By Nickie Wang
The popular source of action-packed entertainment is going to visit the country to provide live wrestling showdown experience. So for professional wrestling fanatics, today is a red letter day, and the Big Dome is the place to be.
World Wrestling Entertainment brings two of its brands (ECW and Smackdown) to the Philippines for the very first time. Today at 7 p.m., WWE superstars Jeff Hardy, Edge, Batista, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, Mark Henry, John Morrison, The Great Khali, Michelle McCool, CM Punk, and many others will set the wrestling ring blazing with high-flying action.
We had the chance to have an exclusive phone interview with CM Punk, also known as Phil Brooks, to give details on what to expect in the much-anticipated live wrestling event.
CM Punk is already a household name in the United States where WWE headquarter is located. The 30-year-old professional wrestler initially made a name for himself when he worked a few house shows and dark matches, and the real fame came about when he signed with the WWE in 2005 and was drafted to Smackdown.
As the reigning World Heavyweight Champion, he also has three other championship belts (Ring of Honor Championship, ECW Championship, and WWE Intercontinental Championship) that make him one of the most popular and successful personalities in the world of American professional wrestling. He made history for being the only wrestler to win the Money In The Bank Ladder Match twice, in 2008 and 2009.
The Money in the Bank ladder match is held by WWE annually. It features six to eight participants, with the objective to retrieve a briefcase that is suspended above the ring. The briefcase contains a contract, which guarantees a match for any of WWE’s three world titles: the WWE Championship, ECW Championship, or the World Heavyweight Championship.
“I have won many titles but that doesn’t mean that I already have the reason to stop improving my craft. Every match is a learning experience and it enhances my skill. It also prepares me for a bigger fight. You need to practice, train, and learn more. Complacency has no room in the world of professional wrestling,” CM Punk exclaimed.
Born to Smackdown
CM Punk’s first venture into wrestling was a stint in a small wrestling federation called the Lunatic Wrestling Federation in the mid-’90s. He first used his name CM Punk when he was put into a tag band named the Chick Magnets. One of the artists in the band named CM Venom skipped out and he was there all available to take the vacated slot.
“I believe I’m really meant to be a wrestler because when I was young I tried other sports but I just hurt my self badly. I tried skateboarding but it didn’t work out on me,” the wrestler revealed.
At six-foot-one in height, more than 200 pounds in weight, and with numerous tattoos adorning his body, this Chicago, Illinois- born superstar admits that it is heartwarming that people recognize him when he goes out on the street.
“They ask for autographs or take pictures with me, and it’s a nice feeling how these people especially young kids look up to me. What they see on TV is pretty much the same, I’m CM Punk and I think why people approach me because of being Straight Edge,” he said.
Throughout his career, he is famed for adhering to a lifestyle called Straight Edge. It is a kind of lifestyle wherein advocates make a lifetime commitment to refrain from drinking alcohol, using tobacco products, and taking recreational drugs.
Words of a wrestler
“I have this role to act responsibly. Wrestling is a unique sports-entertainment. Well, people can be involved in basketball, baseball, and to other sports they see on television but the emotional attachment they can have with wrestling is different. There are lots of emotions involved,” CM Punk conveyed.
It’s far too complicated to explain why professional wrestling fanatics look at wrestlers like super heroes. CM Punk is just one of those wrestlers who are treated like celebrities and receive extraordinary attention and admiration from fans, most especially from young kids who believe that what they see on television is real and that there are no gimmicks involved.
“The actions people see really affect them. What they see on television put them closer to wrestlers like me, possibly there’s a psychological explanation for that. They become more hooked up considering wrestlers as their idols. So we promote advocacies to let people know that we only want to bring entertainment and become role models,” the champion wrestler explained.
But there is always a line that separates his profession and his personal life. Punk openly discusses his issues as a wrestler but don’t usually divulge any matter concerning his private life as Phil Brooks.
“I’m like Batman. I keep a lot of things to myself most especially my personal life. It’s not that I don’t want to share myself with the people it’s just that everyone has a personal space or life that they just keep to themselves,” he clarified.
First time in the Philippines
“I’ve never been to the Philippines, and I know nothing about the country. But I will try to Google it after we finish this interview. But going to a place I’ve never been before gives me a lot of things to look forward to,” he said and laughed and continued that answering questions in phone interviews is one of the things he does when he is out of the ring.
We mentioned by chance that WWE and its brands are popular in the Philippines and they have lots of followers. The wrestler just extended his gratitude and ended the interview saying that if Filipino fans are excited to see him and the other WWE World Tour participants, he is more than excited to finally meet the people who are miles away yet still able to support his career.