the time.
There was said to have been a little bit of heat on Punk for the comment, and shortly after, the decision was made to have the Undertaker become the World Champion. Some have speculated that the heat on Punk was what led to the WWE making the title switch.
5. His UFC “Career” Thus Far
Attitudes towards CM Punk signing a UFC deal after leaving the WWE amongst the MMA community have been fairly negative, although he does have his supporters. Many MMA fans believe that giving Punk a fight in the UFC is taking one away from a more deserving fighter, one who had spent their whole career doing it.
Punk’s signing can be seen as a bit of publicity stunt, or perhaps the UFC is preventing a rival company from cashing in on a publicity stunt of their own, but either way, he hasn’t fought yet and might never do so.
Punk signed with the UFC in 2014. According to UFC veteran Michael Bisping, Punk has had 16 test UFC fights, and he’s lost all but one of them. That doesn’t bode well for the 37 year-old’s MMA career.
The UFC might be starting to regret signing Punk to a deal, especially if he doesn’t fight by the end of 2016.
4. Paul Bearer Angle
Shortly before CM Punk wrestled the Undertaker at WrestleMania, William Moody died. Moody was the man who played the Paul Bearer character that managed the Undertaker for decades.
At the age of 58 Moody died of a heart attack, following years of battling weight problems. The WWE would incorporate the death of Paul Bearer into Undertaker’s angle with CM Punk.
Paul Heyman managed Punk at the time, and during an episode of Monday Night Raw Heyman was dressed up to look exactly like Paul Bearer, but it was all a ploy to distract the Undertaker so that CM Punk could attack him.
The WWE did reach out to the Moody family for approval before running the angle, although the family would later express some regret with having granted them that permission.
Many fans felt that incorporating the actual death of a human being into a wrestling angle to be in poor taste.
3. Cashing in MITB on Jeff Hardy
At the Extreme Rules PPV in 2009, Jeff Hardy won the World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Edge. Jeff Hardy has a very large and passionate following who were thrilled that Jeff had come back from all of his personal problems to win the Championship, only CM Punk then cashed in his MITB briefcase after the match and stole the title away from him.
Punk was a good guy at the time but the crowd began to turn on him for cashing in on the popular Jeff Hardy. Punk’s character disagreed with the fans reaction of course, turning Punk into a heel.
The angle between Punk and Hardy would begin to take a bit of a real twist in the following years, with Punk making public comments attacking Hardy for his bouts of drug and alcohol abuse.
2. He’s Getting Sued
During his famous podcast with Colt Cabana in November of 2014, Punk made several claims regarding WWE doctors’ failure to diagnose a potentially fatal staff infection that he had developed.
After the 2014 Royal Rumble Punk had a lump on his back looked at by doctors from outside of the WWE who diagnosed and treated the staff infection. Punk also made comments on the podcast about WWE’s concussion protocol, calling it and the WWE’s Wellness Program a joke.
WWE doctor Christopher Amann filed a lawsuit against both Punk and Cabana for defamation and invasion of privacy. The lawsuit is expected to go to trial in the summer of 2016.
The WWE issued a video statement in support of Amann.
1. He No-Showed Monday Night Raw
He certainly had his reasons, some better than others, but all the same CM Punk felt very justified in no-showing the Monday Night Raw following the 2014 Royal Rumble.
Punk’s lack of an appearance at the event was never commented on during the broadcast. In what would become the most public breakup between a wrestler and the WWE since Bret Hart in 1997, Punk told McMahon, Triple H, and Stephanie that for a variety of reasons he was going home.
Punk technically did not quit the WWE, but he was suspended for two months following the no-show. After the two months was up Punk contacted the WWE about receiving royalty payments from his merchandise. The WWE’s response was to fax him a notice that he was being fired, on the day he was set to marry AJ Lee.