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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.Eventually Punk returned to IWA: Mid-South and continued to perform as a wrestler and commentator for them until 2005 when he was signed to World Wrestling Entertainment.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.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.Sammartino's reign occurred when it was called 'NWA Championship' and his second reign made him the longest-reigning in the 'WWWF Championship' as well (narrowly eclipsing Morales).
On June 24, 2006, Punk made his WWE television debut, performing in ECW, which was then a branch of WWE.
At the same time, Punk joined the wrestling promotion NWA Total Nonstop Action (TNA), in which he was paired with Julio Dinero as members of Raven's TNA alliance The Gathering.
Punk started climbing the ranks of ROH, including coming in second at the Second Anniversary Show during the tournament to crown the first ROH Pure Champion, losing to A. Styles in the finals and winning the ROH Tag Team Championship twice with Colt Cabana as the Second City Saints.
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.