2014 has been the year of CM Punk. Maybe more than 2011, when he first rose to the very top of the pro wrestling world due to his pipebomb promo. Almost certainly more than 2012, when he was ostensibly at the top of WWE due to the fact that his WWE title reign spanned all twelve months.
Since he left WWE following this year's Royal Rumble, WWE and CM Punk fans have worked through a process of loss, with many getting stuck on anger or depression. Well, now the word is out, at least from the Chicagoan's side of things...and that is prompting fans to either start the process over or pick up where they left out.
The difference being that this time, we have some guidance from the Straight Edge Superstar to use.
So let's work through it.
Why did you wait do long, Punk?
I was fired on my wedding day, I got my settlement -- signed papers and everything -- on my birthday, and I gave back to the fans on Thanksgiving. 'Thank you, fans, here's my story, this is what happened.' The only reason it didn't get done sooner is because you were in Japan and when you got home I was in L.A., I was doing stuff. So it was literally like... I was harping on you the day I got those papers. I was like 'let's do this podcast. Is there a way we can do it from Japan? Let's do this podcast.' I was really anxiety ridden and antsy just to tell my story, just to get it out so I can move on with the next chapter of my life.
That's basically what it was. I didn't expect it to become this big thing. It was not meant to be like 'I'm going to bash the WWE, I'm going to say this and say that.' I just rolled with it
That's cool. Sorry to hear it was causing you so much stress. Totally not buying that "didn't think it would be a big deal" crap, though.
What should we call you now?
I don't know the answer to that, I really don't.
But I will get tweets that say 'change your Twitter handle, you're not CM Punk anymore.' And I just think those are kids who watch WWE and assume that CM Punk is this WWE creation when it couldn't be anything further from the truth.
Since I have been CM Punk, probably longer now than I was just regular old Phil Brooks... it's just a fucking name now. I think it's grown into this thing where it's a brand.Marvel Comics was like 'hey, when we put your name on stuff...' I knew immediately where they were going. They were kind of like, I could hear it in their voice where they were kind of like 'eh, we don't...' I was like you don't have to call me. If you put Phil Brooks on the front of a comic, nobody is going to buy it. If you put CM Punk on the front of a comic, maybe somebody will get interested. So, guess what? That's my name, you know?
There's still a huge part of me that feels people who know me are allowed to call me Phil. Like if I'm walking down the street and somebody's like 'yo, Phil!' chances are, unless I know you, I'm not going to respond to you.
I'm going to stick with Punk, then.
But didn't you break a legal promise when you left WWE? What kind of example does that set?
I don't know why anybody's gotta be mad about it, you know what I mean? People who are like 'you signed a contract,' you have to understand the contracts are not fucking worth the paper they're printed on. If they were, they wouldn't have settled. They would have held me over a fucking barrel and I wouldn't be doing this fucking podcast.
I waited until everything, all the legal bullshit was out of the way. I never sued them. It was all about a settlement. It was 'hey guys, guess what, you can't do that, you can't do this, and don't do this.' And they immediately fired back and were like 'okay, how do you want to proceed.' And that's what it was. Lawyers didn't jam anything up; lawyers expedited the process and now I'm a fucking free guy.
Look at Del Rio, bless his fucking heart, love that guy, he's wrestling other places now. Know why? Because you can't put a fucking no compete clause on an independent contractor, period.
Kind of what I figured...especially what with all the work through injuries with dangerous guys in foreign countrie talk. But...
You never even said thanks...after all we did for you!
Ladies and gentlemen, if you were ever a fan of mine, if you ever wanted to see me wrestle on television, or live in person, or you purchased a shirt or texting gloves, or any other number of ridiculous merch items, hey, thank you. And I appreciate it. I had to wait this long to tell the story for legal reasons and it got out as soon as it could, you know?
If I've offended you, hey, sorry. There's a chance you might need to lighten up, and there's a chance I meant to offend you. I don't really know where I'm going with that. If you support me, that's awesome, thank you. If you don't like me, don't follow me on Twitter. If you don't like KISS, don't buy their albums, you know what I mean?
Find something that you love to do and do it, don't worry about what everybody else is doing, unless they're trying to murder or rape you.
That's good advice. Works for me. Good luck with whatever comes next, glad you're doing well, and thanks for the memories.