CM Punk is wrestling's riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Somehow he's clawed his way to the top of the sports entertainment food chain despite a lack of a bodybuilder physique, his unusual straight edge lifestyle that is at odds with his chosen profession, a penchant for dating hot female coworkers in a jealous environment, and having no fear at clashing with management over their ideas for his career. These contradictions and many more were exposed by Punk's local rag, the Chicago Tribune, in a fascinating profile piece on Monday, which is well worth reading in full.
Playing into past storylines with a tinge of truth to them, he still thinks Triple H perceives him as a "skinny fat kid" (as opposed to being a muscular bloated man I suppose):
I think that's (Triple H's) perception of me. It shows the perception people have is completely archaic and outdated. I assume it's a bodybuilding thing. I'm not skinny, and I'm not fat. I've never used a drug in my life.
While we're at it he's doesn't moonlight as a short-order cook at a Waffle House either.
Another inconsistency is being a celebrity who wants to go unrecognised by the general public, yet courts attention on Twitter at all times and doesn't want to stop:
I can be pretty incognito. I'll have my hood up and hands in my pocket. ... It doesn't stop a lot of people. They'll talk to me for a while, and I'll stare at them for a while (with headphones on), and I'll say, 'I didn't hear a word you just said.'
I've tweeted a few things that I thought for sure would get me a call from (WWE's) office. It never happened. ... Maybe I need to be more rebellious.
It seems like he'll be one of the few top wrestling stars who won't have any trouble stepping away from the business while the going is still good, but social media may be more difficult to part ways with.
In the interview, Punk makes the rather suspicious claim that he gave Vince McMahon bullet points that were completely different to those he decided to use in his infamous shoot promo that shot him through the roof into becoming the biggest full time star behind only John Cena in the company today, but the head honcho was far from angry about that:
He had dollar signs in his eyes. He said, 'Hell of a promo. Too bad you're leaving. We could make a lot of money together.' At that point, I was so out the door. ... I was counting down the days.
However, with concessions like a fatter contract, his own tour bus and Cult of Personality entrance music, somewhere down the line Punk changed his mind, but we'll probably never know for certain exactly when.
His private life seems just as fractal as his very wrestling nature. He's a hopeless romantic who watches sappy love movies and he wants a little daughter, yet doesn't believe in marriage:
I don't think marriage is in the cards for me. I think it's an archaic institution. I think people got married when their life expectancy was (shorter). It kind of made sense then. ... People now live to 100. But who's to say? I would love to find a woman who will absolutely floor me, make me stop everything, intrigue me that much that everything stops. I'm not positive she exists.
But maybe that's why Punk's so popular? He's not playing a completely fictional character, but instead making the most of his intriguing personality traits that stand out from the crowd in a sea of budding WWE clones. He can effortlessly weave work and shoot together to create a complex public tapestry that keeps us all guessing and talking about him. In the modern age of communication and information at our fingertips the ability to do that is a rare talent, one that WWE adores and should guarantee him a place at the top of their cards till the day he retires. It might have took him awhile, but his inherent contradictions eventually led to him having the leverage to pick his spots carefully and call some shots, allowing him to achieve all his wrestling dreams. A strange wrestling fairytale that should end happily ever after, marriage or not.