CM Punk is still considered as one of the all-time greats in the modern pro wrestling era. He has competed against the best of the best throughout his career in pro wrestling. On June 27th, 2011, CM Punk cut one of the greatest promos in the history of professional wrestling, one which is still talked about to this day. Vince McMahon was also involved in that promo.
Fans and wrestlers alike have good reason to doubt the veracity of CM Punk’s pipe bomb on the June 27th, 2011, “WWE Raw” because of his expert ability to conflate kayfabe and reality. Even though Punk has stated that he sent Vince McMahon rough draft of his legendary promo, it has always been unclear how much of the content was known to WWE’s creative team, particularly Punk’s live television outbursts at the McMahon clan.
Brian Gewirtz, the former WWE head writer, made an effort to allay some of those concerns in a recent interview with Ariel Helwani. Gewirtz also stated that the pipebomb was planned in advance, along with the WWE muting Punk’s microphone, the cameras turning to John Cena promoting a beating after a Tables Match versus R-Truth, and Punk’s posture at the top of the ramp.
Well, I mean, the real element to that was CM Punk’s contract was coming up. And there were backstage tensions, you know, in terms in of performer and management, and not knowing whether Punk was going to re-sign or not. But in terms of the actual segment itself, whether you want to call it a worked shoot or what have you, that was something Vince and the company knew that we had it scheduled in segment 11 for CM Punk to come out and cut a promo.
Punk brought so many elements of that to himself, in terms of sitting down as opposed to standing – I know he worked with [WWE writer] Ed Koskey on it but the vast majority of it [was] coming from Punk’s heart and his brain. But at the same time, I know going into it there wasn’t anything he said or was going to say that was [unexpected]; I know he improvised a little on the spot, but Vince and everyone had a version of it in front of them. They knew when to cut the mic, knew to cut to Cena in the ring selling. It was part of a television show, but there were real life overtones to it, and real life passion into it. This wasn’t like Punk cut the promo, the mic went out, and then he’s giving everyone hugs backstage going, ‘Oh this is great, I can’t wait until next year.’
There was real tension, it was palpable. It’s a testament to Punk to pull that off so well, and to have people questioning to this day what they saw. And it’s a testament to Vince, too, to say, ‘Yeah, go ahead and say it. I don’t care. Call me an imbecile, whatever.’ I’m sure there are plenty of lines within that, that Punk kind of improvised on the spot, but at the same time, we knew going in what to expect. That was a great example of something coming together, and it couldn’t have been executed any better.
In the end, Gewirtz would praise Punk and McMahon for producing spectacular television, giving the former WWE president credit for allowing one of his athletes to shoot from the hip. There were several references to Punk going back to the “scene of the crime” where he dropped the pipe bomb more than 11 years ago when AEW recently travelled to Las Vegas for a taping of “Dynamite.”
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