In 2005, he was a young star on a contending team in sunny San Diego. In 2011, he's forever branded as a steroid cheat, spends most of his time on injured reserve and plays for the hapless Buffalo Bills.
And, as his on-the-field game has suffered, so, too, has his game with the opposite sex. Alerting us to the sad decline is, oddly enough, three-time WWE Heavyweight Champion CM Punk.
It started with this tweet from @CMPunk:
Watching Shawne Merriman of the buffalo bills hit on our divas and strike out, reminds me of the Bills in the super bowl. #choke
@CMPunk I was just giving you guys some hope look like you were struggling by the pool. Sympathy from Lights
Back to @CMPunk:
@shawnemerriman if you could get to a QB as fast as you ran after our divas maybe you'd make headlines being a pro bowler and not a creep.
Your closing argument, @shawnemerriman?
@CMPunk do me a favor turn your little wrestling underwear around and give yourself a wedge see you later Punk without the CM
CM Punk then declared himself the winner of the Twitter fight, and really, it's hard not to score that one as a decisive Twitter victory for the professional wrestler. I'm sorry, but "Punk without the CM" doesn't count as a real insult. That's just sad.
The Chicago Tribune's nightlife columnist, Luis Arroyave, got in touch with Punk by email for more of the story. And because the winners get to write the history books, here's Punk's version of what happened:
"All I did was observe him walking around poolside, back and fourth, around in circles. I had no clue who he was, just knew that this guy was obviously trying to get noticed. When that didn't work, he sent his publicist after the girls, which is the most lacking of testicles thing ever. That's how we found out who he was.
"When THAT didn't work I watched him run after them as they tried to leave. Dude clowned himself and all I did was report the facts and laugh about it. On the road, the WWE is a family. The divas are my sisters, and like any big brother, I don't want creeps around my little sisters."
I guess this is the only question that matters: Is it better to be a world champion in pretend fighting, or to play for the Bills in the real NFL?
- Shawne Merriman