Fox Sports aired the latest episode of their Evolution of Punk documentary series on Monday. The series chronicles the long, long, long journey of CM Punk from the WWE ring to the UFC Octagon. You can find our breakdown of the first episode here, and the second episode here. Is Punk getting any more ready to face Mickey Gall at UFC 203 on September 10? Let’s find out!
Punk was severely depressed after his shoulder injury
It’s understandable, but Punk was in a very bad place after injuring his shoulder, especially as it came right after his most positive sparring session. He does extensive rehab and physical therapy, including acupuncture. During one session, he tells his therapist, “People always want to test you. They want to beat up the fake wrestler.”
He further gets introspective about the progress he was making until his injury and reveals that he was even more frustrated by his early results once he turned a corner and got decent enough. “The three months I was garbage, that f*cking sucked,” he says. I feel the same way, but for the last like 37 years.
He actually watched what people were saying about him online
While he’s on the shelf, Punk looks at what sports sites are saying about him, watches the UFC talking head segments on FOX Sports, reads tweets and even watches some YouTube guy’s vlog sh*t-talking him. This is one of the most surprising things to me so far in this documentary series, because I always assumed Punk was the sort of guy who puts so little stock into what people think of him that he wouldn’t even read any online news or comments. But I guess he’s only human.
Punk finally returns to practice for the first time in 12 weeks. At this point, it’s Week 44, deep into 2015.
He’s still taking time to do Make-A-Wish
After one of his training sessions, Punk talks to a 17-year-old from Make-A-Wish, Alex, who meets him at the gym with his aunt. They chat about comics and Punk takes him to a comic shop, which also happens to be the day the first issue of the Punk-penned Drax series came out. There’s a pretty hilarious bit where he and Alex lean against the wall outside the shop while Punk gives people a hard time about buying Drax. Inside the shop, Punk gets pissy about the layout, saying the new release wall is in the completely wrong place. Classic Punk. Before they leave the shop, Punk buys Alex a copy of the Watchmen trade paperback. Nice.
Punk actually did a lot with Make-A-Wish during his WWE days, but didn’t like to be as in-your-face about his charitable work as John Cena. (Which is its own sort of elitist signaling, but that’s a whole other conversation.) It’s always nice to see Punk be a nice guy to people, so this was cool.
He got his first BJJ white belt stripe on Week 49
In December 2015, Punk makes his first official progress in the BJJ portion of his training. In fairness, I don’t believe he was really intensively doing traditional BJJ during much of his training, as this is the first time in the show we’ve seen him roll in a gi. He doesn’t look terrible!
In Week 52, January 2016, Punk has another training session, which certainly goes better than his first couple. He’s clearly starting to put everything together and is getting high marks from everyone he’s training with. He’s really feeling like part of the Roufusport team and building his confidence back up.
His and AJ Lee’s Christmas was completely adorable
All of a sudden it’s December, 2015! Where did the time go? Punk and AJ’s house is nerdily decked out, as you would imagine. The two of them set about making a gingerbread house from a kit — after Punk puts a penis on a gingerbread man.
It turns out they’re super terrible at making a gingerbread house from a kit! And apparently it took forever and got a bit bawdy.
When they finally finish building the house, it’s all haphazard and oozing icing from every corner. Great job!
They gave their dog Larry a present and had him open it and it was so heartwarming and wonderful. These two are just so great together, I can’t even. I just want to spend a Christmas with the Brookses.
The episode ended with Mickey Gall being selected as Punk’s first UFC opponent and Punk’s coaches scouting tape of Gall, saying that it will be a good matchup. Punk says that both he and Gall are mysteries to people and that he welcomes the challenge.
Next week: the final episode.