CM Punk is a very divisive character to say the least. The Second City Savior was the topic of conversation on a recent episode of Something To Wrestle With. Bruce and Conrad covered his WWE career thoroughly in their over three-hour podcast.
During the time discussing Punk’s OVW career Bruce Prichard told a story about how CM Punk and WWE Legend Tony Atlas got into a backstage altercation at an Ohio Valley Wrestling event in Louisville. But the topic of conversation quickly changed to how people viewed Punk in his early days with WWE. He also said CM Punk wasn’t the favorite of a certain man who had some amount of clout in WWE’s talent relations department.
“I don’t think that Punk was [John] Laurinaitis’ favorite guy” Bruce Prichard said. “I remember the incident — there was an incident in OVW where they had sent Tony Atlas down to OVW and Punk and Atlas got into it backstage.”
“I went down I think the week after, two weeks after and I had heard you know, ‘oh yeah Punk was disrespectful to Tony Atlas’ so on and so forth. Now I love Tony Atlas but Tony can be difficult sometimes. And if you don’t know Tony and don’t love Tony then he can be a little off-putting.”
“But Punk had come back from his match — remember how Punk always wore tape like damn-near up half of his forearm — and Tony wanted to know why he did that. ‘You have an injury?’ and Punk was like, ‘no I just like the way it looks.’ — ‘What’s that X mean?’… He says ‘well the X is the mark that they put on your hands when you would go into a nightclub and you were eighteen-years-old and not old enough to drink. They’d put an X on you so you couldn’t get anything to drink and that’s like a Straight Edge symbol and it’s a sign and all this stuff. And I put that on there to show I’m a Straight Edge.'”
“And Tony just kept on him, and kept on him, and Tony didn’t understand what Straight Edge was and it bothered Tony that Punk taped his wrists half-way up his forearm. And Punk was like, ‘I like it Tony! Okay?! It’s just what I do! It’s different!’ And they just kinda got into a shouting match back and forth because neither guy would back down.”
“Now for me, man I can see that all day long having dealt with Tony Atlas for thirty-five plus years. To someone else it was like: ‘oh my god he was disrespectful to Tony Atlas.’ I think that early on Punk just got a bad wrap — if he stubbed his toe and reacted — ‘oh he’s a p-ssy.’ You know what I mean?”
“No matter what [CM Punk] did everyone was gonna look at it under a microscope. But if you just stepped away for a minute and you took the time to say: ‘alright Phil, what’s your deal?’ and listen to him and asked him questions he was just a normal guy. He’s just trying to get over and loved the business.”
If you use any quotes from this article please credit Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard with a H/T to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription