As we’ve mentioned, this week marks the fifth anniversary of CM Punk‘s infamous, industry-altering “pipe bomb” promo. Punk certainly turned his career upside down when he took a seat in 2011 and unleashed his semi-uncensored thoughts on the WWE Universe, but his career didn’t start on that stage. Punk had already been wrestling a good dozen years by that point, seeing and doing far more than most wrestlers of his era.
So, rather than looking at the pipe bomb again, let’s go further back to Punk’s sometimes under-appreciated salad days. Here are a few things fans ought to know about the early life and career of CM Punk …
CM Punk’s television career began at the age of eight.
Phillip Jack Brooks was born in Chicago on October 26, 1978. As he’s alluded to numerous times over the years, young Phil had a tumultuous childhood. His dad was a barely-functional alcoholic, and his parents reserved most of their praise and attention for his four siblings. As a teenager, Phil moved out of his parents’ house and was essentially adopted by his best friend Chez’s family. He’s had little to do with his biological family since.
But hey, CM Punk’s childhood wasn’t all doom and gloom! There were also scary clowns involved! Punk is always reticent about his upbringing, but in 2010 a random aunt decided to bust that wide open, sending video of an 8-year-old Phil Brooks on The Bozo Show to a local Chicago news station. Thanks Aunt Christine! In the video, we see lil’ Punk play musical hats (during which he annoys the adults with an impromptu snappy remark, naturally) and grab a copy of Don’t Wake the Dragon from the terrifying Bozo himself. It’s an appropriate introduction to show business, given where Punk ended up working.