July 19, 2008
CM Punk: 'I feel validated and vindicated'
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
Phil Brooks worked in a comic shop, he managed a skate park, he worked in a gas station and safety tested products as a lab technician.
He needed the money to support his hobby, wrestling.
He won't be pumping gas again anytime soon.
As CM Punk, Brooks holds WWE's world heavyweight title strap, an honour he long dreamed about.
"It's pretty amazing," saidPunk over the phone earlier this week. "I've been a wrestling fan my entire life. To me, world champions are guys like Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat and Rick Rude.
"I feel validated and vindicated. All the birthday parties, graduations, weddings, funerals ... everything I ever missed. Now, I'm the champion.
"I've always believed this would happen. I'm not trying to be cocky, but it was something I was born to be."
It had been a whirlwind of a week. Punk was drafted onto the RAW roster on June 23.
"I didn't find out until everybody else did," he says. "I was standing there with Victoria, Mike Knox and Big Show. I think I was reading the nutritional value in a can of Pepsi when my name came up. Everybody was yelling: "Go! Go!"
Make no mistake about it, Punk is and will be a superstar. He's got that blend of charisma, desire and technical skills. And WWE has just skimmed the surface on how good he can be if given the chance (just watch old Ring of Honor shows).
"I don't think WWE fans have really seen anything out of me yet," says Punk. "I think I'm going to be able to talk people into buildings. Just give me the microphone and let me go with it."
He's looking forward to his title defence against Batista at Sunday night's Great American Bash pay-per-view.
"I do like wrestling the big guys," he said. "I'm an underdog and that's the way life has always been for me."
As the champ, everybody wants a piece of his time.
"I'd have it no other way," he says. "I love being busy. If I could have my way, I'd be on every show. I'd be doing the broadcast and I'd be the referee too. If you think you're too busy, that's complacency."
UWA ALIVE AGAIN
The Universal Wrestling Alliance is alive ... with Donny Dangerous at the helm. UWA returns to Ottawa tonight, at 7:30 p.m., at the Alexander Community Centre (960 Silver St., just off Merivale Rd.) . The UWA Hardcore title returns under the 24/7 rule.
TNA TO CANADA
TNA confirmed that its Sept. 14 pay-per-view, No Surrender will be held in Oshawa. Tickets go on sale on July 25 through Ticketmaster.