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This Day in Wrestling History (June 27): CM Punk’s Pipebomb

6 years ago today, WWE presented RAW Roulette 5 (WWE Network link) on a special edition of RAW from the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As with past editions of the event, every match on the show was determined by a spin of the wheel.

  • Kane defeated CM Punk by countout in a "mystery opponent" match.
  • Sin Cara defeated Evan Bourne in a no countout match.
  • Kofi Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler in a "Player's Choice" match (Kofi, the spinner, chose Vickie Guerrero to be banned from ringside).
  • Alberto Del Rio defeated Big Show in a steel cage match.
  • Kelly Kelly defeated Nikki Bella in a submission match.
  • Alex Riley & Rey Mysterio defeated The Miz and Jack Swagger in a tornado tag team match.
  • R-Truth defeated John Cena in a tables match.

However, the night's most memorable moment came from the man that interfered in the match, CM Punk.

Punk sat on the stage and, figuring he had nothing to lose since he was on his way out (he declared a week prior that his contract was set to expire at next month's Money in the Bank), ripped into his soon-to-be former employer.

The "pipebomb" as it is known in wrestling lore resonated with long-suffering fans of what the WWE had become since its heyday; it won the Cageside Seats Greatest Promo tournament back in 2014. (promo transcript via

"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 wanna get off my chest.

I don't hate you, John. I don't even dislike 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 - because 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's ass as Hulk Hogan was. I don't know if you're as good as Dwayne. He's a pretty good ass-kisser. Always was and still is. Oops - I'm breaking the fourth wall. [Punk waves to the 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 splittin', 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've proved to everybody in the world that I am the best on this microphone, in that ring and even on commentary. Nobody can touch me. And yet, no matter how many times I prove it, I'm not on your lovely little collectors' cups, I'm not on the cover of the program, I'm barely promoted, I don't get to be in movies, I'm 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, but 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 anyone else, because you're the ones 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 thinking you can get an autograph and sell it on eBay, because you're too lazy to get a real job.

I'm leaving with the WWE championship on July 17 and hell, who knows, maybe I'll go defend it in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Maybe I'll go back to Ring of Honor.

[Punk waves to the camera again] 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's gonna keep turning. And I understand that Vince McMahon's gonna 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 douche bag yes-men like John Laurinaitis, who's gonna tell him everything he wants to hear. And I'd like to think that maybe this company will be better after Vince McMahon is dead, but the fact is, it's gonna 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. You know we do this whole bully campaign— [microphone cuts off]

I've been silenced!"

[cut to black]

The worked shoot was a career-making moment for CM Punk. It not only caught the attention of fans and fellow wrestlers (Daniel Bryan, Colt Cabana, and MVP were among the many that praised the promo), but of mainstream media as well, as it came off as a man cutting a shoot promo on his company on the way out.

But Punk really did have one foot out the door, not signing a new WWE contract until the day of the Money in the Bank PPV... where he went on to win the WWE Championship for the first time.

Despite the success and attention he got following that night, nearly everything that Punk prophesied in that worked shoot came to fruition. His increasing frustration of not being presented as a true top star and being passed over in favor of part-timers in part led to Punk leaving the WWE following the 2014 Royal Rumble.

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