Another shocking title change occurred at this past Sunday’s Extreme Rules PPV. SmackDown’s World Heavyweight Championship changed hands not once, but twice. Fan favorite Jeff Hardy defeated Edge in a grueling ladder match to capture his second World Title in WWE. For weeks, fans were speculating on the Internet as to whether or not Hardy would walk away with the strap as he was rumored not to have signed a new deal with WWE leading up to the PPV.
Enter this year’s WrestleMania Money in the Bank Winner CM Punk. For two consecutive years, CM Punk successfully cashed in his “anytime, anywhere contract” for a World Title match & won the belt. What intrigues me & a lot of other fans was that the impromptu title match was between two babyfaces (good guys). If there was ever a time to freshen up CM Punk’s character, it is now. The best way, in my mind, is a heel turn (making him a bad guy).
WWE tried a brief heel turn with Punk by having him join ECW’s New Breed stable; a faction that feuded with stars from the original ECW. Fans who know of Punk’s straight edge lifestyle thought for sure a feud between him & the beer swilling cigarette smoking Sandman was on the horizon. Makes sense right? It didn’t happen & the turn lasted all of a couple shows. This is not the heel CM Punk WWE needs right now.
Let’s rewind to 2003. One of the hottest feuds on the independent scene was between CM Punk & Raven in Ring of Honor. I can remember going to the Murphy Rec Center to ROH shows & actually reacting to what Punk was saying about Raven, ECW, the ECW fans, how he was better than everyone in the building by being drug & alcohol free, etc. If you can actually get a reaction like that out of people who know how the business operates, you are doing your job properly. That is the heel CM Punk the SmackDown brand needs right now. And who better a target than Jeff Hardy?
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