After high school he rented an apartment with aspiring women’s wrestler Alison Danger, of whom he became romantically involved with.
Punk decided that he needed to get professionally trained to make it in the wrestling business, so he sort out a nearby training school called “Steel Domain,” ran be Indy standout Ace Steel and his tag partner Danny Dominion. He was also trained by Kevin Quinn at the school.CM Punk had his proper professional debut in 1999, he developed a strong friendship with Scott “Colt Cabana” Coltman, aka Scotty Goldman. He would wrestle small Indys, often facing different combinations of his mentors and training partners, which led to his first real gimmick as part of the Goonies or the Good Squad depending on who you ask, which was a faction of rookies that wore stained jeans, scraggy vests and ladies tights over their heads (It seems everyone had at least one bad gimmick). He soon surpassed that stable and started an early heel rendition of his straight edge gimmick, where he acted better than everyone else because he was clean (he’d use this numerous times through his career with great success, to the point of fans throwing beer at him). Punk won the SDW Television Championship twice (2000 & 2001). Here is a video showing punk in a match in Steel Domination Wrestling
He soon became a standout in St. Paul Championship Wrestling and Mid-American Wrestling.
Punk had an early feud with future NWA Champion Adam Pearce. He eventually lost a loser leaves town match to Pearce in MAW, but returned a year later to win the heavyweight title. He also had won the Revolution Championship Wrestling Heavyweight title defeating Eric Priest slightly earlier.
Simultaneously he emerged in IWA: Mid-South where he really began to shine as a solid Indy worker and it was around this time he was also involved in a brief stable/click with other Steel Domain graduates Colt Cabana, Chuckie Smoothe, rival Adam Pearce and manager Dave Prazak, called the Gold Bond Mafia, which was named after the Gold Bond pain relief Powder commonly used by the wrestlers.
Here are some pictures of CM Punk in his early days. Apparently from the first and second filmed matches:
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