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CM Punk

Since debuting in the summer of 2006, CM Punk has formed a cult-like following never before seen in WWE. And along the way, whether he's admired or abhorred, there has always been one constant surrounding the Second City Savior: Controversy.

Punk's controversial demeanor turned scandalous in the summer of 2011 when the Superstar threatened to leave the company with the WWE Championship following his title opportunity against John Cena at Money in the Bank. Prior to the match, Punk let a few verbal "pipe bombs" explode in the direction of WWE management, particularly Mr. McMahon. According to Punk's now-famous tirade, McMahon only makes money in spite of himself and surrounds himself with glad-handing, nonsensical yes-men like John Laurinaitis. Punk also took shots at McMahon's family, referring to Stephanie McMahon and Triple H as his "idiotic daughter and doofus son-in-law" respectively. This bold move did not earn him Employee of the Month status but certainly raised his profile to astonishing new heights. (Continue Reading ») | (Photo Gallery »)

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As promised, Punk won the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank and immediately left the company, marking one of the most uncertain periods in WWE history. Punk later re-signed with WWE, stating he wanted to be a beacon of change within the sports-entertainment industry. And he equally yearned for the return of WWE ice cream bars.

Prior to the controversial summer of 2011, Punk used his power of persuasion and superior intellect to become one of the most in. uential leaders of his time. First as the prophetic head of the Straight Edge Society and later as the leader of the New Nexus, Punk had Superstars and fans alike . ocking to him, hanging on his every word.

Punk has also proven to be equally successful in the ring. In addition to being a multiple-time WWE Champion, the Voice of the Voiceless has also captured two Money in the Bank briefcases. Both times, he used his guaranteed title opportunity to claim the World Heavyweight Championship, first from Edge in June 2008 and later from Jeff Hardy in June 2009. Punk is also a former ECW, Intercontinental and World Tag Team Champion.

Chris Jericho Says CM Punk Won't Return His Calls

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CM Punk

Chris Jericho is on one of his frequent breaks from professional wrestling and WWE (kind of, since he's promoting a book that focuses heavily on his work with the organization, and he'll be back briefly for a European tour next month), but it seems like his name is the news more than at any time during his recent post-WrestleMania 30 run with the 'E.

Some of that is promotion of "The Best in the World: At What I Have No Idea," his third memoir, but a lot of it is because the Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla gives great interviews. Case in point, his recent interview with Bryan Alvarez on F4WOnline.com. Just when you thought nobody could have any new, relevant, first-hand information about CM Punk, Jericho comes through.

"I don't know (if he's coming back), I don't know really anything about Punk," Jericho said. "We used to talk quite often and not really about wrestling stuff. ... We always had great chemistry and he's one of my favorite guys to work with. And then when he left the WWE he never talked to me again. I never heard one peep or squeak or anything from him again. I reached out to him a couple times just about, you know, 'hey, I'm watching The Clash from '78' or whatever and nothing. That's his decision, and it's kind of a drag. I understand professionally not wanting to be open but kind of leaving your friends behind? I don't give a fuck if he wrestles or not. It doesn't matter to me; it never did."

While that's the extent of the "news" that Jericho has concerning another wrestler who called himself the Best in the World, he can relate based on his own experience in the middle of the last decade:

"You know, I went through the same thing he did in 2005. I was burned out, did not want to wrestle. The only difference was I kind of timed it out so I knew my contract was coming up and this is it. And they even came to me to re-sign me but I cut them off at the pass. I said 'don't even say anything because I'm not re-signing'. Because I didn't want them to think I wasn't re-signing because of money, because I knew they were going to cut my salary. I knew it, I could tell, I could just tell. What I was doing, I was getting lower and lower on the card and they were having a meeting with Vince and Johnny Ace, 'we need to talk to you about your deal; we would like to re-sign you but...' 'Stop right there. Don't even say a number because I'm not coming back.' 'Really?' 'No.' 'You sure?' 'Yes.' 'Well, when can we see you again? Five months?' 'Nope.' 'Six months?' 'Nope.' 'A year?' 'Nope.' 'When are you coming back?' 'I don't know, but it's not going to be anytime soon,' and it took two and a half years. People forget that. Two and a half years I was gone, and didn't watch wrestling, at all."

Punk probably wasn't in danger of getting his pay cut, but that's not the only difference in their stories -- Jericho's making a point to say that he waited until his contract was up will probably fuel the fires of fans who believe that Chicagoan was in the wrong for walking out with time still remaining on his deal. We'll most likely never know the particulars of that, but one place where the Fozzy frontman still thinks there might be similarities between he and Punk is something he thinks all wrestlers, and most people, share:

"As a professional and as a passionate person, you know people always say 'man, I wish I could win the lottery because then I wouldn't have to do anything'... if I won the lottery I wouldn't stop a damn thing, because you can't. If you have a desire to be something or create something... I'll tell you something else, man, and I don't care who you are, it doesn't matter to me -- there is a euphoria that you get from being great at something, especially something where you're in front of a crowd and manipulating a crowd into doing whatever you want, the power that you have. I can do that, I can manipulate a crowd. I can get them to cheer or boo, I can get them to do whatever I want and it's a magic.

"When you don't have that, it's one of the reasons why I know The Rock comes back, even if it's just once in a while, because you can go film 100 movies and make 17 gazillion dollars and win 55 Oscars but you don't get that instant electricity and the gratification and the feedback from a live audience. And that's why with me, like, you know, when I'm not in the WWE I still have that with Fozzy, it's there. I step off one stage right onto another. Some of the stages aren't as big, some of them are bigger but it doesn't matter; 10 or 10,000, you get that drug. And for Punk not to have that in any way, shape, or form... I know he goes to hockey games a lot, and I'll bet cha that's why, because it's fun to be a part of a large audience and enjoying the emotion and the energy. But sooner or later he's going to need something to replace that.

"And maybe he'll come back to wrestling and maybe he won't but I'll say this: if you would have asked me -- how long has he been gone from the business now? Eight months? Nine months? If you would have asked me nine months after I left am I coming back I would have said 'I don't think so.' A year and a half? 'I don't think so.' The only time I decided to come back was when I saw Cena vs. Michaels at WrestleMania and just happened to watch it because it's WrestleMania and I'm a big Shawn Michaels fan -- he wasn't supposed to be in the main event, Hunter got hurt, Cena-Michaels, I'd like to see that. It was the first match I'd watched in two years and I was like 'oh my god, here it comes'. And then the next night they had that, or a week later, they had an hour long match on Raw in Italy and that's when it was like 'all right, I better start going and getting a new workout regime and start dieting because I'm going back."

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CM Punk Rants On Former WWE Diva In New Book

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CM Punk initiates Serena into the Straight Edgy Society

Over the years, many WWE story arcs and events have been dropped or altered due to injuries, disputes with and between the wrestlers, executive meddling and various other reasons. WWE's recently released WWE 50 hardcover book chronicling the sports-entertainment organization's history reveals another angle that almost came to fruition - a wedding between CM Punk and Serena.

Fans may recall the Punk-led Straight Edge Society, a villainous alliance in WWE that appeared on SmackDown in 2010. The concept behind the group was based around the straight edge lifestyle, which promotes and abides to discipline - primarily no smoking, drinking, or drugs. The group acted as a militant organization, denouncing all people who don't live the straight edge lifestyle, even those who also abstain from substance abuse. New members were required to shave their heads, which signified a "new beginning." When SmackDown moved to its current home on Syfy in October 2010, the debut episode was supposed to have featured a wedding with Punk and Serena. However, before the angle could take place, Serena was released from her contract for not "living out" the Straight Edge Society gimmick in public. Punk, a real-life straight edge follower, condemns Serena's off-camera behavior in the book.

"The debut of SmackDown on Syfy was supposed to be a huge wedding, me and Serena. God knows Vince loves weddings, back to Uncle Elmer," recalls Punk. "But she tanked the whole thing: I can't say it enough. I don't want to sit here and boo boo face and bash Serena, but what she did can't be undone. I've gotten apologies and all that, but you can't believe somebody who'd lie to your face. I'd ask her if she'd been drinking. She'd say 'no.'

"'Okay, I'm not your dad. I'm not your counselor. I can't control you. But you told me you were going to do one thing, and you did the opposite,' I said. It lead to her getting fired. Wake up! But I wish her the best."

In the time since her release, Serena struggled with a serious concussion suffered in late 2011 that put her out of action. Fortunately, she has since recovered and is regularly competing again on the independent circuit.

 

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