During his fifteen-year career in professional wrestling, CM Punk has won several world titles, including the WWE Championship, the World Heavyweight Championship, the ECW Championship and the ROH Championship; in WWE he also held the World Tag Team Championship (with Kofi Kingston) and the Intercontinental Championship, thus becoming the nineteenth wrestler to complete the Triple Crown (the fastest to reach this goal).
His second WWE champion reign, which lasted 434 days (20 November 2011 to 27 January 2013), is the sixth-longest in the history of the title. Following his retirement from wrestling in 2014, Punk pursued a short career in mixed martial arts (MMA) by signing a development contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
On September 10, 2016, after almost two years of training, he made his debut in the MMA, being defeated by the welterweight weight Mickey Gall. He also lost his second and final UFC match on 9 June 2018, fought against Mike Jackson in Chicago.
Speaking on this week's WWE Backstage, CM Punk talked why he couldn't fully get into Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles' WWE IC Title match.
CM Punk on the match between Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles
Punk talked with the panel about this past Friday's WWE Intercontinental Championship match between Daniel Bryan and the new champ, AJ Styles.
"I couldn't put my thumb on exactly why I didn't feel like it was as great — like, on paper, I was excited to watch this, but I couldn't, fully, one-hundred per cent get into it," CM Punk said.
"Both guys, some of the best and I've watched them personally have great matches in VHW halls in the indies, sometimes in front of no people. I think what was missing was the people. It was a good match and I wanted it to be great.
It was missing that something and I think that something was the fans and the electricity. The wrestlers feeding off that electricity and there being a third member of the dance group to kind of help it along. Structurally, fundamentally, I can't say a bad thing about it, but there was just one little nagging thing.
I'm watching it, I was just like, 'What is it? What is it? What is it?' I think it was the lack of people that hurt it for me." On November 12, CM Punk made a surprise appearance on the Fox Sports 1 series WWE Backstage.
He subsequently joined the program as a special contributor and analyst. Punk accepted the job because he would be under contract with Fox instead of WWE directly, and hoped it would help him find his way back into the wrestling business.
Regarding an in-ring return, he was not interested but also not opposed to the idea, noting it was "a bridge that is gonna have to be built"