|By Marc Middleton | June 28, 2012 | Comments|
"Road Dogg" Jesse James (who presented Punk his Slammy in 2011): I think it caused a revolution, to be quite honest with you. I think people who know the inside track, they always want to hear somebody who drops that on national TV. I think that's what brought CM Punk to the forefront, and now his popularity has just grown ever since. It's fun to see him on all our live events and just how popular he is. He never ceases to amaze me. It takes charisma, it takes personality, and Punk has loads of both.
Ezekiel Jackson: He stated that his WWE contract was coming to an end, and you don't know what to expect from somebody who's about to either quit or do whatever they want to do. He had absolutely nothing to lose. He could have said anything he wanted, and in a way, he did. It was so different. He stepped up to be a natural leader of the WWE locker room. You know that he was trying to make it known that he was representing us. You've seen things going in the direction that he wanted it to. One of the points he touched on was a smaller guy like him wasn't supposed to ever be WWE Champion, but then you've got him and Daniel Bryan [as a former World Heavyweight Champion] – smaller Superstars who became champions, who are getting their opportunities, and they're delivering.
Kaitlyn: I was watching it on TV since it was a travel day. When it happened, I was so shocked. I think I actually tweeted about it, like I was so curious about what was going down and what kind of impact it would have. I think his words kind of shifted things. In the WWE fans' eyes, watching that, it sparked a rebellion in a way and it kind of gave Punk this awesome chance to create himself in any way that he wanted. He totally reinvented himself. It was something that people could really rally around. He related to the WWE Universe and it felt so surreal.
Zack Ryder: I remember I was watching the backstage monitor and I was like, 'Wait a minute. Is this live on TV?' He was just saying these things about the company that seemed pretty unbelievable. They even cut the mic out from under him. You knew it was one of those moments that created controversy, and people were tuning in the next week to see what would happen. I definitely approved and agreed with what he was saying. I was saying similar things on my YouTube show, so when a Superstar like Punk voiced his opinion, maybe it made people realize a change was necessary.
Derrick Bateman: It was one of the most extraordinary moments I ever had while watching Raw live. There was this suspension of disbelief of what he was actually saying. And to top it off, wearing the "Stone Cold" Steve Austin T-shirt, it left you shocked. What I saw there was someone who believed he deserved to be on top, but wasn't quite yet, and he seized the opportunity to make himself a household name and put himself on top. He's got a 220-plus day title reign, so it's obviously worked for him.
Justin Gabriel: I was a huge fan of Punk before, and I think that day made me an even bigger fan. Just the way he walks and talks is so different. Everything he says, you want to believe him. For the guys in the WWE locker room, he definitely hit the right notes, but he obviously ruffled a lot of feathers. But that's cool. That's what we need. I think that's what we needed at the time and we need more of that going forward, too.
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