One week before UFC 225 should be reserved for training sessions, weight loss, adjusting final attacks, and improving smallest performances. However, CM Punk spent it in the courtroom as the defendant in the case of defamation filed by Dr. Christopher Amann, who works for WWE. The lawsuit was related to the Art Of Wrestling podcast in 2014. (via MMAFighting.com)
CM Punk (real name Phil Brooks) had many reasons to celebrate on Tuesday afternoon since he and his co-defendant, Colt Cabana (real name Scott Colton), were found not guilty by the jurors. Amann’s attorneys were asking for $3,989,000 for damage, calculating one dollar for every person who was listening to the podcast.
Punk was very unhappy with the medical treatment WWE doctors provided, especially the part related to the lump on his butt, and he was talking about it during the podcast. CM Punk claimed that it was diagnosed as MRSA staph by the doctor, but testimony says it was physician’s assistant, Patrick Duffy, who removed the lump on February 13, 2014, and he has never diagnosed it as a staph. The doctor says he would normally have cultured the lump. The doctor also insists CM Punk refused to have it done, claiming the reason is “the lack of medical insurance”.
Punk insisted in his testimony that he believed it was a staph. He also said he doesn’t know the difference between MRSA staph and a staph.
His current wife and girlfriend at that time, April Mendez (wrestling name A.J. Lee), noticed very small lump at the beginning of their relationship in 2013. During the next few months, it was growing and changing colors, reaching the size of an egg or a golf ball.
WWE staff said there was no lump. According to their statement, even if the lump was present, they were not aware of it. Some messages between Punk and his wife are showing that he was complaining about the lump and the treatment he was getting from Dr. Amann. Punk claimed in the podcast that it was located near the waistband of his trunks, but WWE sent photos from Royal Rumble in January 2014 as a proof that there was no visible lump.
Punk then said the lump was on his butt, and not on the waistband of his trunks. He said that he has four witnesses for that – his wife, Colton, Duffy, and his massage therapist.
WWE wasn’t involved in the process. However, WWE staff supported Amann. Punk also said that WWE was funding the case, and their intention was to take him as much money as possible after an acrimonious split in January 2014. WWE neither confirmed or denied they were funding the case.
The case became critical for WWE when testimony indicated that Amann gave CM Punk antibiotics without looking at his medical records first. In 2014 Royal Rumble, Amann was near the ring, and he said to backstage officials that he believed CM Punk suffered a concussion during the match. It happened when Punk took a clothesline from Kofi Kingston and complained to him.
Backstage officials ordered some changes in the match schedule wanting CM Punk eliminated. Punk denied allowing himself being eliminated until he was originally scheduled, 39 minutes later. The wrestler Kane (real name Glenn Jacobs) choke-slammed him through a table.
These were, of course, planned pro wrestling maneuvers. But there is one question – how could WWE allow that to happen if they had the reason to believe CM Punk suffered a concussion? Safety is on the first place, right? Punk and his wife started crying when the verdict was read.
Colt Cabana, Punk’s longtime friend, was sued on the idea that the statements were made on in his podcast. Attorneys also claimed that Colton knew Punk’s statements were false. Dr. Amann was mentioned only two times in the podcast.
Amann said he suffered emotional distress. He testified about negative tweets he received alongside negative catcalls at wrestling matches as soon after the podcast was ended. Amann was doing storylines for WWE, but it was a very strange case, based on negative tweets to a public figure. If this passed, Conor McGregor would have probably lost all the money he has ever earned! Do you even know how many people he was trolling?
CM Punk will face Mike Jackson in the UFC 225 pay-per-view fight in Chicago on Saturday. Punk grew up there, he will surely have tremendous support. But we will see whether a WWE superstar has chances against a real fighter.