CM Punk has not been present in the WWE since early 2014, but that doesn’t stop fans from chanting his name, especially when a live event is held in his hometown of Chicago. His departure with the WWE isn’t one that happened on the best terms, as he was “accidentally” terminated on his wedding day; the story is that no one realized he was getting married on that particular day, but I’m simply not buying it. Punk chose to left for a long list of reasons, and considering the way he was treated and underutilized, I can’t blame him. He has since moved on to sign with the UFC and will debut later this year (we hope).
Even though Punk is done with the WWE, the fans are not done with him. Prior to AJ Lee retiring, the Punk chants filled the arena when she would walk out; not very respectful to her, but I can understand the urge to do it. When my husband and I attended the 2014 Payback PPV in Chicago, we chanted for Punk all night, plus had the signs and the shirts as we hoped he would come back. The March 7, 2016 Raw in Chicago started off with a bang with Shane and Vince McMahon squaring off, and Vince ended up being interrupted by a booming “CM PUNK” chant as he berated his son. On last night’s WWE Roadblock, Canadian fans started out the night with a spur of the moment Punk chant. We still see the signs, the t-shirts, and we will always have that group of fans that hold on to the sliver of hope that Punk will one day surprise us all with a triumphant return to the squared circle. I personally don’t believe it will ever happen, but I’m guilty of thinking “what if” from time to time.
We chant for Punk because he wasn’t lying when he printed Best In The World on his t-shirts. When he was a heel, I truly hated him. He didn’t resort to using easy insults to get booed, he made you want to punch him square in his smug face. He tore down whoever the current hero was in a way that was uniquely his. When he was a face, he demanded the crowd cheer for him without changing his personality or chasing cheap pops. He seamlessly transitioned into whatever role was required without compromising the person he was. His departure left a gaping hole in the WWE that no one has been able to fill yet.
We chant for Punk because he brought something special to the WWE. His infamous Pipe Bomb paved the way for countless other wrestlers to stop being afraid of the consequences of breaking the 4th wall, going off script, or speaking their mind. His wife, for example, subsequently delivered one of the greatest promos a female wrestler has ever given in the WWE. He made it okay to be a smart ass, to say things that were once forbidden, and to not give one single shit about what anyone thinks of you so long as you think the world of yourself. He gave people the go ahead to have a backbone and to demand something better.
We chant for Punk because his MMA debut is going to be a must-see event and is one of the most highly anticipated debuts in recent history. You have the fans that have followed Punk from the beginning, those who only know him from the WWE, and then you have the group of people who detest the man and want to see him fail. People on both ends of the spectrum are going to be buying the PPV, or at the very least scouring social media and YouTube for updates and video. My husband and I have already decided to buy it, which will make it our very first UFC PPV purchase.
We chant for Punk because he lives his life for himself, not for the fans. He (and wife AJ) don’t post selfies at the gym or in their home. His meals aren’t getting posted to Instagram, along with arsty photos of the park he jogged in this morning. He lives a private life and doesn’t spend one second trying to win the approval of anybody. His wedding was a private affair and he was pretty damn upset when a wedding photo leaked, stealing a moment meant for a few and giving it to the masses. Punk remains shrouded in mystery, and it’s hard not to respect what he does to keep things that way.
But most of all, we chant for Punk out of respect for everything that he has done during his career and for never giving in to pressure. From his early days in 1999, to Ring of Honor, to ECW, to WWE, to Marvel’s comicbook landscape and now to the UFC, he has commanded every stage he’s set foot on. He puts 100% of himself into everything he does. When he doesn’t have 100% to give, he doesn’t waste his time trying to give anything at all. His UFC debut will be one to watch, because Punk isn’t the type of person to waste time on something if he can’t conquer it in every possible way. And when he finally walks out to that cage and touches gloves with his opponent, we will all loudly and enthusiastically chant for CM Punk.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker