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CM Punk Turning Heel Makes Sense – Inside The Wheelhouse

CM Punk heelThe 1000th episode of Monday Night RAW is in the books and the most talked about angle from the entire show was the turning of CM Punk, the WWE Champion, from a face back to his heel persona.

There were rumors circulating on the internet leading up to the 1000th episode of RAW that there would be some sort of major angle that fans would be talking about and that was it. Personally I don’t think it ranks as good as the Nexus or CM Punk “Pipebomb promo” when it comes to starting the angle off but it may have the most payoff as time goes on.

I make no bones about it; I am a CM Punk fan. I have enjoyed his work on the Indies, followed him during his time through OVW, watched him on ECW and cheered him on as he has become a top star in the WWE. Most fans knew CM Punk was going to be a major star from the get-go, don’t believe me? Go back to Survivor Series 2006 when a Philadelphia crowd chanted his name as he stood in the ring with four of the most popular wrestlers at that time (Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy.

Punk has always had the makings of being a top star in the WWE and most wrestling fans knew that. That’s why his success from last year’s “pipebomb promo” was on a higher level, not many wrestlers who weren’t “established” could pull that off but he did because the fans actually believed in him as a top star. Now that the first level of this current “main event chapter” of CM Punk’s life is complete it was the right thing to move him to the heel side of the WWE roster.

There is only so much you can do with a wrestler when they are a face, we all know that. Look at how John Cena has been chastised for being “stale” the last number of years. It’s because he is the top babyface of the company and children adore him. It’s the same complex that guys like Hulk Hogan dealt with during his time in the WWE.

CM Punk is better suited for the heel role in the WWE as well. When I interviewed him last month for “The Bower Show” on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford and ESPN 1300 in New Haven, he stated that his favorite wrestler/inspiration was Rowdy Roddy Piper. He actually said that he believed there “would be no CM Punk if it wasn’t for Roddy Piper.”

As we all know, Roddy Piper is one of the greatest heels the wrestling world has ever seen. Piper even said it himself; the only reason why people loved Hogan so much was because they hated him more. That’s what a true heel is all about, the hatred you have for them makes you love the babyface that they are currently feuding with. That’s part of the reason why that amongst die-hard fans heels are more well respected then the babyfaces, because they can do more as a persona and create different emotions from the wrestling fan.

But why now for CM Punk to become a heel, while he is in the midst of the most popular of periods in his career?

Look at the reasoning behind the closing angle for RAW’s 1000th episode. CM Punk took out both The Rock and John Cena. Now why would he do that?

Go back to the “pipebomb promo” and listen to Punk saying how he should be the face of the WWE, how he should be main eventing WrestleMania’s. Was he the main event for this year’s WrestleMania, no. When was the last time during his current reign as WWE Champion did he even headline a PPV? Go back to December 2011 when he headlined the TLC PPV against Alberto Del Rio and The Miz, the only card John Cena did not appear on.

Since the TLC PPV John Cena has main evented every single PPV during CM Punk’s title reign as a WWE Champion. Something that has been pointed out on the internet amongst the die-hard wrestling fans, something that clearly was “eating away” at CM Punk the last couple of months forcing him to turn heel from a storyline prospective. To me, that is the perfect way to turn someone heel.

What is the biggest complaint amongst wrestling fans today (and there is plenty of em)? That there is no reasoning behind certain storylines and that at any given notice someone can turn heel to face or face to heel (i.e. look at Kane all of a sudden). Well now you have reasoning behind a storyline and while he may be considered a “heel” in the WWE context the beauty of today’s wrestling is that you can determine who is actually a heel or face.

Do you agree with CM Punk not being a main-eventer during his title reign despite being the WWE Champion? Then if so you should cheer him on as your babyface. Do you agree with John Cena main-eventing every single WWE PPV in 2012 and having The Rock vs. John Cena is the WrestleMania 28 main event? Then if that’s the case then cheer on CM Punk as your heel.

I like what the WWE has done by turning CM Punk heel; it’s been sometime since we have had a good heel at the top of the WWE roster. You could make a case that the last good heels for the WWE were Batista and before that Edge, that was nearly three years ago. The WWE has tried with The Miz and Alberto Del Rio to no avail at the present moment. CM Punk can fill that void and be one of the best heels in the business.

It didn’t have the initial impact or firepower as the Nexus or “Pipebomb promo” angles but when it comes to longevity I like where this current “CM Punk as a heel” angle could be taking wrestling fans. Don’t be surprised if CM Punk develops himself into this generation’s version of Rowdy Roddy Piper.

For more on this topic join us for the Thursday August 2nd edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” and download the show at www.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net.

Check out Jeff Peck’s wrestling podcast “The Still Real to Us show” which can be available at www.wheelhouseradio.com and www.wrestlechat.net

You can listen to Jeff on “The Bower Show” every Monday – Friday from 3pm – 7pm ET on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, CT. You can listen online at www.979espn.com

You can follow Jeff on Twitter at www.twitter.com/therealjeffpeck

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric’s work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

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