Hi Scott. Been reading your stuff for years. Really enjoy what you do with the site. I've always wondered was CM Punk a big money draw in his time with the belt? Would his reign be considered a "success" in terms of being on top as champ? Since he hasn't done much of anything since leaving I figured he must have made a bunch of $$ during that time to be able to pretty much disappear and continue his lifestyle. Wondering if you could clear that up for me?
Punk was definitely not a draw. His big feature show, Money in the Bank 2011, did about the level of a normal B-PPV, but he did good ratings typically. Punk pretty much made his money from three sources:
1) Living on the cheap and saving as much money as possible while on the road.
2) Huge merchandise sales, specifically t-shirts and his DVD set.
3) Extra income from being on the cover of the WWE videogame that one year.
You'll note that although Punk was champion for a year, he was rarely in the main or featured match of the night and was typically underneath John Cena during his entire reign. So really, there was always going to be that ceiling for him anyway.