CM Punk is someone who has scratched and clawed his way to the top of the WWE food chain through hard work and determination.
He has reached a point in his career where he has become so popular that he could go anywhere and a legion of fans would follow him.
He doesn't need WWE anymore. WWE needs him.
Punk is the answer to every problem Internet fans had with wrestling for many years. He is not a bodybuilder, he is covered with tattoos and he speaks his mind regardless of if it will get him fired.
But, when you set all of that non-wrestling stuff aside, you see one of the greatest success stories in the history of professional wrestling.
Punk traveled the independent scene for many years, he had a run in TNA early in their history and then he became Ring of Honor's top guy. WWE had to take notice sooner or later.
His image was not exactly what you would call the typical WWE Superstar, but his in-ring work and his skills on the mic set him apart from the rest of the ECW locker room very early in his WWE career.
Punk even had a decent reaction from the crowd during his debut match in WWE because many of them knew who he was from one of his runs in numerous other promotions.
Punk has done just about everything there is to do in the WWE, including being one of only three men to have held the WWE's version of the ECW title, the World Heavyweight title and the WWE title.
His list of accolades is as long as my arm. His record-breaking title reign, being the first man to win two Money in the Bank matches back-to-back, his attention-grabbing pipe-bombs and the many memorable matches he has delivered have earned him a special place in the hearts of wrestling fans.
He elevates his opponents through his own ability, which is one of the reasons why he has had so many great encounters in his career. Being able to improve your opponent is a skill few wrestlers master in their careers. Punk is one of them.
And, whether some people think so or not, Punk is a great role model. His straight-edge lifestyle and the fact that he exemplifies the phrase "just be yourself" makes him someone to admire.
He also seems like the kind of person who doesn't live a "rich" lifestyle. Whenever we see pictures of him in public, he looks like he is wearing jeans he has owned since Bill Clinton was in office and a simple t-shirt.
Punk has and can do everything WWE can ask of a superstars, and he has done it in less than eight years with the company.
When CM Punk saw what he perceived as a problem with WWE, he did everything he could to fix it, and that is one of the true measures of greatness. Sitting on the sidelines is easy, acting on what needs to be done is what takes courage.
When Punk strolled out onto the ramp that memorable Monday night in a Steve Austin shirt and he proceeded to call out everything he saw that was wrong, he took a huge step forward for himself and the whole company.
If CM Punk were to retire tomorrow, he would have earned his spot in the Hall of Fame already, but odds are we will be seeing Punk for at least a few more years.
WWE was lucky to have a guy like Punk come around and be as good as he was, because they always need that "alternative" kind of Superstar.
Steve Austin filled this role for many years, and Jeff Hardy took it to another level with his risk-taking style. But CM Punk is a combination of the best traits of both these guys while being a completely unique individual.
If CM Punk left tomorrow, WWE would continue to operate with business as usual, but they would lose a lot of what makes them interesting right now. Nobody in WWE is as engaging as CM Punk, which is part of what makes him so valuable.
The WWE needs CM Punk.
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