CM Punk hasn't stepped inside a WWE ring in nearly five years, but the former WWE champion is aware of the respect that wrestling fans still have for him.
The WWE Universe often chants Punk's name when it disapproves of a segment or hears the term "best in the world" uttered, and Straight Edge Superstar seemingly appreciates it, according to Dan Gelston of the Associated Press (h/t Newsday): "You stop it and five years later people still talk about you? Fans still chant your name? That's powerful to me."
Although he knows he's still on the minds of wrestling fans, Punk is no longer immersed in the world of pro wrestling: "I don't pay attention. People seem to get upset when I say that."
Punk was signed by WWE to a developmental contract in 2005 after a successful run in Ring of Honor, and he found himself on the main roster by 2006.
He quickly ascended up the ranks and became World Heavyweight champion in 2008, which is a title he held three times.
Arguably, the peak of Punk's popularity came in 2011, when he beat John Cena for the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank amid a storyline that he planned to leave the company.
Punk stayed a few more years, though, and left after the 2014 Royal Rumble match.
Since his departure, Punk has competed in a pair of fights for UFC, losing them both convincingly.
The 40-year-old will try his hand at another skill next month when he does commentary for the Cage Fury Fighting Championships on Dec. 14.
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