CM Punk: A Dear John Letter by T.J. Love

“Hey Punk, I just drank a fifth of vodka, dare me to drive?”

Dear Punk,

No, this isn’t my desperate attempt to profess my undying love for you, a la Eminem’s “Stan”. While I do love and support your career and business decisions, I shan’t be driving off any bridges for you, Mr. Brooks. No, I am writing you to let you know that we have grown apart and I am moving on.

I deserve better than the former Best In The World, and while you were, and always will have been, in another league on the mic, there are guys AND girls surpassing your in-ring ability that I am now leaning on. Guys like Daniel Bryan, who actually wants to be here but is being blocked right now, guys like John Cena, who want to get better despite being an established veteran, women like Sasha Banks, who is hungry and determined to open eyes for women’s wrestling…these were all qualities you used to possess. Qualities I admired about you. Qualities that made it easy to defend you and your dickish ways, writing them off as “quirks” because you were truly the best. I forgave you. I turned a blind eye. No more.

Punk, you have fired more shots at your fans and the company that brought you to prominence than ever, and yes, while some of your tirades have been warranted, you were NOT held back in the company in your final days. You had the longest world title reign of any superstar in modern years. You had high profile rivalries against The Rock, Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker, John Cena, The Shield, the list goes on.

Yet your over-inflated sense of entitlement led you to believe that none of this mattered and you were somehow owed the main event of a Wrestlemania. When your dreams weren’t realized, you took your ball and went home after Royal Rumble 2014. I wept invisible tears, Punk. Invisible. Tears. But I supported you as you embarked on a career with UFC. I even laughed and nodded along with your F-word-laden tirade on Colt Cabana’s podcast because I was eager to hear why you left; like an abandoned child, I needed reasons.

But as I read your tweets and pore over your interviews, we stopped being good enough for you. We, who you wanted change in the WWE for. We, who were the voiceless that you were our supposed voice for. You no longer care about us, so I can no longer care about you. Not when there are so many other great young wrestlers and established guys clamoring for opportunity, opportunity you take all the credit for affording. I acknowledge that you were the first at the door, but you weren’t the only one who opened it.

Somewhere along the way, whether through disenchantment or apathy, your message of change became lost in your resentment. Daniel Bryan picked up where you left off and ran with it. He headlined Wrestlemania. And won it all. Maybe if you stuck around and didn’t bitch and moan, that could’ve been you. Guess we’ll never know.

One day, when the corporate dust settles and the animosity smoke clears, perhaps I’ll see you in a WWE ring again. Never say never, right? Even if it’s just to receive your ring into the bogus hall of fame. I don’t condone how WWE buried your wife’s record title reign just to slight you, and that’s the shame WWE has to shoulder. However, the shame of defending a man who clearly gives two squirts of piss about his staunch defenders, who stood fast against the people that celebrated your retirement and lambasted your entire career, that’s the shame we have to bear. The shame of nodding regretfully when someone says “I told you so.”

Now, how am I supposed to send this thing out?


T.J. Love