The best thing about a great CM Punk promo isn't one of his legendary pivots, where he threads together a point from earlier on into his last big salvo to convince you to buy the pay-per-view with all the artistic endeavour of an iconic stand-up comedian. Nor is it the (sometimes literal) mic-drops that leave opponents without a hope in hell of replying without a minimum of seven days away from the glare of national television.
It's the lines he throws away.
Punk is such a master of the craft that he can transform a mere aside into something so powerful, so endearing and/or so truthful that it sticks with you forever.
His Las Vegas "pipe bomb" painted a big picture of a different industry some of his peers would eventually help create, but the best bit wasn't a macro observation but a micro one about believing his own bluster. When he said "I have proved to everybody in the world that I am the best on this microphone, in that ring, even in commentary! Nobody can touch me!" he was right. It's why he's a newsmaker, a ground-shaker and a man with a real and kayfabe wrestling CV like nobody else.
He's left his massive mark in every company, but all have their own stories they'd also happily keep a lid on. Typically, these lists are full of hidden gems, unknown displeasures and forgotten moments of madness. With Punk, it's all been out in the open.
For better and worse...
19. He Was Supported In The WWE Locker Room By...
This is according to former WWE writer Dave Lagana, who noted that creative meetings often centred around burying Punk, and that it was hard to break that cycle unless you had the power to do so. 'HBK" did.
Lagana explained during his I Want Wrestling podcast that;
"The meeting quickly turned into another CM Punk bash fest...my role was to run the meeting but dare not speak out of turn on the veteran agents. This was how the previous months' meetings had gone but this day was different. It was a new voice in the room that changed everything. 'Um, if you don't like something the kid is doing, why don't you work with him to fix it...Instead of killing him.' That voice belonged to Shawn Michaels."
The story was particularly interesting because for years, Michaels had been rumoured to have been involved in a burial of the 'Straight Edge Superstar' before he'd even made it to the third brand...