CM Punk became one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling as he rose to the top of the WWE, but it wasn't always that way.
Punk was brought into the WWE fold in 2005, assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling as a developing prospect with long-term potential. His run through the independent scene created believers, but not the ones he needed initially.
One believer was Paul Heyman, however. Heyman, known for his ability to spot talent and develop it, became something of an advocate for Punk similar to how he was for Brock Lesnar behind the scenes. Unfortunately for Punk, that wasn't enough.
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Heyman's insistence that CM Punk was a great talent actually rubbed many WWE officials the wrong way, leading to Punk being buried following Heyman's departure in 2006. Former WWE producer and writer Bruce Prichard recently opened up about how CM Punk finally got a crack from the WWE, discussing the topic on a recent episode of Something to Wrestle.
"Listening to people describe Punk was painful because nobody could describe who he was, what he was all about or anything else. For the record, I didn't know either. I was guilty of tuning Punk out because of how hard Heyman pushed for and supported him. The harder he pushed, the harder we probably pushed away," Prichard said, as transcribed by a Reddit user.
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"But I also felt that Punk really wasn't getting a fair shake. He was being lumped in as a Heyman Guy and that he was being ignored because Paul pushed so hard for him. I started feeling bad for him because when you would have conversations with him just one-on-one, he's a very interesting, clever guy," Prichard added.
Prichard decided to get to the bottom of the situation and sat down with Punk to get a better feel for what he was all about.
"I took a camera and I took CM Punk and we went up into the stands in the arena one day. And I just talked to him on camera for roughly an hour and a half, two hours. And I asked questions that people didn't have answers to. Things like 'Tell me the stories of the tattoos.' 'Why do you have Pepsi on your shoulder?' 'Why this tattoo? Why that tattoo?' 'What is straight edge?'
"And he just talked. And the more that he talked, the more interesting he became. He became a real person that I felt that our audience could identify with if we just told that story," Prichard said.
It's history from there, with CM Punk becoming one of the biggest WWE stars since John Cena during his run with the company.
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