The big question at around 11:30 PM/EST on Monday night was “where was CM Punk?” Punk was all but confirmed by a trusted media outlet to be on WWE RAW Chicago yet he was nowhere to be found. What happened?
[adinserter block=”1″]Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported over the weekend that Punk would be in Chicago on Monday night. Meltzer to his credit said he wasn’t 100% convinced but said that a trusted source high in the company told him that Punk was 100% back. Someone was very wrong.
There have been reports for weeks that the WWE were working feverishly to combat the fan backlash in support of Punk expected in Chicago. Many reports indicated that the WWE knew the second Punk left that Chicago could turn into a television nightmare. Unlike most WWE booking in recent years, what happened in Chicago was well organized and highly thought out by the brass.
I will give the company a lot of credit. The company used rumors of a “Hijack RAW” campaign brilliantly to its advantage. The several people who bragged over the weekend on Twitter how they were going to commandeer the show were left looking like fools. The WWE not only played them but brilliantly integrated these “rebels” to further their storylines. Well played!
These rebels who planned to hijack RAW due to their vehement hate towards the McMahons and Triple H did more to get Hunter, Stephanie, and Hunter’s WrestleMania match over than any RAW crowd has done for anyone in recent memory. By the time the show was over, Hunter and Steph were villainous heels and Daniel Bryan had the support of the WWE Universe. Checkmate in favor of Vince McMahon.
So what in the world happened? My hunch as someone that worked inside of the business for a little while, albeit on a much smaller level than WWE, tells me that the company used Meltzer unwillingly to further their agenda. Meltzer rarely gets it wrong which means that his sources have to be trusted. I don’t think his source lied but I think the source was lied to, played, knowing that it would get back to Meltzer. The tip to me is that Meltzer’s source gave Dave the green light to go public with it. They wanted it out there. It was all a part of their master plan.
Let this be a lesson to the handful of fans that plan to hijack future WWE events. As I said to several of those hijackers on Twitter, the best way to hijack a WWE event is not to go. The same went for the Rumble crowd in Pittsburgh. You don’t like what is going on, you want to send a message, buying a ticket for $50 and booing the top heel Triple H out of the building is not the way to do it. Believe me when I tell you, the WWE would welcome more hijackers after the way it paid off in Chicago.
[adinserter block=”2″]The buried headline here is that the door is officially closed on Punk. It would make absolutely no sense to bring back Punk anywhere but Chicago. The card looks and Punk’s spot against Triple H has officially moved to Daniel Bryan. He could wind up in the Triple Threat Match but at this point it wouldn’t make a lot of sense. They could always sign him to a new deal and bring him back after Mania but I think it is pretty clear at this point that Punk is gone for Mania. The WWE masterfully navigated through the fallout and not only survived without incident in Chicago, but used Punk’s absence to further their agenda and characters.
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