Game Rating: 94
HEIGHT: 6'2" WEIGHT: 218 lbs.
FROM: Chicago, Ill.
FINISHER: G.T.S. (Go to Sleep); Anaconda Vise
FIRST WWE GAME: WWE SmackDown vs RAW 2008
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: WWE Champion; World Heavyweight Champion; ECW Champion; Intercontinental Champion; Money in the Bank Ladder Match winner
It’s not surprising that CM Punk cites the radical “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as a childhood influence. After all, Punk is the embodiment of the anti-establishment, whose skill at igniting verbal “pipe bombs” is rivaled only by “Hot Rod” himself.
Punk even looks the part of rebel with his too-numerous-to-count tattoos and body piercings. Yet, he waxes way more philosophical than his exterior might suggest, and has shown a diverse set of interests that include ghost hunting, G.I. Joe and the “Straight Edge” movement, a subculture that rejects the use of drugs, alcohol and a dependency lifestyle.
His in-ring repertoire is an assimilation of fighting styles, all of which were put on full display during his debut in The Land of the Extreme in 2006. Since then, Punk has added many accomplishments to his considerable résumé, including the ECW, WWE, World Heavyweight, World Tag Team and Intercontinental Championships.
Today, Punk is headlining pay-per-views — and he’s doing so in spite of the events of 2011, when he assailed Mr. McMahon with his blunt opinions about the business and made a bold promise not to renew his contract with the company. Punk’s criticism struck a nerve with The Chairman who, against his better judgment, granted The Second City Saint a WWE Championship Match at WWE Money in the Bank in the Superstar’s native city, Chicago. Punk not only beat John Cena to win that match, but he also absconded with the WWE Championship as the seconds on his WWE contract ticked down.
Fortunately for WWE fans everywhere, Punk agreed to re-sign with WWE weeks later, compelled to return to the ring to prove that he’s the undisputed “Best in the World.” The Voice of the Voiceless advocated on behalf of disenchanted WWE fans who felt the WWE product was in need of a good (roundhouse) kick in the teeth. He became two-time WWE Champion, proving his mettle by defeating the likes of Chris Jericho, Alberto Del Rio, Daniel Bryan and other elite Superstars.
As Punk’s WWE Title reign continued to climb, so did his contempt for the WWE Universe and the Superstars in the locker room who failed to show him the proper level of “respect.” Proclaiming himself a “Paul Heyman Guy,” Punk aligned with the innovator of the original ECW and one of his early mentors as his WWE Title reign grew to become the longest of the modern era.
But all things would come to an end, and at the 434-day mark, Punk’s title reign was terminated by The Rock at Royal Rumble. After failing to regain the championship the following month at Elimination Chamber, the Windy City warrior set his sights on The Undertaker’s Show of Shows winning streak at WrestleMania 29.
In a hellacious bout that saw The Second City Savior deliver an astounding elbow from the top rope to the announce table, The Deadman buried his opponent to remain undefeated on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
After failing to topple The Streak, a preoccupied Punk went on an extended hiatus until WWE Payback, where he would clash with his longtime rival Chris Jericho in his hometown of Chicago. At the event, Punk made a triumphant return in front of his fellow Chicagoans, defeating Jericho in a tremendous back and forth matchup following two consecutive Go to Sleeps.
In July, Heyman turned on his longtime friend, costing Punk a guaranteed WWE Championship opportunity in a Money in the Bank All-Stars Ladder Match. This stunning betrayal set the stage for an absolutely brutal No Disqualification showdown billed as “The Best vs. The Beast.” Unsatisfied after falling to Lesnar in a hard-fought battle, Punk remains livid with his former mentor, who will team with Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel against The Straight Edge Superstar in an Elimination Handicap Match at Night of Champions.
Despite Heyman’s attempts to weasel out of the match, he could not escape the clutches of The Second City Saint. Punk made Axel tap out to the Anaconda Vise, leaving him all alone with Heyman. Punk brutalized Heyman, handcuffing his former mentor before a vicious kendo stick attack. The Straight Edge Superstar was looking to put the finishing touches on Heyman until Ryback attacked him from behind, driving him through a table.
Eager to attain retribution against Heyman, Punk continues to rank himself high among WWE’s most iconic Superstars. And based on his track record, it remains nearly impossible to disagree with him.