When WWE chose to relaunch the ECW brand in 2006, Rob Van Dam was its top star while CM Punk was a rising star with a bright future.
While those involved with WWE ECW and fans will remember the promotion’s relaunch as a failure, it was also a chance for some young stars like Punk, Bobby Lashley, Elijah Burke and Kevin Thorn to get some experience on WWE’s third brand. They also had several ECW legends on the brand including Sabu, The Sandman, Tommy Dreamer and Balls Mahoney among others.
The ECW brand ran for four years until 2010 when WWE decided to pull the plug on the concept. It would lead to the birth of NXT shortly after that.
RVD was recently the guest on a recent Inside The Ropes live event and he recalled a time when Punk, who was still very new on the WWE roster, called a locker room meeting to help identify a thief on the roster.
“When WWE ECW was around, as everyone knows, shortly after we started I got suspended for 30 days and there was some new guys coming in besides CM Punk like Bobby Lashley and vampire dude [Kevin Thorn]. Anyway, a few guys came in, they were new. I’ve [been] gone for 30 days, when I came back it was the first show back and CM Punk approaches me at the building and he says, ‘Hey, Rob, I just want to let you know, I’m going to have a team meeting in the dressing room.’”
“He says, ‘Of course, this has nothing to do with you. I just want to tell you so you know, like when everyone’s back there and stuff.’ I’m like, ‘What? You’re locker room leader, like what happened?’ But some people are comfortable just taking that position of control and moving forward and I don’t know. I kind of think he’s one of them. In the meeting, he said, ‘Somebody’s been stealing from the bags in the dressing room and we know it’s one of the boys.’ He said to me, ‘Obviously we know it’s not you.’”
“I mean, I hadn’t been around but nobody would blame me for that. But just as an example of you know, of seeing CM Punk’s sternness, I don’t think he’s real flexible in his code of ethics. I think he lived by a real strict guideline where he’s like, ‘What, is somebody offending me? Am I offended? Should I be offended right now?’ I feel like that’s his energy.”
During WWE Hall of Famer RVD’s show with ITR, he also talked about how CM Punk was one of the biggest egos of anybody he’s ever met in wrestling.