Phillip Jack Brooks (born October 26, 1978), better known by his ring name CM Punk, is an American professional wrestler who is signed with WWE. He is titled in the company as “the longest-reigning WWE Champion of the modern era”, having held the title for 434 days from November 20, 2011 to January 27, 2013. Punk is officially recognized as the sixth-longest reigning champion of all time.
In professional wrestling, Punk is a seven-time World Champion, having held the ROH World Championship and ECW Championship once each, WWE’s World Heavyweight Championship three times, and the WWE Championship twice. He has also won the World Tag Team Championship (with Kofi Kingston) and the WWE Intercontinental Championship, making him the 19th WWE Triple Crown Champion and the fastest man in WWE history to achieve this record at 203 days.] Between WWE and Ring of Honor (where he is a two-time World Tag Team Champion), Punk has won a total of 11 championships. He was also the winner of the 2008 and 2009 Money in the Bank ladder matches (the only wrestler to win the match twice in a row), and was the 2011 Superstar of the Year Slammy Award winner.
Punk initially came to prominence through his career on the professional wrestling independent circuit, primarily as a member of the ROH roster. There, he was the first head trainer of the ROH wrestling school. Also while competing in ROH, Punk won both the company’s championships.
In 2005, Punk signed a contract with WWE and was sent to its developmental promotion, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), where he won every championship available in that promotion. On June 24, 2006, Punk made his WWE television debut, performing in ECW, which was then a branch of WWE. Throughout his career, Punk has consistently used the gimmick of being an outspoken, sharp-tongued, and straight edge iconoclast. Punk’s straight edge principles when in character are based on his actual way of life out of character. Depending on Punk’s alignment as a fan favorite or villain, he has emphasized different aspects of the culture to arouse the desired audience reaction.
Punk set his sights on ending The Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak on the March 4 Raw, in an effort to take something away from the fans, as they had taken the WWE title away from him. Punk subsequently defeated Big Show, Randy Orton, and Sheamus in a four-way match to earn the right to face Undertaker. After the real-life death of Paul Bearer the following day, a storyline involving Punk regularly spiting The Undertaker through displays of flippancy and disrespect towards Bearer’s death began. Punk interrupted The Undertaker’s ceremony to honor Bearer on Raw, stealing his trademark urn and later using it to attack Kane, humiliate the Brothers of Destruction, and mock Bearer. On April 7 at WrestleMania 29, Punk was defeated by The Undertaker who, in the process, extended his streak to 21–0 and took back the urn. On the April 15 Raw, Punk addressed the crowd and after briefly recalling his historic championship reign, walked out of the arena.
Punk returned at WWE Payback on June 16, defeating Chris Jericho[ The next night on Raw, Punk told Heyman to stay away from him during his matches. Later in the night, after Punk’s win over World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio, Brock Lesnar returned and executed an F-5 on Punk. The next week on Raw, Heyman promised Punk that he did not send Lesnar to attack him, and that he still considered Punk his best friend, and claimed that any problem Punk and Lesnar had with each other was between them. Following that, Punk defeated Darren Young; when Young and his tag team partner Titus O’Neil began attacking him, Heyman summoned his other client Curtis Axel to help Punk fight them off, much to Punk’s dismay. On the July 1 Raw, Punk claimed that he trusted Heyman but did not trust Axel. Punk and Axel faced O’Neil and Young in a tag team match, that saw Punk hit Young with the Go To Sleep, Axel tagging himself in, and pinning Young for the victory, causing more friction between Punk and Heyman.
On July 14 at Money in the Bank, Punk competed in the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match, but Heyman turned on him by hitting him with a ladder, costing him the match that was ultimately won by Randy Orton. The following night on Raw, Punk called out Heyman, who claimed that, without him, Punk was no longer the “Best in the World”. He revealed that he did not believe that Punk could beat Lesnar, who then came out and hit the F-5 on Punk onto the announce table. The following week on Raw, Punk challenged Lesnar to a match at SummerSlam, which Heyman accepted on Lesnar’s behalf. On the August 5 Raw, Punk wrestled Axel to a no-contest, after Heyman attacked him. Lesnar then came out and brawled with Punk, eventually getting the upper hand. Punk got revenge the next week by attacking Lesnar with a camera and a steel chair, after Heyman tried to change the scheduled match between Punk and himself to a handicap match involving Lesnar. He then delivered a Go To Sleep to Axel, who had interfered while Punk was chasing Heyman.
Six days later, at SummerSlam, Punk lost to Lesnar in a No Disqualification match, after interference by Heyman. On the next Raw, Punk had the chance to again become a “Paul Heyman guy”, but declined by attacking Axel. The next week, Punk defeated Axel before being assaulted by him and Heyman. Punk was then scheduled to face Axel and Heyman in a handicap elimination match at Night Of Champions, later adding a No Disqualification to the stipulation. During the match, Punk tapped Axel out, leaving only Heyman left to deal with, but in the process of attacking Heyman, Ryback attacked Punk and placed Heyman on top of Punk for the pin.
At Battleground, Punk defeated Ryback after executing a low blow, while the referee was distracted by Heyman attempting to interfere in the match. On the October 14 episode of Raw, Punk defeated Axel in a Beat a Clock challenge match to determine the stipulation for his rematch with Ryback at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. He announced that his match would a be two-on-one handicap match in the Hell in a Cell, in which he would face Paul Heyman and Ryback. On October 27, at Hell in a Cell, Punk defeated Ryback and Paul Heyman. Punk faced Ryback again in a Street Fight match the following night on Raw, defeating Ryback by submission, thus ending their feud. After the match, he was attacked by The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan), starting a feud, and later formed an alliance with former rival Daniel Bryan. At Survivor Series, Punk and Bryan defeated Harper and Rowan in a tag team match.
After Bryan was “abducted” by the Wyatt Family the following night on Raw, Punk was attacked by old allies The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns). The following week on Raw, Kane announced that Punk would face The Shield in a 3-on-1 Handicap match at Tables, Ladders & Chairs, which Punk won after Reigns accidentally speared Ambrose. At the Royal Rumble, Punk entered in at entrant #1. After having lasted until the final four, Kane, who was already eliminated earlier in the match by Punk, eliminated Punk from the outside.
Punk did not appear on the Raw after the Rumble. Despite being advertised for the SmackDown taping on Tuesday, he wasn’t there either. By Wednesday, WWE.com stopped advertising Punk for future events. The Wrestling Observer reported Punk had legitimately left the event on Monday after telling Vince McMahon he was “going home”.