CM Punk Discusses ROH's Summer Of Punk In 2005

Punk’s final ROH run was the stuff of legend

Ahead of his rumoured return to wrestling this week on AEW Rampage, the wrestling world has been going CM Punk crazy.

Punk himself seems all too happy to talk about wrestling again, and whilst promoting the STARZ Heels TV series on the Not Sam podcast with Sam Roberts, talk turned to Punk’s legendary ROH run.

In 2005 CM Punk had agreed to a WWE developmental deal, and in his supposed last night in ROH won the World Championship from Austin Aries, and set off on the vaunted Summer of Punk:

"I remember talking to Gabe [Sapolsky] and he was like, 'You're going to sign, you're gone.’” Punk began “I said, 'I don't know, we'll see what happens.' Then, I was doing dark matches and there was this listlessness that I had that summer where I felt like I did everything and I felt like I helped build a good place in Ring of Honor where guys could not only come and learn to work, but f****** make good money doing it. I'm always that guy who is looking for the next sunrise while still being present and enjoying what I'm doing, knowing eventually that s*** is going to get old for me and I need to move on. That's the best thing about territory wrestling back in the day. Guys could go to other places and be fresh and it was constant. I had already done everything in Ring of Honor and didn't know what else I was going to do.”

Punk then dovetailed into a story about his infamous ROH trilogy with ROH Champion Samoa Joe, saying:

“It was how I felt we were handed the Joe-Punk trilogy. I got Joe drunk and was like, 'We're going to do a 60-minute draw.' That was simply because there was nowhere else for us to go. Joe had hit a wall when it came to opponents, there was no one else for him to work. I was literally wrestling Joe because I was the only guy he hadn't beat and if I didn't say, 'We're going 60,' Joe would have just beaten me. I'm a guy who looks at 'what's a different way to do something?' Instead of him just beating me, it was, 'How do we draw more out of this? Let's go 60 minutes and we can revisit it as a main event down the road.' We needed main events. Everyone loved the idea, we did it, it sort of worked, and we fell into that and it was more natural.”

Talk then returned to the Summer of Punk:

"The same thing with Summer of Punk. I field a phone call one day, I took a job, and I told Gabe and he was like, 'What are we going to do?' Well, fortunately, it was going to leak and that's a good thing. You have to think outside the box a lot of times. Knowing it was going to leak and the way people think, what they didn't realise is I said, 'I'll sign, but I need to work the rest of my dates.' They used to be good about that, letting people finish dates. I knew I had X amount of time and I said, 'Let's do this, the people won't know when I'm gone. If I say I'm signed, they'll think this is my last show. Let's shock them.' It wasn't swerve them just to swerve them. It was swerving them because they literally didn't know what was going to happen. They'll think they know, but we could keep them on the edge of their seat and book it like it's a television show. End shows with a question mark. I'm not going to say it was easy coming up with the creative for that, but you work with what you got and that landed in our lap. It felt like the right thing to do and was a lot of fun.”

Will August see the third of Summer of Punk? All signs point to yes, but when it comes to a CM Punk return, nothing is ever certain.

H/T: Fightful

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Written by Jack Atkins

Scripts, news, and features writer. Anything with words, basically.