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.
Punk's feud with Hero included a 55-minute TLC match,a 93-minute two out of three falls match, and several 60-minute time limit draws.
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.
He was also the winner of the 20 Money in the Bank ladder matches (the only wrestler to win the match twice in a row), and was the 2011 Superstar of the Year Slammy Award winner.
Punk initially came to prominence through his career on the professional wrestling independent circuit, primarily as a member of the ROH roster.