Real Reason Behind CM Punk Painting X On His World Title

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CM Punk has explained the meaning behind the ‘X’ symbol on his “real” AEW World Championship

When Punk returned to AEW on the debut episode of Collision, he was carrying a mysterious red bag with him. The contents remained a mystery for several weeks before the Second City Saint finally revealed that it contained the World Championship belt he had won from Jon Moxley at the 2022 edition of All Out.

Punk then decided to make his own mark on the title he never lost by spray-painting an ‘X’ in the center of the main plate. At the time he said it was his symbol and meant he was straight edge, and straight edge meant “he is better than you.”

In reality, straight edge is a lifestyle that sees people refraining from the use of alcohol, tobacco, or recreational drugs, and it’s something that Punk follows outside the ring.

During an interview with Sports Illustrated, Punk spoke about his decision to incorporate his straight edge lifestyle into his gimmick, and how it was an idea from his then-girlfriend that came up with the idea.

“When I’d just started wrestling, one of the first places I found steady work was Mid-American Wrestling run by Carmine DeSpirito, and we ran a Knights of Columbus Hall in West Ellis, Wisconsin once a month.

“I think the appeal for the fans there was really cheap beer. I was this straight edge kid that didn’t fit in anywhere, except for with the freaks and geeks in a pro wrestling locker room.

“I had not done this straight edge gimmick yet. I was racking my brain to come up with a great idea, and I remember my girlfriend at the time, Natalie Slater, who is still to this day a great friend of mine, pointed out the pot of gold was right under my nose.”

Punk went on to give Slater “all credit” for the gimmick he has stuck with right up to the present day.

“She was like, ‘Why don’t you just be you? Why don’t you just be straight edge?’ All credit to her. That’s where it was born.

“That’s why I tape my wrists, that’s why I X-up my hands, and that’s where ‘Straight edge means I’m better than you’ comes from.

“Looking back on it now, there’s a lot of people I currently work with who are not only wrestlers because of me–their words–they’re straight edge because of me.

“It’s time to go back to that. Look how powerful it is. That’s a nice itch I get to scratch now.”

CM Punk has been causing drama in AEW

After there being little controversy around him following his return to wrestling in June, Punk sparked drama after Collision when he aimed a promo at ‘Hangman’ Adam Page which fell flat with many fans. Punk has since apologised to Page by text for the joke gone wrong, but it is unknown if he received a response.

Following that story, new also broke that several stars have been kept away from Collision, including Ryan Nemeth, Christopher Daniels, and Isiah Kassidy.

H/T to WrestleTalk for the above transcription.