Facts About CM Punk Only Hardcore Fans Know

While CM Punk's finishing move might be the Go to Sleep (GTS), there's nothing about the Straight Edge Superstar that makes us reach for the pillow and fluffy blanket. His refusal to conform to the typical standards of what a sports entertainer should be has enabled him to create a special connection with the crowd that simply cannot be bought. And lest we forget, his infamous Pipebomb promo made wrestling history, as it simultaneously dropkicked the industry in the teeth and butt, demanding a change to the tired and outdated status quo.

After a seven-year hiatus where everyone believed he was done and dusted with wrestling, Punk returned to AEW, where he embarked on a career renaissance. More importantly, the sport of wrestling brought a smile back to his face, since it had collapsed into a frown by the end of his time in the WWE (though, he never lost his smile in the same kind of way as "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels, who seemingly couldn't locate his when it came time to drop titles to opponents). As a storied and much-traveled performer, Punk has done it all, but what about the man behind the wrestler? Let's Pepsi plunge into the facts and find out more about the untold truth of CM Punk.

CM Punk almost went back to ROH before AEW

After CM Punk's bitter feud with WWE resulted in him being fired on his wedding day and despising any word that features three Hs, it appeared as if he would walk through the gates of Wrestling Valhalla and rest as an alumni of the sport. At that point in history, WWE was basically a monopoly. It was the biggest wrestling promotion in the US, as well as the only company capable of paying the kind of money that a star like Punk commands. He certainly wasn't about to headline a show for a Starbucks gift voucher or a Pepsi six-pack, that's for sure.

However, Punk's drive has never been about money. He isn't a limousine-riding, jet-flying, son of a gun (woo!), but he chooses his destinations based on what he wants to do. ROH's former owner Cary Silkin revealed on his "Last Stop Penn Station" podcast (via Post Wrestling) that the Voice of the Voiceless almost made a dramatic homecoming before heading to AEW. "A couple years ago I called him," Silkin said. "It was a possibility of him coming back to Ring of Honor and I put him in touch with the powers that be and the powers that be told me that this time it just wasn't a mutually beneficial situation so, that's it." Funny enough, Punk could still make a return to ROH now that AEW President Tony Khan owns it too.

He hasn't spoken to his brother for decades

Fans were surprised to see CM Punk appear on "Carpool Karaoke" with Bryan Danielson, Britt Baker, and Christian Cage. One of the tracks they belted out was "Let It Go" from the Disney animated movie "Frozen." While Danielson certainly sang it with more passion and conviction than the others — probably since he's the father of two young children who have the film on loop — Punk knew the lyrics all too well. However, it's well known throughout the wrestling industry that he struggles to "let it go" when it comes to specific grudges in the real world. And it extends to his family, too.

When Punk was a teenager, he, his brother Michal, and other kids from Chicago set up their own wrestling promotion called Lunatic Wrestling Federation (LWF), as per Esquire. They pumped their own money into it and ran their low-budget events out of their backyards. After they started to get noticed and people showed up to watch LWF shows, they began to make some dough and upgraded their events. Unfortunately, Michal stole money from the LWF — reportedly, thousands of dollars — and everyone found out about it. While he repaid the money and most of the others forgave him for his actions, Punk never did. He refused to ever speak to his brother again.

CM Punk loves Roddy Piper

While CM Punk's anti-authority attitude might have more in common with a hellraiser like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin — someone he openly admires — he is a bona fide fan of the rowdy one. In 2020, when asked by a fan on Twitter who was his favorite wrestler growing up, Punk responded that it was Roddy Piper — the number one heel of his era. However, he took his admiration for Piper to the next level when he joined AEW and entered a feud with MJF.

At the post-Revolution media scrum, Punk revealed that their Dog Collar Match was a tribute to Piper. "Why am I creating these moments? It's a love letter to Roddy Piper," he said. "During my career, I had a couple of good Dog Collar Matches with some good people. It just kinda made sense to tell the story." He added it's no secret that he loves Piper and so does MJF, so they decided to go back in time to find the right angle and inspiration for their storyline. As it turns out, the admiration was mutual. Piper praised Punk to MMA Junkie, both as a person and for his switch to UFC in 2015: "I love the guy and he's got the courage to leave someplace where you have millions of dollars and to go on and try something else. That's what a man's made out of."

He had a backstage fight with Teddy Hart

In the world of pro wrestling, many performers have real-life heat with opponents. To be fair, most of it is nothing more than passive-aggressive remarks on Twitter or to the media, as they throw verbal jabs that carry less weight and sting than the ones in the ring. There are cases, however, when the arguments turn a little more physical and they exchange blows behind the scenes. CM Punk experienced this with Teddy Hart back in their TNA days.

Punk and Hart weren't fans of each other behind the scenes, as they both criticized each other through the media at the time (via Wrestling Observer). The two eventually had a fight in the parking lot, which was witnessed by wrestling agent Bill Behrens and broken up by ECW legend Sabu. "It was like a really bad UFC fight in that all of a sudden to the left, there's a fight that has literally just started," Behrens told "The Hannibal TV." "From the very beginning, it was takedown by Teddy, Punk down, and Teddy's just destroying him. I think Sabu was walking up with this, but regardless Sabu ran in and got Teddy to focus on him. He broke for Sabu, so Sabu did the save for Punk on that particular one."

Shawn Michaels might have saved his WWE career

It's highly unlikely that CM Punk and Triple H exchange Christmas cards or text about their favorite CAWs in "WWE 2K22." Punk has never been shy to discuss how he believes The Game was responsible for holding him back in WWE, all the way from the time when he joined the company. Former WWE writer Court Bauer claimed on his podcast "Bauer & Pollock" that Triple H and Shawn Michaels personally buried Punk to Vince McMahon. Later on, Michaels denied the claim, stating on SiriusXM's "TapouT Radio" (via Sportskeeda) he was one of Punk's biggest supporters and it was the Straight Edge Superstar's backstage attitude that held him back in the WWE.

Former ECW head writer Dave Lagana corroborated Michaels' statement, suggesting HBK actually saved Punk's career in the WWE. Writing for I Want Wrestling, Lagana explained how one meeting about the future of ECW and its stars turned sour as the criticism piled on for Punk. "The meeting quickly turned into another CM Punk bash fest," he wrote. "My role was to run the meeting but dare not speak out of turn on the veteran agents. This was how the previous months' meetings had gone but this day was different. It was a new voice in the room that changed everything. 'Um, if you don't like something the kid is doing, why don't you work with him to fix it ... Instead of killing him.' That voice belonged to Shawn Michaels."

Why he loves Cult of Personality

Throughout his career, CM Punk has had incredible entrance themes. From AFI's slow-burn "Miseria Cantare — The Beginning" in ROH to Killswitch Engage's anthemic "This Fire Burns" in his early WWE years, the music has always fit his character at the time. However, there's one song more closely associated with him than all the others: Living Colour's "Cult of Personality." As soon as the opening riff kicks in with its unmistakable timing and swagger, everyone knows it's clobberin' time.

Punk revealed how personal the song is to him on his Twitter account and how he insisted on it being his theme music when he re-signed with WWE in 2011. Replying to Living Colour's mention about the first time he utilized the song, he wrote: "Was my little league team song in '89. Used it in [ROH] in '05. In '11, I gave 'em no choice. Even rocked it in [UFC]. It's been a crazy life, thanks for helping with the soundtrack!" Much like the lyrics state, this song truly gave him fortune and fame.

CM Punk auditioned to be Rocksteady in the TMNT movie

The Summer of Punk turned CM Punk into a household name around the globe. Many fans predicted that he'd do the inevitable and cross over into other forms of entertainment, which he did — but it mostly happened after he left the WWE. In 2015, Punk revealed to The Chicago Tribune that he was up for the role of Rocksteady in the film "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows." Eventually, the part went to his co-worker Sheamus.

Discussing the experience, Punk didn't appear to have any bitter feelings about missing out on the role. In fact, he suggested that Sheamus was right for what the producers were looking for. "I just assumed he's a bigger dude, so they gave it to the big guy," he said. "It makes sense. They were looking for two big, muscly bouncer types. [Sheamus] fits the role." If we're being honest here, Punk would have probably been a better fit as Casey Jones in that film.

The reason he is straight edge

As part of the Straight Edge Society, CM Punk proudly boasted that he was straight edge and better than all of us. It was, of course, a fundamental part of his heel gimmick and a way to rattle the fans in attendance and at home; however, it is true that he lives a straight edge lifestyle outside of the ring. This means he doesn't smoke, drink, or do drugs. In an industry that has lost many talents due to excess and abuse of substances, he is somewhat of an anomaly among his peers.

When asked about the reason he chose this specific lifestyle by The Baltimore Sun, Punk opened up about his past. "I didn't see the point in getting messed up to have fun," he said. "My dad was an alcoholic when I was growing up, and it never made any sense that my parents couldn't afford Christmas presents, but they could buy three cartons of cigarettes apiece a month. That definitely had a lot to do with it."

CM Punk starred in a horror film

After departing the WWE, CM Punk tried different things that weren't related to wrestling. Not only did he give MMA a shot, but he also got serious about acting. Most fans might recognize him from his guest appearances as Ricky Rabies on Starz' "Heels" TV series, which stars Stephen Amell and Alexander Ludwig, but he had a leading role in Travis Stevens' horror film "Girl on the Third Floor."

Punk admitted to Entertainment Weekly that he was nervous in the first few weeks of the production since it was his debut in a lead part. "There's also that sliver of insecurity that lives inside of everybody that was coming out in me," he said. "I told everybody, 'Well, if after the first week you guys think I suck and you want to get somebody else to do this, you're not going to hurt my feelings.'" As it so happens, Punk wasn't fired and finished the film. In fact, he must have impressed Stevens enough, who cast him as Deputy Colton in his follow-up feature "Jakob's Wife."

He feels his WWE time was wasted

In his time with WWE, CM Punk became a Triple Crown Champion and battled against the likes of John Cena, The Rock, Undertaker, and Brock Lesnar. He was even featured as the cover star of the video game "WWE '13" and received regular television time. Despite all these accolades that most other wrestlers could only dream of, there's a part of Punk that believes his time with the company wasn't all it was cracked out to be.

Chatting to ESPN, Punk revealed what he truly thought about his stint with WWE. "I feel like it was kind of wasted," he said. "It could have been so much more. It should have been so much more. And now [with AEW], this is everything I dreamed pro wrestling could and should be." It's common knowledge that Punk resented the fact he never headlined a WrestleMania in all the years he was there. Perhaps his sentiment towards WWE would be different had he received the chance to compete in the main event of the granddaddy of them all.

CM Punk wanted to buy Ring of Honor

Among wrestling fans, classic Ring of Honor is remembered as a promotion that celebrated the art of wrestling. It might not have had the flash or sports entertainment aspect of other companies, but it certainly kept the focus on the athleticism and spirit of pro wrestling. Unfortunately, ROH has suffered many financial difficulties throughout the years, which eventually resulted in its sale to Tony Khan.

It could have been much different in 2010, though. According to former owner Cary Silkin, CM Punk approached him about the possibility of buying the promotion when he was still with WWE; however, Silkin didn't bite or appreciate how the offer was made. "I get a text message in like 2010. CM Punk texts me out of nowhere and is like, 'What would you want to sell Ring of Honor?'" Silkin revealed on the "ROH Strong" podcast (via EssentiallySports). "I've hustled tickets on the street and have had a somewhat successful business. I don't think text messaging is the way to approach sales of companies."

CM Punk has a new comic book idea

Outside of wrestling, CM Punk has another passion: comic books. Marvel gave him the opportunity to cut his teeth in the comic world by letting him co-write a few issues throughout the years. Undoubtedly, his biggest and most high-profile moment was his run on the "Drax" series with Cullen Bunn and Scott Hepburn. While it has been a while since his name appeared on the cover of a comic, Punk revealed that he harbors plans to return to the medium at some point in the future.

"Marvel has never asked me to do anything creator-owned, but I have had other companies ... There's a standing offer out there so I can do creator-owned books," Punk said on the "AEW Unrestricted" podcast (via GamesRadar). "I just don't, especially now, have the time ... But it's always in the back of my head."