CM Punk: The Best Wrestler Who Spent Less Than a Year with TNA

Dan PowerSenior Analyst IJune 29, 2011

CM Punk, a three-time World Heavyweight Champion and an ace on the mic
CM Punk, a three-time World Heavyweight Champion and an ace on the mic

CvC 2.0: Division 1

Dan Power vs. John Kindelan

Topic: Best TNA Performer who spent less than a year with the company

Note: I started to write the article last Friday and finished it Monday morning, so I had to modify my text slightly. Hopefully you're not tired of reading about CM Punk.

In about five minutes, CM Punk became the talk of the week and caused a storm we haven't seen in the world of pro-wrestling for over a decade. With his epic speech, he clearly proved he was one of the greatest ever in the business and that he was indeed the best TNA performer who spent less than a year with the promotion.

CM Punk graced the TNA rings with his unique presence and his intensity from June 2003 to April 2004.

He was then involved in many gimmick hardcore encounters such as the Clockwork Orange House Of Fun and the Dog Collar matches.

During his short stint with the company, he had notable feuds against Shane Douglas and The Sandman. He also became a member of Raven's stable, The Gathering.

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CM Punk had huge success in the Tag Team division along with Julio Dinero. With the display of his hardcore side and pure wrestling abilities, he was starting to make a name for himself. With TNA, he received some of the exposure he would've never had in the Independent Circuits.

Many long-time TNA fans will always mention his run with the company as a highlight of his career, and they are right: He had a promising future with them, but he was placed in front of a choice by TNA. He had to chose between Ring Of Honor (ROH) and TNA, following the Feinstein Controversy.

After he decided to part ways with TNA, he became a true legend on the indie scene. In a ROH event, held on October 16, 2004, one of the biggest highlights of his career happened when he was in a rare 5-star match against Samoa Joe, a first in North America since 1997.

Punk's amazing skills and charisma didn't remain under silence for long and he signed with WWE in September 2005. And since then, his rise to the top could not be stopped and he became one of the greatest ever in the business. The "Internet Darling" is now way beyond the Indy Legend status; he is now a Pro Wrestling legend.

TNA's loss quickly became WWE's gain. TNA had a gold mine in their hands, but they've let it go and you know the result. However, if you still have any doubt as of why CM Punk is the best wrestler who spent less than one year with the promotion, just read the following. You will find out why I attest that without any doubt. 

His in-ring abilities

Unless you live under a rock, you know how great CM Punk is in the ring. In fact, he is considered by many as the current best pure wrestler in the business.

He possesses an impressive list of over 25 signature moves and he can perform anything in a ring; from mat wrestling to high flying maneuvers. When he doesn't finish his opponents with his trademark Go To Sleep (GTS) for the pinfall, he will make them submit to his Anaconda Vice.

In addition to his unreal wrestling skills in regular contests, he proved to be a hardcore expert and to be able to hold his own in various specialty matches especially if it involves a ladder.

His outstanding versatility also allows him to win cleanly as a face or with some twists as a heel. But no matter how he wins, he always gets the expected reactions from the fans—either it's huge pops or loud boos. 

His charisma and his microphone skills

CM Punk started early in his career to display his uncommon mic skills to go with his unique straightedge gimmick. With his charisma, he got behind the skin of the fans with his drug- and alcohol-free antics.

He debuted with the WWE as a beloved babyface, but he truly made his mark when he turned heel. He quickly became a master manipulator with the audiences, something very hard to achieve in WWE.

He also proved to be a great stable leader but he's so big and prominent that his followers always tend to remain in his shadow. If his Straightedge Society did not succeed very well, The New Nexus created some memorable moments.

That being said, CM Punk actually has nothing to gain from a stable since he can do everything by his own. However, with The New Nexus, he managed to show he was a true puppet master when he forced his disciples to go through various forms of punishments to prove their allegiance.

If you're not convinced yet about CM Punk's superior mic skills, I urge you to watch or re-watch the last minutes of the last episode of Raw. 

He is World Championship Material

If you combine his charisma, his mic skills and his wrestling abilities, you have the total package in CM Punk. With him, you have the purest and grandest form of World Championship material.

What the nineteenth Triple Crown Champion achieved in five years, was more than many legends in over a decade. He is a three-time World Heavyweight Champion and a two-time Mr. Money In The Bank. In addition, he is a former Intercontinental, ECW and Tag Team Champion. The only achievement missing from his impressive resume in a Royal Rumble match victory.

He held his own against everyone on his path and he can out-wrestle 95 percent of the superstars on the current roster. He had memorable feuds against some of the best in the business such as The Undertaker, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, Edge and many more.

His feud against Jeff Hardy will be remembered as one of the greatest of the PG Era and The Wrestling Observer Newsletter gave it the 2009 Feud Of The Year Award to confirm its top quality. He also entered the legend with history books citing him as the only one to have officially won against The Undertaker via submission. 

In Conclusion...

I could have picked an old legend who had a short stint with TNA to build my article, but I preferred to come with someone who was in his prime during his tenure and whom the company is actually missing.

Clearly, TNA missed the boat when they let CM Punk go for some political reasons related to the Feinstein Incident. After she saw CM Punk on Raw, Dixie Carter must bite her nails to have not followed the "controversy brings money" motto.

He could have become a TNA legend, with his name going side by side with Samoa Joe, A.J. Styles, Kurt Angle and Matt Morgan. Instead, he became a WWE legend, with his name engraved in the history books beside Randy Savage, Bret Hart, Stone Cold and other icons' names.

He proved his unlimited potential either in the Indies with a 5-star match and in the big league as a highly acclaimed multi-time champion. In other words, he proved he was the total package; even with the biggest pro-wrestling promotion in the world.

With the shocking promo he has cut this last Monday it really shows how TNA miserably failed by letting him go in 2004. In fact, he truly demonstrated how bad even the WWE will miss him if he is really leaving.

P.S. You can read my opponent's article on the same topic by clicking here.