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He first started using the ring name CM Punk when he was put into a tag team named the Chick Magnets with CM Venom after another performer skipped out on the card.
Unlike his friends, Punk genuinely wanted to be a wrestler and saw it as more than simple fun.
Also while competing in ROH, Punk won both the company's championships.
In 2005, Punk signed a contract with WWE and was sent to its developmental promotion, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), where he won every championship available in that promotion.
Punk and Cabana became best friends and spent most of their early career together working in the same independent circuit promotions, as opponents or allies.
In the independents, Punk, along with fellow Steel Domain graduates Colt Cabana, Chuckee Smooth, Adam Pearce and manager Dave Prazak, formed an alliance named the Gold Bond Mafia.
During Punk's time in IWA: Mid-South, he had high profile feuds with Colt Cabana and Chris Hero while also rising to the top of the roster winning the IWA Mid-South Light Heavyweight Championship twice and the IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship on five separate occasions, beating stars like A. Styles, Cabana and even Eddie Guerrero for that Championship.From February 2003 until May 2004, Punk refused to wrestle for IWA: Mid-South, because he claims that this was in protest to Ian Rotten's mistreatment of Chris Hero in the company.Hero, however, has stated he believes there were other reasons, and Rotten's treatment of him was just an excuse by Punk to stop working for the company.Between WWE and Ring of Honor (where he is a two-time World Tag Team Champion), Punk has won a total of 11 championships.He was also the winner of the 20 Money in the Bank ladder matches (the only wrestler to win the match twice in a row), and was the 2011 Superstar of the Year Slammy Award winner.