CM Punk has went and done it again. That’s right folks, the guy that shoots straight from the hip has done just that again and he’s turned the pro wrestling world upside down. Only this time he didn’t do it from the Monday Night Raw stage, he did it from Colt Cabana’s pod cast.
Before anyone accuses me of drinking Punk’s Kool-Aid, let me assure you I know the deal. He may not have competed in a WWE ring for 10 months but that doesn’t change the fact that Punk is still a pro wrestler at heart. And pro wrestlers work you. They work you all the time.
When a heel glares at you and dares you to hit him, he’s working you. When a babyface reaches out to shake your hand, he’s working you. When John Cena holds up his cute little rally towel, he’s working you. Everything a talent does is a work; everything is done in an effort to get over, to sell merchandise and most importantly, sell himself.
So is Punk trying to sell himself right now? Yes. Of course he is. But to what length, that is the question. The fact is that despite how much Punk’s character may be coming into play; he’s basically got nothing to gain by lying. Think about that for a minute.
If he lies, if he slanders WWE or anyone in it, then he has to know there will be repercussions. He has to know that Vince McMahon’s company will rain hell down on his head the likes of which he has never seen before. Punk surely would’ve heard from WWE’s attorneys within 24 hours of his interview and at this point, we would all be talking about just how much this was going to cost him.
He knows that, right? This is not the case of one guy slamming another guy in a shoot interview, this is not sour apples from a Superstar that just never got his break and now he’s complaining about it. This is a former top guy who did it all in the business, going live and taking his case to the people.
Punk could’ve sold his story to the highest bidder. He could have sat down with Jim Rome and opened up about the company that he broke himself in half for, the same company that supposedly fired him via FedEx on his wedding day. Punk could have asked for air time on virtually any platform he wanted and he probably would have gotten it.
But he didn’t. The truth is that he has nothing to gain by working you. He’s not trying to sell T-Shirts, he’s not trying to sell DVDs and he’s not trying to sell a new movie. He doesn’t care if you hate him and he doesn’t care if you buy the WWE Network. Oh and news flash; he’s also not trying to get back in WWE.
This is a guy that with the exception of the occasional sound byte, basically kept his mouth shut for nearly a year after he walked out. He could have taken to Twitter the second after he hit the door and burned WWE down to the ground, if he had wanted to.
But instead, Punk went home. He went home, he got married and he got happy. Punk is not really that much of a pro wrestler anymore; he’s just a guy talking to his best friend about what happened to him in his last job.
Too naïve? Too simplistic? Maybe so. But no matter how you look at it, it’s hard to fully believe WWE is not at least partially to blame for what happened with Punk. After all, this is a pro wrestling promotion and pro wrestling promotions work their talent. They work them all the time.
Guys are overworked. That’s a fact and no one needed CM Punk to tell them that. The men and women that step into the ring for WWE are dollar signs to the company, they are the earners and the product they manufacture is their matches.
They put their bodies on the line every time they perform and they’re the ones that the company depends on to keep the money coming in. No matches equals no fans obviously, so the talent is absolutely essential to keeping WWE afloat. Without the sweat equity of the workers in the ring, there is no WWE.
So it goes without saying that the company will get as much out of its talent as physically possible. It happens all the time and honestly, that much will probably never change. But the Superstars in WWE are not only overworked, they are worked as in lied to; constantly.
Is this a surprise to anyone that has been a fan for longer than 15 minutes? Just because WWE is a publicly traded company and refers to its content as “sports entertainment” does not change the fact that they are a pro wrestling promotion. And pro wrestling promotions will do whatever it takes to put on the most profitable show possible.
If that means overworking its talent, then that‘s what happens. If that means stretching the truth or flat out lying, then that will happen too. Not everyone’s story can end as happily as Mick Foley’s did. CM Punk’s obviously didn’t. So does that mean that he’s lying? Does that mean he kept his mouth shut for 10 months to just suddenly pop up and work all of us? Is Punk selling himself with no apparent profit, nothing to gain, because he‘s bitter at not having worked the main event match at WrestleMania?
I have no idea; I’m not directly connected to the situation. But I will say that he is very convincing. And I will also say that to see fans stand against him when 10 months ago they cheered him, believed in him and supported him is ridiculous. To see them siding with the company instead of the talent that makes it happen in the ring, not behind the scenes in the boardroom is pathetic.