Punk climbing the WWE ladder
TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
|CM Punk at a press conference on Friday, February 2, 2007 to announce WWE events in Windsor, Ontario leading up to WrestleMania 23 in Detroit on April 1st.
Photo by Mike Mastrandrea
When a young Phil Brooks saw Rowdy Roddy Piper crack a coconut over the head of Superfly Jimmy Snuka, he knew he wanted to be a wrestler.
Many years later, through lean times when he drove miles and miles to wrestle in tiny halls for less than gas money, Brooks has morphed into CM Punk. He's a WWE superstar, entrenched in its ECW brand. And he's heading into his first Wrestlemania, competing against Jeff Hardy, Edge, King Booker, Mr. Kennedy, Finlay, Matt Hardy and Randy Orton in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match.
"I remember watching Piper, it was so mesmerizing to me," Punk says. "And now I'm in Wrestlemania. It's a dream come true for me. Seven other guys and a ladder ... anything can happen. I've done ladder matches before ... they can be brutal."
Punk is different than most ... a disciple of the straight edge culture.
"It's simple," Punk says. "No promiscuous sex. No drugs. No alcohol.
"By the time I was 15, I'd seen a lot of stupid stuff with alcohol and drugs. I just made a personal decision. When I was 14 and 15, I'd have a drink at a party, but I had an overwhelming feeling: 'This doesn't make me cool so why am I doing it?' "
A star in the superb Ring of Honor program, which airs frequently on The Fight Network, Punk is adapting to the larger scale WWE.
"I always say it's like the difference between the Rolling Stones playing big arenas or dome shows ... or playing in a local bar," he says. "At least three times a day, a fan recognizes me. I was at an autograph signing in New Jersey. A mom stopped and said: 'Thank you for being a role model.' "
AND 'ROIDS: WWE is agonizing over the SI.com report that several wrestlers have been linked to a steroid prescription investigation. Those linked to an Internet drug site include Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, Oscar Gutierrez (Rey Mysterio), Randy Orton, Adam Copeland (Edge) and Shane Helms (Gregory Helms). The drug buys would have been a few years ago, before WWE put its wellness policy in place.
DON'T PAY THE BILL: Bill Goldberg told writer Alex Marvez: "If (TNA) wants to be a competitor with Vince, there are three options: Me, Brock (Lesnar) and God only knows who the other one is. If (TNA) were smart, they would make me happy and let me do what I want to do. Obviously they're not ... so good riddance." Hold on Goldie. Fact is you have muscles, cool entrance music and a bald head. Lose the ego. You weren't that good.
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