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The Wrestling Insider #41: CM Punk paves way for future generations of WWE stars

Despite+what+critics+say+about+CM+Punk%2C+there+is+no+doubt+that+he+changed+the+landscape+of+the+WWE+for+years+to+come.
Despite what critics say about CM Punk, there is no doubt that he changed the landscape of the WWE for years to come.

Despite what critics say about CM Punk, there is no doubt that he changed the landscape of the WWE for years to come.

Courtesy of wwe.com

Courtesy of wwe.com

Despite what critics say about CM Punk, there is no doubt that he changed the landscape of the WWE for years to come.

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When many people are asked who the man who changed WWE for the future is, they’ll probably tell you John Cena or Hulk Hogan. What they don’t realize, however, is that a man who wasn’t necessarily built like a WWE superstar and wasn’t really well-liked by the higher-ups changed the face of the WWE forever.

That man is known as CM Punk and is covered in tattoos from head to toe. CM Punk spent years on the independent circuit hoping to get a big break as a professional wrestler for either All Japan or New Japan Pro Wrestling. Where he ended up, however, is a story of its own right.

After making waves in top independent promotion Ring of Honor, Punk was offered a WWE contract. He went on to sign with the company in 2005 and immediately reported to WWE’s developmental territory at the time, OVW, before making his television debut with ECW in 2006.

Punk had the natural ability to adapt to many different styles. Whether he was working with a powerhouse wrestler like Ryback or a high flying wrestler like Rey Mysterio, Punk knew how to get the job done and produce great matches.

While there is a lot of controversy with how things ended up with Punk, there is no taking away the fact that he is one of the longest reigning WWE Champions in history. That monumental title reign also went on to change the future of the WWE forever. At the time when Punk was signed, WWE was really into big, muscular guys. It was Paul Heyman who advocated for Punk to be signed. All the higher-ups didn’t expect Punk to succeed, and he was often discussed for the chopping block. Punk then burst onto the scene, winning many different championships.

It wasn’t until his feud with John Cena in 2011 where his popularity fully escalated. When fans discuss memorable moments of CM Punk’s, they often refer to his “pipebomb” promo he delivered on John Cena. Punk went on to voice his opinion on WWE’s flaws and ended up breaking the fourth wall by discussing independent promotions and even name dropping his best friend Colt Cabana (all of which aren’t typically allowed in promos). Punk pointed out the flaws in the higher-ups and stated that he was overlooked by many.

That promo must have been convincing, as CM Punk went on to defeat John Cena at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view that year and captured the WWE Championship.

From there on out, Punk’s life changed for good. He paved the way for success for guys who made their names on the indies, such as Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan, and Samoa Joe. His success paved the way for WWE to sign guys who typically wouldn’t be looked at ten years ago.

His drive to be the best wrestler in the world, paired with his incredible mic skills, allowed Punk to retain his championship against challengers such as John Cena, Ryback, Mark Henry, Daniel Bryan, and Kane.

Punk set the tone for how the WWE sees things. Right after Punk walked out of the company, Daniel Bryan was inserted into the main event of WrestleMania 30–and ended up winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Punk’s success also led other wrestlers to be given a chance in the main event. Superstars like Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose became main eventers mainly in part to Punk’s suggestion to form The Shield in the first place.

There may be some fans that hate on CM Punk, but they can’t deny that what he did for the business changed it for good.

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The Wrestling Insider #41: CM Punk paves way for future generations of WWE stars