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Brooks' 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.
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. Punk and Cabana became best friends and spent most of their early career together working in the same independent promotions, as both opponents and tag team partners.
On August 12, Punk lost the ROH World Championship to James Gibson in a four corner elimination match which also involved Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels.
In addition, most of the ROH roster contracted to TNA were pulled from the show because of a snowstorm that TNA officials thought might prevent performers from reaching a pay-per-view scheduled the next day.
Though he had accepted the deal, Punk defeated Austin Aries to win the ROH World Championship on June 18 at Death Before Dishonor III.
Immediately after the match, Punk proceeded to become a villain and started a storyline where he threatened to bring the ROH World Championship to WWE with him.
Among other things, AJ discussed what name she calls her husband CM Punk by, being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, keeping her condition from WWE, and accomplishing her goals in pro wrestling. " Interestingly, AJ indicated that she only told her close friends at WWE about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I was lucky to have really good friends on the road that I could tell them, 'okay, look out for me today.
When the promotion started taking off, doing 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. 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 in matches for the heavyweight championship.
Punk's feud with Hero included a 55-minute TLC match, At the same time, Punk joined the wrestling promotion NWA: Total Nonstop Action, later known as Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), in which he was paired with Julio Dinero as members of Raven's TNA alliance The Gathering.
For weeks, Punk teased the ROH locker room and the ROH fans as well as mocking the championship he possessed, going so far as to sign his WWE contract on it.
During the storyline, referred to by ROH as the "Summer of Punk", Mick Foley made several ROH appearances, attempting to convince Punk to do the right thing and defend the title on his way out.
He is best known for his time in WWE, where he was a two-time WWE Champion, including a 434-day reign from November 20, 2011, to January 27, 2013, that is recognized by WWE as the sixth longest of all-time, Brooks began his professional wrestling career on the American independent circuit, primarily with Ring of Honor (ROH) until 2005 when he signed with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).