CM Punk Opens Up About How WWE Star Eddie Guerrero Changed His Life

Former AEW World Champion CM Punk was presented with the Iron Mike Mazurki Award on Wednesday evening at the Cauliflower Alley Club's Awards Banquet. Amidst his acceptance speech (via footage from Sports Guys Talking Wrestling), Punk recalled some of his early memories in the professional wrestling business, which included an encounter with WWE Hall of Famers Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero, whom he wrestled at IWA Mid-South in March 2002. 


It was this match that Punk says helped put his name on the map in the wrestling business. Speaking further on his interactions with Guerrero, Punk explained how "Latino Heat" changed his life and his approach to wrestling matches.

"He was so kind, and he was sweet," Punk said. "He was going through it. He had just been fired [from WWE]. He was going through a divorce. He was worried about seeing his kids, but all he knew was wrestling. So he was on the road. He was working independent shops. He was getting booked in New Japan. And I remember meeting him for the first time and him looking at me and saying, 'I don't like three-ways. They don't make any sense to me. If it's okay with you, you and Rey put it together and just call it to me.'"


Honoring Eddie

"I had very limited experience with going out and just kind of winging it," Punk continued. "I'm an indie kid. We would sit down and map everything out from A to B and man, if you got concussed or the ring broke or a riot broke out or something happened, you didn't know how to zig or how to zag. You learned on the fly. But Eddie, that night, made me realize how garbage I actually was, and made me feel like, 'Man, there's so much room for improvement.' And if this guy is willing to step in the ring with me wearing basketball shorts and Doc Martens, I need to up my game to show him respect because none of this is about me."


Reflecting back on his career, Punk paid his respect to the pioneers, such as Guerrero, who helped pave the path for the performers of the past, present, and future of the sport. For Punk specifically, he credits the likes of Guerrero, Tracy Smothers, and Chris Candido for playing crucial roles in boosting his career. 

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit the Sports Guys Talking Wrestling YouTube channel with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.