CM Punk is grateful for the help he received from the legendary Eddie Guerrero during a match that was early in Punk’s career.
Veteran wrestlers helping younger talent is something that has existed in pro wrestling forever. It’s part of the business to pass down your knowledge to the younger talent to help make them better performers.
While CM Punk has found himself in the headlines this week for the wrong reasons yet again, he was also given a prestigious award for his contributions to the business that he loves.
Earlier this week on Wednesday, CM Punk was presented with the Iron Mike Mazurki Award evening at the Cauliflower Alley Club’s Awards Banquet, which led to Punk delivering a speech talking about his career in the pro wrestling business.
On March 1st, 2002, CM Punk wrestled WWE Hall of Famers Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio in a triple threat. Eddie was fired by WWE for behavioral issues while Rey was a few months away from debuting in WWE that summer.
At the time of the match, CM Punk was 23 years old and only had about three years of experience as a pro wrestler.
CM Punk Is Thankful For Advice Given By Eddie Guerrero
During his speech at the Cauliflower Alley Club, CM Punk credited Eddie Guerrero for changing his life.
“He was so kind, and he was sweet,” Punk said. “He was going through it. He had just been fired [from WWE]. He was going through a divorce. He was worried about seeing his kids, but all he knew was wrestling. So he was on the road. He was working independent shops. He was getting booked in New Japan. And I remember meeting him for the first time and him looking at me and saying, ‘I don’t like three-ways. They don’t make any sense to me. If it’s okay with you, you and Rey put it together and just call it to me.'”
As he continued, CM Punk said that wrestling the likes of Eddie Guerrero told him that he had to step up his game.
“I had very limited experience with going out and just kind of winging it. I’m an indie kid. We would sit down and map everything out from A to B and man, if you got concussed or the ring broke or a riot broke out or something happened, you didn’t know how to zig or how to zag. You learned on the fly.”
“But Eddie, that night, made me realize how garbage I actually was, and made me feel like, ‘Man, there’s so much room for improvement.’ And if this guy is willing to step in the ring with me wearing basketball shorts and Doc Martens, I need to up my game to show him respect because none of this is about me.”
Unfortunately, CM Punk never got to face Eddie Guerrero in a WWE ring. Eddie died in November 2005. Punk signed with WWE in late 2005, but he was assigned to the developmental territory OVW, so they never crossed paths in WWE.
CM Punk’s award speech is available on the Sports Guys Talking Wrestling YouTube channel.
You can check out the Punk-Guerrero-Mysterio match below. If you’re wondering, Eddie Guerrero is the man that won the match with a Frog Splash on CM Punk.