Daily Star Interview with CM Punk: ‘PUNK’S FEELING SO LUCKY!’
In many people’s eyes he has bypassed the hard yards up the beanstalk andshould have
his head above the clouds.
The young Chicagoan is currently weathering something of a storm, however, since his surprise
defeat of Edge at Night of Champions earlier in the month made him the youngest top tier
champion since Orton.
But WWE crowds are struggling to take the 29-year-old seriously as the topbanana, it seems.
The bookers cutting short a good match with Batista and following up with a mighty squashing
at the hands of the Big Red Monotony Kane on PPV doesn’t help matters, but Punk is undaunted.
He has reason to be proud he is the only man in history to have held both the top Ring of Honour
and WWE titles. His catalogue of stellar encounters in his early career with Joe, Cabana and
Danielson marked him out as a prime indy asset for Vince McMahon, and he was snapped
up in 2005.
“It’s my ball now, and no-one can have it back, ” the young champion tells me with obvious
“It’s an opportunity I’ve been waiting for my entire life. I’m here in WWE to become a player,
I have to prove myself to the boys in the back. I’m not here to make friends.”
Punk’s particular brand of brash, ball-busting self-confidence has rubbed colleagues up
the wrong way one of the more endearing qualities the bloke has is that he backs his
own abilities to the hilt.
“It’s surreal, I always expected to be champion one day, so I’m enjoying it,”
Punk refuses to shrink away from my assertion that most people within the industry
see him as a caretaker champion, for the bigger draw in Batista on RAW.
“It’s a fair comment, ” he candidly admits. “Batista is a bad ass. He’s been heavyweight
champion twice before, he is money and he can draw.
“I am not tested, I’ve not wrestled a PPV main event, apart from December to Dismember.
All I can say is after I won the belt, ratings are up. Ratings were not this high for the Draft.
“‘Punk can’t, Punk won’t’ all that is nothing new to me. People’s doubt just fuels me.
Change is always good no matter how it happens. I debuted on RAW and won the World
Heavyweight Championship. That had impact.”
You have to admire his confidence. In recent weeks FT has been moaning about the lack of
decent in-ring wrestling in championship bouts and, having watched Punk for the past five
years, there is little doubt he can provide the antidote.
He prefers to “make guys wrestle my style”. RAW is a young man’s world at present. DiBiase
and the impressive Cody Rhodes are tag champions, and Kofi Kingston has the Intercontinental
Punk knows he’s honoured to have that top prize ahead of four talented young men.
“It’s a breath of fresh air it’s awesome to think that out of those four guys, I got the
heavyweight belt. It really flatters me no end.
“That’s why people are tuning in, we have to look to the younger generation so we can
hand the business over in good shape in the future.”
The attitude is safe and sound, even if Punk’s newly won shiny gold belt is under threat at Summerslam, the
WWE August centrepiece.
Be sure to tune in and see how he goes.