CM Punk’s iconic run in the WWE during the early 2010s was viewed by many as one of the greatest in the history of wrestling. Delivering cutting-edge mic work and wrestling incredible matches while displaying a different and unique style helped Punk become the biggest star of his time, and WWE rewarded him work a 434-day reign as WWE Champion — though they still somehow managed to upset him enough that he walked out of the company in January 2014.
Of all the memorable moments of that time, perhaps the most memorable is Punk’s “pipe bomb” promo at the top of the “WWE Raw” entrance ramp, in which he sat down cross-legged, talked about being held back, blatantly broke “the fourth wall,”and said the WWE would be better “after Vince McMahon’s dead.” The worked shoot gave Punk a new lease on life within WWE and sparked his run atop the company, as well as winning him the eternal love of fans who chanted his name for years after his departure.
At the time Punk was rising to the top of the WWE, Road Dogg, aka Brian James, returned to the company to take on a backstage role in 2012 as an agent. The WWE Hall of Famer spoke about Punk’s iconic promo and revealed his honest opinion of Punk’s run during the latest episode of the “Oh You Didn’t Know? Podcast.”
“I say this quite often and it’s my motto, I’m smart enough to know I ain’t smart enough. What I did not see in [CM Punk], all the fans did,” James said. “It’s not up to me to keep him from being over, I couldn’t have done that anyway. Yes, I had seen the promo and I was following it and everything. What I want everyone to understand is, yes, they were his feelings, but I know the guy who wrote it with him and it wasn’t as ‘Oh my lord,’ you know what I mean? It just wasn’t all this ‘He went shoot-shooting on everybody.’ I guess that’s what the viewer thought, so more power to them.”
Though Road Dogg suggests the promo was scripted, Punk himself said in a previous interview that he gave WWE a fake script and didn’t say anything from it. It’s undeniable, however, that the promo effectively hyped up Punk’s upcoming WWE Championship match against John Cena at Money In The Bank 2011 — a match Punk ultimately won.
The most recent “pipe bomb” promo in wrestling happened on the the June 1st episode of “AEW Dynamite,”when All Elite Wrestling star Maxwell Jacob Friedman blasted his boss, Tony Khan for underpaying him and overpaying former WWE talent to come to AEW.
“MJF, that was a pipe bomb, but also a work too, or how did he get to stay on the air?” James said. “You don’t get to go out there and call the boss every name in the book and we keep your microphone on. We send some security out there to haul your ass out the ring.”
Friedman hasn’t appeared on AEW television since that promo and has been removed from everything AEW-related.
Have a news tip or correction? Send it to [email protected]