CM Punk at UFC 203 Review!
Punk fought his first real fight last night.
Punk left WWE the night after Royal Rumble 2014, citing burnout, injury and not being booked/compensated as well as he felt he deserved. Amidst silence, he was suspended for 2 months and wasn’t really mentioned in WWE (as they expected to work things out, e.g. keeping him in the WWE/Flintstones movie). He was served his termination papers on his wedding day (to AJ Lee) in July, and although himself and WWE settled their case (Punk got everything he was owed and some more), there is still an ongoing lawsuit thanks to the allegations he made against WWE’s Dr. Amann on his interview with Colt Cabana.
Free of his WWE obligations, he’s writing for Marvel’s Thor (and now Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy, the character Dave Batista played!) and in December 2014 at UFC 181, announced he signed with UFC. As a celebrity and 5-time WWE/World champion, he bypassed amateur fights to pop his cherry in MMA’s biggest organisation. This bout suffered delays due to a shoulder injury, and needing back surgery for a herniated disc (announced days after his opponent Mickey Gall was named).
Over the last month, UFC produced a documentary “The Evolution of Punk” in the lead up to this fight. His training footage shows he’s improved (he even choked a guy out) but in general he looked pretty ropey.
I was happy to hear there were a ton of wrestlers at the event (more than at Lesnar’s first fight), including Stone Cold, Evan Bourne and Tyson Kidd. No WWE-contracted wrestlers afaik.
Punk came out to his WWE theme song Cult of Personality and had a massive smile on his face. It was cool but having a guy come out in his stage name and his WWE theme felt really carny! He’s dropped a ton of mass from his WWE days so relatively he looks quite emaciated.
The bell rings! Punk went to Gall and was easily taken down. From then Gall mounted him, worked for a submission, in between raining down head shots when he got the chance. After 2m 14s, Gall locked in a rear naked choke, and Punk tapped out.
Mickey Gall shouting moments after winning: “what did you think was gonna happen?!” Yeah, pretty much, although I wanted Punk to win. Like him or not he was representing pro-wrestling and I always wanna see ‘our guys’ succeed. It was a decisive, telling loss against Mickey, an unproven guy in his 5th ever fight.
Gall repeatedly dropped F-bombs, saying fuck the haters (he noted the anti-Punk sentiment online). Punk was extremely gracious cutting a babyface promo, saying he had the time of his life here, even though the outcome isn’t what you want, the journey’s not over. The crowd were completely on his side.
Final Thoughts: It’s nice to see the outpouring of support from wrestlers on social media. Even if he got Brawl-for-All Bart Gunn levels of completely outclassed, it was cool to see Punk actually have his fight. After a lifetime of wrecking his body being on the road and wrestling, maybe he’s too old/worn to fight professionally, but he should continue it if he wants. Afterwards when talking to John Pollock, Dana White mentioned Punk ‘probably shouldn’t have his next fight in the UFC’, which is for the best.
Stand up, dust off, onto the next one. Love you good brother.
— S.J. (@SamoaJoe) September 11, 2016
— Alberto Del Rio (@VivaDelRio) September 11, 2016
Further proof that shoots are NOT the best thing for business–#UFC203
— Jim Cornette (@TheJimCornette) September 11, 2016
CM Punk in the WWE Flintstones movie! OSWreview.com/media/oswreview48
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