Which WWE legend saved CM Punk's career in his younger days?
CM Punk has had a notorious career with WWE, both during and after his tenure. Although his relationship with them is not the best, one particular legend stood up for the former star.
Punk started his career with the Stamford-based promotion in 2005 where he was part of its former developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling. A year later, he debuted at ECW, where he quickly rose to fame with the "Straight-Edge" persona. Although his run with the company was seemingly going smoothly, the same can't be said backstage.
According to former ECW head writer Dave Lagana in 2011, there was a meeting involving Vince McMahon's appearance for the former brand. However, the former star quickly became the topic and was bashed. The insults stopped after Shawn Michaels spoke up about it:
"Vince McMahon was scheduled to appear on ECW...The meeting quickly turned into another CM Punk bash fest," said Lagana. "My role was to run the meeting but dare not speak out of turn on the veteran agents. This was how the previous months' meetings had gone but this day was different. It was a new voice in the room that changed everything. 'Um, if you don’t like something the kid is doing, why don’t you work with him to fix it...instead of killing him.' That voice belonged to Shawn Michaels."
Shawn Michaels admits he was one of CM Punk's biggest fans in WWE
Although the AEW star doesn't have the best relationship with the members of WWE and maybe even with some of its superstars, that wasn't always the case.
While promoting his book Wrestling for My Life in 2015, The Showstopper was asked which rumors he heard about himself. Some of those rumors included their supposed mistreatment of the former Superstar. Michaels denied the rumors and expressed that WWE didn't like Punk due to his attitude:
"I had someone tell me, 'Triple H, he buried CM Punk..' Dave Lagana will tell you, as Punk will, that I was one of his biggest fans," said Michaels. "The reason [WWE] didn't like him is because he had a bad attitude. I've never seen anybody's tryouts, they usually have them at the beginning of RAW."
Although the relationship between the two veterans might have changed over time, it's noted how Shawn must have played a big role in Punk's career.