MMA

Former WWE star, now UFC fighter CM Punk wrestles questions on ESPN, Marvel, Wrigley

Phil (CM Punk) Brooks on the set of SportsCenter. (Rich Arden/ESPN Images)
Phil (CM Punk) Brooks on the set of SportsCenter. (Rich Arden/ESPN Images)

Better Wrigley Field experience: Singing to Cubs fans or throwing out the first pitch?

CM Punk has had the privilege of singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” over the Wrigley Field public address system and throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

Which was the bigger thrill?

“That’s tough to choose between, but if I have to choose, I have to pick singing during the seventh-inning stretch,” he said. “There’s a process to it. You rehearse with the organ player before doing it live. With the first pitch, they hand you the ball, they announce your name and then you go out there. There’s a lot of pressure with doing that, but the stretch is just more fun.”

Retired pro wrestler turned UFC fighter Phil “CM Punk” Brooks visited ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. campus recently for an ESPN Car Wash. During his visit, he appeared on SportsCenter, Highly Questionable and MMA Live Extra, among other programs, to discuss his pending UFC debut, slated for some time in 2015.

Front Row caught up with the sixth-longest reigning WWE Champion and diehard Windy City sports fan to discuss his transition to UFC, his pending Marvel comics debut and his thoughts on the Wrigley Field experience – ESPN’s 2015 MLB Opening Night features the St. Louis Cardinals visiting the Chicago Cubs.

What’s life been like for you after making the announcement that you’d be joining UFC?
I don’t get too caught up on what other people have been saying about it. I know there’s been a mix of positive comments and negative comments. I just focus on what I need to do.

What are your thoughts on ESPN UFC analysts Chael Sonnen and Gilbert Melendez?
I think they’re both great at what they do. I’m actually friends with both of them. I think they both bring a different perspective, but obviously with Chael, he’s learned his gift of gab from me.

What’s it been like writing for Marvel’s THOR ANNUAL #1, set to be published Feb. 25?
I have lots of friends who work at Marvel, so it sort of came together like the UFC deal came together. I had some conversations with friends and the next thing you know, I’m writing for the Thor Annual.

If I was going to create my own character, it would probably have some similarities to my pro wrestling persona, but if it’s my comic book, I’d just want to pretend I’m The Punisher.
– CM Punk, new Marvel Comics author, on one of his favorite characters

It’s been stressful. The biggest thing for me is I want to make sure people will like it and that I’m staying true to the characters. So far the process of writing drafts and reviewing edits and doing rewrites has been fun and educational.

Which Marvel character would you like to write about next? And, if you were to create your own Marvel character, would it be similar to your pro wrestling persona?
It’s no secret that I’d love to write a Punisher story. If I was going to create my own character, it would probably have some similarities to my pro wrestling persona, but if it’s my comic book, I’d just want to pretend I’m The Punisher.

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