Unlike his friends, Punk genuinely wanted to be a wrestler and saw it as more than simple fun.When the promotion started taking off, doing spot shows out of a warehouse in Mokena, Illinois, Punk found out that his brother Mike had embezzled thousands of dollars from the small company, causing them to become estranged. He soon left the federation and enrolled as a student at the "Steel Dominion" wrestling school in Chicago, where he was trained by Ace Steel, Danny Dominion and Kevin Quinn to become a professional wrestler.He has also won the World Tag Team Championship (with Kofi Kingston) and the WWE Intercontinental Championship, making him the 19th WWE Triple Crown Champion and the fastest man in WWE history to achieve this record at 203 days.Between WWE and Ring of Honor (where he is a two-time World Tag Team Champion), Punk has won a total of 11 championships.Punk's first venture into wrestling was a stint in a backyard wrestling federation called the Lunatic Wrestling Federation with his friends and brother Mike Brooks in the mid-late 1990s.
Punk's straight edge principles when in character are based on his actual way of life out of character.
As part of the training, he wrestled at Steel Domain Wrestling in St. It was in the Steel Domain that he met Scott Colton, who soon adopted the stage name Colt Cabana.
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.
Punk's matches with Cabana led him to being hired by the Ring of Honor promotion.
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.