C.M. Punk Revolution
July 18, 2006 by Jordan Dowling
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1976- The Sex Pistols play London's 100 Club; an event recognised as one of the first seeds of the punk-rock revolution.
2006- CM Punk appears for the first time in ECW
In some circles the comparison I have just made could seem almost blasphemous, indeed it does seem a little hasty and hyperbolic to compare a thirty-three second promotional clip of a debuting wrestler with the gig that ignited the most exciting musical movement in the past fifty years.
But look into different circles, say those who have witnessed CM Punk's work in ROH and TNA among other federations and this comparison does not seem so far-fetched. Labelled "The savior of wrestling" and "The man that will change the WWE" it seems that CM Punk is bound for high places. Places higher than previous favorites Paul London and James Gibson (Jamie Noble) have reached, a pessimistic critic might say. Yet CM Punk, or Phil Brooks to his friends, has a lot more to offer, and is in a better mould to become a true revolutionary.
First off, let us look at his personality; he is straightedge. Due to his supposed, although not 100% verified, upholding of the straightedge lifestyle it is unfair to call CM Punk's wrestling persona a gimmick, and in many ways this makes his persona convincing. To paraphrase from the aforementioned promo; he doesn't smoke, he doesn't drink and he doesn't do drugs. Many would point out the absence of one of the main principles of the straightedge lifestyle; abstinence from promiscuous sex, but considering his relationship with fellow WWE employee Maria Kanellis the absence is easy to understand.
But, unlike some of those who have 'changed' wrestling in previous generations the real emphasis is on CM Punk's wrestling ability and not on hollow catchphrases or flashy gimmicks. His sixty-minute time limit draw with Samoa Joe received plaudits across the board, while matches against Raven and his WWE HEAT-televised match up last year with Val Venis showed that Punk is able to bring the best out of a worker.
But Punk's history runs far deeper than this. He made his professional debut in 1999, trawling the Mid-south and Midwest indies. Whilst there he feuded with Adam Pearce and teamed with fellow newcomer Colt Cabana, something he would do several years later in ROH. It wasn't long before he gained his first title, the IWA Mid-South Light Heavyweight title, which he defeated Mark Wolf for.
Later, in 2003 CM Punk began wrestling in Ring Of Honor, expanding his arsenal, improving his promo abilities and forming the Second City Saints with Colt Cabana and Ace Steel. After this he began a feud with Raven, at the same time as teaming with him in NWA-TNA. In ROH they would fight in brutal matches such as a Dog Collar Match and a Clockwork Orange Match, which utilized fully Punk's beyond-his-years wrestling ability and Raven's flawless psychology. This feud was one of the cornerstones which the current ROH product is built on, and things could have been a lot different if Raven hadn't agreed to job to a relative newcomer.
Which brings us, chronologically at least, to Joe vs. Punk II, another of ROH's defining moments and possibly one of the greatest matches held on US soil in the past 15 years. Hart vs. Hart had both a classic storyline and two of the greatest wrestlers at the contextual time, Ramon vs. Michaels had a new concept mixed with an old-fashioned comeback in-ring storyline, Samoa Joe vs. Kenta Kobashi had half an hour of hand-to-hand homicide, but Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk just had what the match contained; sixty minutes of inch-perfect wrestling, and nothing but. It wasn't the most anticipated match of all time, it wasn't the most brutal match of all time, it was what it was; a classic.
After winning the ROH title from Austin Aries t wasn't long before the WWE wanted a piece of Punk. After several appearances on HEAT and later in RAW and SmackDown! Dark matches Punk was signed in a developmental deal to OVW. Many would put to point Punk's lack of need for development before appearing on WWE TV, but this period spent in Ohio Valley Wrestling helped to hone his mic skills and gain the confidence to jump from the indies to the main stage. In the middle of his stint in OVW Punk made a surprise return to ROH. At the time it was thought this appearance would damage his chances of achieving glory in the WWE, but three months later he was the OVW champion.
But so much for the past, what does the future hold for CM Punk" Given his current promotion it's hard to see anything less than a solid mid-card placing for Punk, indeed if the WWE decide to bring back the ECW TV Title then he would be a perfect holder. In the old ECW CM Punk could have been the top heel, with his straightedge persona being at a contrast to its mindset, but in a show with no identity and a 'tweener' introduction things look a little less rosy.
Will CM Punk change wrestling in the way Punk-Rock changed music" It's almost a certain no, but Punk will enrich the ECW and will no doubt become as renowned worldwide by WWE fans as he currently is by more 'core' wrestling fans. The time is right for a little revolution.
by Jordan Dowling..
James Watts wrote:
I think that CM Punk will fit into ECW very nicely, as he has proven in both Ring of Honor and in the early years of TNA that he can utilise a hardcore style of wrestling. He can also produce beautiful technical wrestling, two things that ECW fans love to see.
CM Punk will be successful in ECW IF USED CORRECTLY. His straight-edge gimmick could put him almost immediately into a program with Rob Van Dam, as Punk could point out that RVD lost the belt because of addiction, and if Punk had been champion, that wouldn't have happened.
Only time will tell if Punk becomes an ECW mainstay, but one thing is pretty much guaranteed: he is straight-edge, and he is better than you.
Had to laugh in agreement with the statement of the third missing absence. A well written article and a good prediction. Although it is arguable that Punk was thrust into OVW as a way of WWE's show that it takes more than indie fed wrestling experience to join them. . . But that's a different issue. Deep down I hope he becomes more than just a mid-card wrestler, but it's an accurate estimate.
Mike M***** wrote:
I do have to agree with what you say about CM Punk.
He's one of the
greatest athletes, not superstars, not extremists in the professional wrestling business. He's quite a spectacular specimens of recent times. Also your comment on the Joe vs. Punk matches.
right in saying that it wasn't the most anticipated like the Hart at Michaels or the most brutal like Funk's matches with Sabu it was pure wrestling. CM Punk has a knack for putting out great WRESTLING matches.
Not to mention a quite respectable gimmick/lifestyle.
Tony Hudson, UK, wrote:
I liked this article very much and I do agree that CM Punk has the potential to really make a positive difference to an otherwise bland 'ECW' brand.
There is, however, one point that I would like to contend. When you mentioned that Punk missed out the promiscuous sex element of his original promo being an indicator of him not adhering to Straight Edge completely. He probably left it out because it is the most difficult element of Straight Edge to explain to people (as I have found on many occasions). The emphasis is on the word promiscuous. In the context of a loving relationship - which as you mentioned he has with Maria - sex is fine. It is just the wreckless sleeping around and having one night stands that is the problem.
Punk's relationship with Maria has no effect on his Straight Edge lifestyle, which to the best of my knowledge he is 100% commited to.
Cruz B. wrote:
First off, eing a Heavy Metal fan I have too say this Punk Music SUCKS!
Don't ever compare it to the arrival of the great C.M. Punk. Second off WWE's version of ECW SUCKS! So it is not that great that C.M. Punks talent will go to waste!
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