Recently, WWE champion CM Punk was interviewed on The Bower Show on 979 ESPN. During the interview, Punk discussed when he decided he wanted to be a wrestler, being straight edge, his favorite Vince McMahon story and more. Here are some of the highlights:
On when CM Punk decided he wanted to become a professional wrestler: “I don’t know when I consciously made that decision. It’s something that I’ve always done. There was never any moment where I was, ‘I’m doing this and I don’t like this so I’m doing this.’ I always wrestled. So, it was always there.
“I remember watching Roddy Piper on TV when I was a kid and it was like, ‘Wow. This guy smashes people in the face, talks trash and he gets away with it.’ And I assumed that everyone I saw on television was just a multi-millionaire. So, I thought that it looks like a fun job, so let’s do it.
“[Financially, I had to make a decision to completely pursue wrestling] 100%. The last real world job was I was a lab tech and Underwriters Laboratory in Northbrook, Illinois. It was a legit job, you know — benefits, strict hours. I always had other jobs to support my wrestling habit which is what we like to say.
“One day, I may or may not have been sleeping at my desk and one day my boss walked in, and I tried to pretend I was doing something. I had this look on my face and I was like, ‘Ohh. I’m fired, aren’t I?’ … You can’t see it because it’s radio, obviously, but I had this big grin on my face. I was just like, ‘Sweet.’
“After that, it was full-court press. That was like the beginning of 2002. It was full-court press. I got a certain amount of severance and I was just going to go for it. I picked up my bags and I moved to Philly. A lot of the work was on the East coast so if I was in Philly, I could drive to New York. I could go everywhere. It just kind of blossomed from there.”
On what made him decide to live his life straight edge: “That’s a pretty typical question because people always wonder if I was dependent on alcohol or drugs and is straight edge what keeps me sober. No. What I always tell people is I was born this way.
“For me, it’s not a lifestyle. I think going out and partying and getting drunk every night. That’s a lifestyle. That’s insane. This is just who I am. It’s who I’ve always been. … I just never saw a reason to drink, I suppose.”
His favorite Vince McMahon story: “Well, we recently had the Hall of Fame come out — I didn’t see it — but Edge was being inducted. He was the big inductee this year. He told a story and he neglected to mention I was a part of it shockingly enough.
“I had been on the road for maybe 5 or 6 months and I got the call — spur of the moment. ‘Hey, someone’s injured, somebody’s suspended.’ I don’t know — whatever. ‘You’re going to Iraq.’ ‘Oh, OK. Cool. I’ll pack my bags.’
“So, we go over to Iraq and the sleeping arrangements were hilarious. I was thrown in a room — it was a five star, because I don’t know if we have any five star generals — but it was the biggest general. He was in our room. It was; me, JBL, The Undertaker, Edge and Vince McMahon. Legit bunking. I was on the top bunk and JBL was on the bottom.
“To the right of me was Vince McMahon and I think we let him have his own bunk and the the left of me was The Undertaker and I think Edge was top bunk and there’s a giant bed in the middle. These are giant, palatial estates. This was Sadam’s palace. There was one giant bed in the room and we gave it to the general, obviously. It was his show. It was one of those moments where I’m just laying there awake thinking how bizarre my life is. I’m in a bunk bed with JBL and Vince McMahon is over here. All of a sudden I hear somebody let one off and then you hear (impersonates Vince MaMahon laughing). So then I’m sitting in a bunk bed and Vince McMahon is crapping his pants.”
Quick Quip: Besides the Vince McMahon story, I really wanted to post this interview because of Punk’s comments about being straight edge. A lot of things in today’s age become popular for the wrong reasons by trendy teens and then vanish within a few months. I remember being mocked or looked down upon because I don’t drink or smoke. Besides taking of prescription medication that allows me to live a normal life, I would be considered straight edge. But there wasn’t a mouthpiece for us when I was younger, a mouthpiece that Punk has been a very strong advocate for. Now that I’m 29, my friends know that I don’t drink and I don’t smoke and they could not care less. It is something that I am proud of, especially with a young son that I know will go through the same pressure I felt. But like Punk said above, it’s not really choice. I never had any desire to drink or to smoke and I don’t look down on the people who do. Ok that’s it, sorry for my rant today.