If you ask pro-wrestling fans about their fandom, a great many will share the same story: their love for the soap opera with added violence has come in phases. Obviously there was the WWF and Hulk Hogan and the He-Man-esque oversized stars of the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling era in the 80s, living cartoons perfect for children. The Attitude Era of the late 90s was, for good or ill, supremely suited for teenagers growing up when South Park, Enimem, and Jackass were at the heights of cultural domination. Eventually wrestling stopped being “cool” and a lot of people moved on.
That is until Phil Brooks, known by his ring name CM Punk, sat down on the stage, crossed his legs, and started talking directly into the camera. On June 27, 2011, he broke the fourth wall as well as kayfabe and made a speech about all the things he thought was broken and wrong with the WWE. A lot of people started talking about it, a lot of people started paying attention. How much of CM Punk’s “pipebomb” was real? How much was scripted? CM Punk – with his personality, his ability, and his gift of speech – got a lot of people interested again, helped them to discover the indie shows, the foreign promotions, and the burgeoning women’s scene that was out there, and got them to fall in love with the big ridiculous nonsense that is professional wrestling all over again. And then he quit.
In January 2014, sick and tired and burnt out, he walked out of the WWE and never came back. He retired from the business, and apart from an unmemorable run in UFC, has largely stayed away from the limelight. An irascible, mercurial, and amazing talent was gone and stayed gone. He said he had lost his passion for wrestling, and as the years dragged on we had to accept he would never return to the ring.
That is, until tonight. The rumours have been circling for weeks that CM Punk has signed for Tony Khan’s AEW and will be at “The First Dance” in Chicago. Excitement is at a fever pitch for wrestling nerds!
If ‘Cult of Personalty’ hits, the Sears Center is going to EXPLODE
Have a great day and take care of yourselves everyone, ’cause tonight is CLOBBERING TIME!