By Susan Hallock
LIBERTY March 6, 2007 As the clock ticks down and the days pass by, the anticipation of professional wrestlers coming to Liberty this Saturday, March 10 is the talk of the town.
While the local fans are very excited about the 7:30 p.m. card, there is one Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) wrestler who can’t wait to come to Sullivan County and see those fans.
C.M. Punk, who represents the new breed of ECW, will be wrestling ECW superstar Mike Knoxx at Saturday night’s event.
Punk is counting the minutes until he arrives at Liberty High School.
In our exclusive interview, Punk, who grew up in Chicago, said that he made his professional debut on the Survivor Series on November 26, 2006. He also noted that he is thrilled to be helping out such a great cause and pleased to come and be a part of the biggest pro wrestling event to come to Sullivan County.
“I am truly excited about the match and I am looking forward to wrestling in a high school gym environment,” Punk said. “It will be a big difference wrestling in a gym versus a huge arena. I love kids and I cannot wait to see them and hear their chants and I plan on giving them the best wrestling show I can.”
Punk noted how he felt when he made his debut at the Survivor Series by teaming with the Hardy Boys and Rated RKO against Johnny Nitro, Mike Knoxx and Gregory Helms.
“It was such a rush to be a part of that event!,” Punk said. “When I was in the elimination match with these guys, it was awesome and such a thrill as well as pretty insane. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
“I get such a rush hearing the cheers of the crowd and it is great seeing all the enjoyment in the crowd, I really enjoy what I am doing,” Punk added.
He said that he always wanted to be a wrestler. His earliest memories of wrestling were watching “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.
“When I watched ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper, I knew wrestling was for me and that is all I wanted,” Punk explained. “If there is someone out there who is thinking about getting into wrestling, stay in school! Join athletics, wrestling, football, weight training it all helps.
“Join the theater, too! As wrestlers, we are always on the road performing and entertaining and all that stuff helps,” he continued. “You have to have a passion for wrestling and only a low percentage make the cut and if you do make the cut, enjoy it.”
When Punk was asked about coming to participate on the local card, which is a Liberty Fire Department fundraiser for the Sullivan County Fireman’s Parade that the department will host this summer, he had a heartfelt reply.
“Anytime a firefighter is out there, they are giving 100 percent, and it is a thankless job at times,” Punk said. “If I can give back something by doing this fundraiser, I am there and I am passionate about being there.
“I also want to thank the firefighters for all that they do,” he continued. “I have a friend in Chicago who is a firefighter and he is away from his family a lot and the calls tear him away from events, but he goes to save the life of a stranger. You guys are very admirable and I thank you for all you do and I am thrilled to be part of the event.”
Punk said that fans should surely watch for his famous moves during his match on Saturday night at Liberty High School.
“I have my signature moves and I encourage everyone to watch for them because they are pretty cool,” he stated. “The move is the ‘anaconda vice’ move, which is a fireman’s carry. Then I slam my opponent to the mat and his face hits and then my knee [goes] to the face. These moves I have perfected and they are pretty cool.”
Fans should also check out Punk’s arm, which is literally tattooed with good luck charms. Punk truly believes you make your own good fortune through hard work and intense preparation.
The 28-year-old Punk is planning to have a long career in the pro wrestling business.
“I am young and I have that advantage on my side and I do look forward to many years in the professional wrestling field,” he said.