Sure, it was only two years ago, but it was history in the making. We may not have known it at the time -- though we felt it -- but when CM Punk delivered his now infamous shoot promo on Monday Night Raw on this date in WWE history (June 27, 2011), it made him a superstar.
At the time, Punk was the leader of the new Nexus group, a heel faction that was on its last legs. In fact, after earning a WWE championship match at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view (PPV) set for the next month, and revealing his contract was set to expire that night and he would be leaving for good afterwards (with the title), the Nexus disbanded.
The next week on Raw, he interfered in the main event, a match between John Cena, the champion at the time, and R-Truth. Punk assisted Truth in winning the tables match and immediately after walked up the ramp, sat down Indian style, and proceeded to spew venom through a microphone he would come to call his "pipe bomb."
The promo, in its entirety:
"John Cena, while you lay there, hopefully as uncomfortable as you possibly can be, I want you to listen to me. I want you to digest this because before I leave in three weeks with your WWE championship, I have a lot of things I want to get off my chest. I don't hate you, John. I don't even dislike you. I do like you, I like you a hell of a lot more than I like most people in the back. I hate this idea that you're the best ... cause you're not. I'm the best. I'm the best in the world. There's one thing you're better at than I am and that's kissing Vince McMahon's ass. You're as good at kissing Vince McMahon's ass as Hulk Hogan was. I don't know if you're as good as Dwayne, though, he's a pretty good ass kisser. Always was and still is.
"Whoops, I'm breaking the fourth wall (waves at camera).
"I am the best wrestler in the world. I've been the best ever since day one when I walked into this company and I've been vilified and hated since that day because Paul Heyman saw something in me that nobody else wanted to admit. That's right, I'm a Paul Heyman guy. You know who else was a Paul Heyman guy? Brock Lesnar. And he split just like I'm splitting, but the biggest difference between me and Brock is that I'm going to leave with the WWE championship.
"I've grabbed so many of Vincent K. McMahon's imaginary brass rings that it's finally dawned on me that they're just that, they're completely imaginary. The only thing that's real is me and the fact that day in and day out, for almost six years, I have proved to everybody in the world that I am the best on this microphone, in that ring, even on commentary. Nobody can touch me! And yet, no matter how many times I prove it, I'm not on your lovely little collector cups, I'm not on cover of the program, I'm barely promoted, I don't get to be in movies, I'm certainly not on any crappy show on the USA network. I'm not on the poster of WrestleMania, I'm not on the signature that's produced at the start of the show, I'm not on Conan O'Brien, I'm not on Jimmy Fallon, but the fact of the matter is I should be. And trust me, this isn't sour grapes. The fact that Dwayne is in the main event of WrestleMania next year and I'm not makes me sick!
"Oh, hey, let me get something straight: those of you who are cheering me right now, you are just as big a part of me leaving as anything else. Because you're the ones who are sipping out of those collector cups right now. You're the ones that buy those programs that my face isn't on the cover of and then at five in the morning at the airport, you try to shove it in my face so you can get an autograph and try to sell it on eBay because you're too lazy to go get a real job.
"I'm leaving with the WWE championship on July 17 and who knows, maybe I'll go defend it in New Japan Pro Wrestling, maybe I'll go back to Ring of Honor. (Looks at camera) Hey, Colt Cabana, how you doing?
"The reason I'm leaving is you people, because after I'm gone, you're still going to pour money into this company. I'm just a spoke on the wheel. The wheel is going to keep turning and I understand that. Vince McMahon is going to make money despite himself. He's a millionaire who should be a billionaire. You know why he's not a billionaire? It's because he surrounds himself with glad-handing, nonsensical, yes-men like John Laurinaitis who is going to tell him everything that he wants to hear. And I'd like to think that maybe this company will be better after Vince McMahon's dead but the fact is it's going to get taken over by his idiotic daughter and his doofus son-in-law and the rest of his stupid family. Let me tell you a personal story about Vince McMahon. They're doing this whole bully campaign... (microphone gets cut off)."
This was flawlessly executed and Punk was suddenly the hottest act in pro wrestling. He would soon get booked for television appearances with Jimmy Kimmel and podcasts with Bill Simmons. His fame was growing leaps and bounds and it all started with this one promo on Raw.
The angle, the hottest WWE has had in years, concluded at Money in the Bank in July when Punk won the title in front of thousands of adoring fans in his home city of Chicago, Illinois, where he blew Vince McMahon a kiss and walked out through the crowd, belt in hand.