CM Punk - Best in the World?

When you think of the Best in WWE, whether your part of the Universe or just a casual viewer, names like Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair and The Rock. If your old enough, you might think of Bob Backlund and Bruno Sammartino. But today is the Modern Era in the world of professional wrestling. Professional wrestling has gone from leaning towards the sports side, to now being more balanced between the entertainment aspect and the athletic aspect. It went from just in ring performance to now so much more. Today you have to have mic skills, you have to have a more pronounced persona, and you have to be able to cut promos as an individual as well as with other wrestlers. At times you even have to be able to make transitions from "Heel" (bad guy) to "Babyface" (good guy).

CM Punk is a name being heard more and more in the WWE Universe and in the media abroad. Philip Jack Brooks was born in Chicago in October 1978. He began his dream in wrestling as a backyard wrestler in Lunatic Wrestling Federation in the mid 1990's. That start in and of itself screams determination in a way that he is will to do it all to make it in the business. The promotion soon floundered though as his now estranged brother had been embezzling funds. Not to be stopped, Brooks turned to "Steel Dominion" wrestling school in Chicago. As he was trained there, Brooks became part of the Steel Domain promotion out of St Paul, Minnesota, where he met his long time best friend Scott Colton.

Brooks then moved on in 2000 to IWA where he held the IWA light heavyweight title twice and the IWA Heavyweight Championship on five separate occasions. One of those championship matches was a 93 minute "two out of three falls" match with Chris Hero. In 2002, Brooks moved on to Ring of Honor and by 2003 his was just shy of obtaining the ROH Pure Championship, and had become tag team champions with his friend Scott Colton (aka Colt Cabana). Brooks was hired as the first ever head trainer for the ROH wrestling school, and he had already been a trainer for both Steel Domain and Primetime Wrestling years back.

Brooks ended with ROH after a series of matches with Nuufolau Joel Seanoa (aka Samoa Joe) that lead to his victory and obtaining the Ring of Honor Championship. Brooks then tried out for WWE on May 9, 2005 edition of the Sunday Night Heat show where he lost to Sean Morley (aka Val Venis). WWE then offered Brooks a deal, which he accepted the following month. Even after accepting the deal, Brooks went on to defeat Daneil Solwold (aka Austin Aries) for the ROH Championship. Brooks then went into a storyline which mocked the fans and the other wrestlers alike, that involved him threatening to take the ROH Championship with him to the WWE. He furthered his mockery by signing his contract for the WWE on the ROH Championship title. Mick Foley had a talk with Brooks and convinced him to have one more match for the title before leaving Ring of Honor for the WWE. Brooks lost the title in a four corner elimination match to James Gibson (aka Jamie Noble) in which the other competitors were Seanoa and Daniel Covel (aka Christopher Daniels).

Brooks then spent almost one year in Ohio Valley Wrestling, the WWE developmental territory from September 2005 to August 2006. By November he had obtained the Television Championship, and he lost the title two months on January 4. He then went on to win the OVW Heavyweight championship on May 3, 2006 and retained it through many more matches. On July 28, 2006 Brooks while holding the OVW Heavyweight Championship went on with Steve Adkins (aka Seth Skyfire) to defeat the team of Cryme Tyme for the OVW Tag Team Championships. By August 2006, Brooks had lost both the Tag Team titles and the OVW Heavyweight Championship, and moved on to full time with WWE.

Along with the straight edge lifestyle, Brooks brought with him his new Muay Thai training and quickly made an impact on the ECW show by going on an undefeated streak against the likes of Christopher Anderson, Stevie Richards and Shannon Moore. He quickly qualified for a ECW Championship match for the December to Dismember pay per view, which seen him being the first eliminated from the Extreme Elimination Chamber by Rob Van Dam.

Brooks followed up this pay per view with an appearance in Wrestlemania 23 as part of the Money in the Bank ladder match. This was not his night to win, but it was a boost to his career to appear on the "Grandest Stage of them All". Brooks got three ECW Championship title shots at Vengeance, Great American Bash and Summerslam, but he was unable to walk away with the title. All three of those title matches were against John Hennigan (aka John Morrison).

Although those losses would make anyone think his future looked grim, Brooks bounced back just a few months later on ECW defeating Hennigan for the ECW Championship. He followed this up with successful title defenses against Elijah Burke (@Unforgiven) Nelson Frazier Jr. (aka Big Daddy V @No Mercy) and Michael Mizanin (aka The Miz @Cyber Sunday). He further went on to defeat both The Miz and Morrison at Survivor Series.

After losing the title to Chavo Guerrero due to interference by Adam Copeland (aka Edge), Brooks then went on to Wrestlemania 24 in 2008 and won the Money in the Bank ladder match. He defeated the likes of Christopher Irvine (aka Chris Jericho), Hassan Assad (aka MVP), Shelton Benjamin, John Hennigan, Kenneth Anderson (aka Mr. Kennedy), and Carlos Colon (aka Carlito).

On his first night on WWE Raw, Brooks cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase and defeated Adam Copeland after David Bautista Jr (aka Batista) had left Copeland beaten in the ring. Following a "Go To Sleep" by Brooks, referee Mike Chioda counted the 1-2-3, for Brooks very first World Heavyweight title win.

And this was just the beginning ....TO BE CONTINUED
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