Recently, WWE champion C.M. Punk was interviewed on The Bower Show on 979ESPN. During the interview Punk discussed when he decided he wanted to be a wrestler, being straight edge, his favorite Vince McMahon story, facing 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin and more. Here are some of the highlights:
On when C.M. Punk decided he wanted to become a professional wrestler: "I don't know when I consciously made that decision. It's something that I've always done. There was never any moment where I was, 'I'm doing this and I don't like this so I'm doing this.' I always wrestled. So, it was always there.
"I remember watching Roddy Piper on TV when I was a kid and it was like, 'Wow. This guy smashes people in the face, talks trash and he gets away with it.' And I assumed that everyone I saw on television was just a multi-millionaire. So, I thought that it looks like a fun job, so let's do it.
"[Financially, I had to make a decision to completely pursue wrestling] 100%. The last real world job was I was a lab tech and Underwriters Laboratory in Northbrook, Illinois. It was a legit job, you know -- benefits, strict hours. I always had other jobs to support my wrestling habit which is what we like to say.
"One day, I may or may not have been sleeping at my desk and one day my boss walked in, and I tried to pretend I was doing something. I had this look on my face and I was like, 'Ohh. I'm fired, aren't I?' ... You can't see it because it's radio, obviously, but I had this big grin on my face. I was just like, 'Sweet.'
"After that, it was full-court press. That was like the beginning of 2002. It was full-court press. I got a certain amount of severance and I was just going to go for it. I picked up my bags and I moved to Philly. A lot of the work was on the East coast so if I was in Philly, I could drive to New York. I could go everywhere. It just kind of blossomed from there."
On what made him decide to live his life straight edge: "That's a pretty typical question because people always wonder if I was dependent on alcohol or drugs and is straight edge what keeps me sober. No. What I always tell people is I was born this way.
"For me, it's not a lifestyle. I think going out and partying and getting drunk every night. That's a lifestyle. That's insane. This is just who I am. It's who I've always been. ... I just never saw a reason to drink, I suppose."
His favorite Vince McMahon story: "Well, we recently had the Hall of Fame come out -- I didn't see it -- but Edge was being inducted. He was the big inductee this year. He told a story and he neglected to mention I was a part of it shockingly enough.
"I had been on the road for maybe 5 or 6 months and I got the call -- spur of the moment. 'Hey, someone's injured, somebody's suspended.' I don't know -- whatever. 'You're going to Iraq.' 'Oh, OK. Cool. I'll pack my bags.'
"So, we go over to Iraq and the sleeping arrangements were hilarious. I was thrown in a room -- it was a five star, because I don't know if we have any five star generals -- but it was the biggest general. He was in our room. It was; me, JBL, The Undertaker, Edge and Vince McMahon. Legit bunking. I was on the top bunk and JBL was on the bottom.
"To the right of me was Vince McMahon and I think we let him have his own bunk and the the left of me was The Undertaker and I think Edge was top bunk and there's a giant bed in the middle. These are giant, palatial estates. This was Sadam's palace. There was one giant bed in the room and we gave it to the general, obviously. It was his show.
"It was just one of those moments where I'm just laying there, thinking of how bizarre my life is. I'm in a bunk bed with JBL and Vince McMahon is over here. All of a sudden, I just here someone let one out. Someone just farts. Then, you just hear, '[mimicking Vince's laugh.]' Now, I'm like, 'Wow, this is wild. I'm in a bunk bed and Vince is crapping his pants.
"What makes the story even better is that I woke up in the middle of the night and I had to pee so bad. I had crippling pee pains. So, it's pitch black, I'm not familiar with my surroundings and I'm trying to crawl off this bunk bed with waking up JBL. Everybody's snoring. Vince snores, 'Taker snores, JBL snores and I'm in Iraq. It was brutal. So, it was one of those what-am-I-doing-with-my-life kind of moments."
On whether or not a match between Punk and Steve Austin is likely to happen: "Well, I think everyone knows he's stated that if he came back for one more match, there's one guy he would do it with and it's me. It's immensely flattering. It puts me under a tremendous microscope, too. He's also recently said things like I need to up my intensity.
"I think that's just the 'Rattlesnake' trying to poke me and trying to stoke the fire so to speak. I'm going to be here, I'm not going anywhere. So, it's a matter of whether he wants to do it or not.
"I know a lot of planets got to align for it to happen. If it was in Dallas, yeah, that'd be great. He's a Texas redneck. I'm a straight edge city boy. So, I think obviously it's a little oil and water. I think that's why people are fascinated by it. The characters -- they don't mix. Put C.M. Punk and 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin in a room together and both guys come out with black eyes and split lips. On paper, those two guys don't get along.
"I think it has way more potential than Rock and Cena. Sure, they had a little bit of an inflammatory rivalry but we haven't scratched the surface yet of what me and 'Stone Cold' could do.
"Is it possible? I'd say it is. Is it 100% going to happen? I can't say."
Punk also discusses throwing the first pitch at a Cubs game in a speedo, getting a manny-petty and WWE's warehouse. To check out the entire interview, watch the videos below.