Former WWE Champion; Former WrestleMania main-eventer - 5 WWE Superstars CM Punk has real-life heat with
CM Punk is one of the most popular names in sports entertainment. From ROH to WWE and now AEW, The Straight-Edge Superstar has left an indelible footprint on the wrestling industry and is revered by fans globally.
While there is no denying his talent and charisma, Punk also has a reputation for being strong-minded and vocal. As many WWE fans must know, he infamously walked out on Vince McMahon's company in January 2014. The self-proclaimed "Best in the World" officially departed the promotion in July that year, citing creative frustrations as the main reason.
Due to his vocal nature and sour relationship with WWE, Punk is not on the best of terms with some superstars. Ryback's case is well-known, but here, we explore five other stars CM Punk has real-life heat with.
#5. CM Punk and Jeff Hardy had their differences in the past
Who can ever forget CM Punk's memorable feud with Jeff Hardy in the summer of 2009? Two of the brightest stars on SmackDown, Punk and Hardy fought fiercely over the World Heavyweight Championship, taking each other to the limit. Punk ultimately defeated the Charismatic Enigma in the latter's final match of his first WWE run.
Punk and Hardy were polar opposites. The first-ever Straight-Edge World Champion led an austere, clean lifestyle free from drug abuse. His rival, however, was infamous for his struggles with substance abuse, which continues to plague the veteran to date.
While these character dissimilarities were used to fuel their storyline, they also translated to real-life animosity. An intoxicated Hardy had some very interesting comments for Punk, calling him a "nerd" before using some inflammatory gestures.
#4. CM Punk was not a fan of Elijah Burke
Very few might recall Elijah Burke, one of the forgotten stars of the revamped ECW brand. During his time on the show, Punk wrestled the upstart Burke, and the former WWE Champion was not impressed. A part of the New Breed, the young Burke also scored a victory over his real-life rival at one point.
Years later, Punk mocked Burke during an interview, calling him his least favorite opponent. The Straight-Edge Superstar didn't hold back, repeatedly insulting the forgotten ECW star during the shoot.
Burke wasn't very appreciative of Punk's comments as he later shot back at the "Best in the World," claiming they never had a bad match.
#3. CM Punk didn't like Hulk Hogan
CM Punk was once asked about his favorite Superstar, and he confidently claimed that it was the late "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. When the interviewer asked Punk about Hulk Hogan, Piper's greatest rival, the Chicago native claimed he didn't like the Hulkster.
Hogan addressed the real-life heat between the two controversial stars on Stone Cold Steve Austin's podcast. According to Hulk, Punk was upset because the Hall of Famer didn't greet the Straight-Edge Superstar backstage during the 15th Anniversary of RAW.
The Hulkster claimed that he had a lot going on in his life then and admitted that he unknowingly made a mistake by not greeting Punk.
#2. CM Punk called out AJ Styles in 2020
CM Punk vs. AJ Styles is a dream match for any wrestling fan. However, the bout is unlikely to ever happen given the real-life friction between the two wrestling stalwarts. The Phenomenal One has no interest in getting in the ring with the Second City Saint.
The tension escalated in mid-2020 when Punk called out several WWE Superstars, Styles included, for not speaking up in favor of the Black Lives Matter movement. The 45-year-old TNA veteran later claimed he didn't respect the Straight-Edge star and would not dignify his "ridiculous" comments with a response.
Unlike other entries on this list, this incident is more linked to external socio-political events which have little to do with wrestling. However, the real-life differences between Punk and Styles are intense enough to be seen as hatred.
#1. CM Punk and Triple H are real-life rivals
Besides Ryback, Punk has been most hostile towards Triple H, WWE's current Head of creative. With Hunter in greater power, the odds of the former MMA star ever returning to WWE seem borderline impossible.
The Second City Saint blames the 14-time World Champion for derailing his push to the top in 2011. He also holds Triple H responsible for the end of the Summer of Punk. According to the former WWE Champion, the loss to the Cerebral Assassin at Night of Champions was unnecessary.
Punk claimed he was "buried" by HHH when he needed the win the most to elevate his standing further. When "The Best in the World" walked out in January 2014, he insulted the Game before doing so. The two parties have not reconciled yet and seem unwilling to work with each other.