Saturday, July 2, 2022
HomeWWE | Pro WrestlingMaybe CM Punk just isn't "the guy" - Inside the Wheelhouse

Maybe CM Punk just isn’t “the guy” – Inside the Wheelhouse

Triple H & CM Punk RAWIt truly pains me to write a blog about this very subject because I have been one of the biggest fans and supporters of CM Punk for quite sometime in the world of wrestling. He is one of the best wrestlers in the world right now because he is the complete package of both in-ring skills and great mic work. He is everything that a “wrestling” fan wants in a “wrestler.” He is not your modern day “sports entertainment” worker and is more of a throwback to the days of wrestling that many of us enjoyed years ago.

He’s got the attitude and the swagger to put the WWE on his very back & run with whatever ball the company will give to him. The WWE gave him his chance during the summer of 2011 or what fans are calling on the internet, “The Summer of Punk II.” He has made wrestling relevant again or at least did in the eyes of those who tuned in & might have tuned out.

[adinserter block=”2″]But we as wrestling fans need to look at ourselves in the mirror and realize something from the “CM Punk experience” that has lasted us from his infamous promo on June 27, 2011 to right now; the “change” that we wanted CM Punk to make hasn’t happened the way we exactly thought it would when he was first handed the ball this summer.

Let’s face facts. Ratings are dropping on Monday Nights, buy rates are good but they didn’t get any major “CM Punk” spike to them and he is currently in a creative position where he appears lost at the present moment. He has been shuffled around from Kevin Nash to be shotgunned to Triple H, which isn’t his fault at all but he holds the ability to take himself out of this creative hole.

For those who compare him to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin I think you are out of your mind.

Austin is a one of a kind talent who carried the business on his back and picked the WWE out of a major hole they were in & brought them to an era of wrestling that may be its most memorable. Austin was the sole reason why ratings were so high in the late-90s and why buy rates were so good. Sure you had The Rock and Triple H but they didn’t get bigger until he went out with his injury. You had The Undertaker & Mankind but they weren’t doing what Austin was doing for the business. He sits atop the wrestling world as a game & history changer for what was to become of wrestling.

CM Punk, at least for now, has not done such.

It appears that maybe we as CM Punk supporters need to take this sad truth and realize that maybe the WWE just has lost faith in the self proclaimed “best in the world.” Maybe they don’t believe CM Punk will ever be as big as Steve Austin or as big as John Cena & Randy Orton are in the current WWE climate. Maybe this dream we all lived this past summer was exactly that, a dream.

It’s still too soon to tell whether or not CM Punk will ever be “the man” in the WWE. It certainly doesn’t appear that way with a roster headlined by John Cena or Randy Orton anytime soon. The best thing for CM Punk and possibly this business as well, was for John Cena or Randy Orton to have some sort of time off which obviously won’t happen barring any injury.

We can point fingers at the creative team or Vince McMahon himself but it wasn’t like Steve Austin had the best storylines in the WWE. At one time he was called “The Ringmaster” and had “Caribbean strap matches” with Savio Vega. When the “Texas Rattlesnake” was born he was over because the crowd enjoyed his in-ring work & his promos, despite the entire internet love, it never feels like Punk gets those “attitude era pops” on a Monday night. Most of the time you hear some boo’s and as a wrestling fan you wonder if this love for CM Punk may just be based in cyberspace.

I still believe that CM Punk can be “the man” in the WWE but I’m certainly having my doubts by what I have seen in recent months on WWE television. Hopefully the WWE doesn’t give up completely on the “CM Punk experience” as if given the correct build over a good amount of time; he can definitely begin to fill the boots of guys like Steve Austin. One thing we definitely learned from Punk’s rise is that the fans are desperate for something new & original and obviously CM Punk offers that taste for those fans out there.

[adinserter block=”1″]Is it too soon to tell? Quite possibly. But for right now, it’s not looking to good for CM Punk.

For more on this topic join Eric Gargiulo & myself for the Thursday September 29th edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” and download the show at and can be downloaded in the “Real Guy Radio” section of the site..”

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  1. you have to let him win, defend the title, mock defend title, mock repeat. different chalengers! NOT HHH! Letting punk go over orton at mania would have fueled punk for the cena match, then anyone else. History is every time punk does something brilliant wwe screws it. beat hardy ,taker no sells the fued. New nexus destroyed too to build orton for smackdown and oh my god punk vs the invincible batista! punk fans want a credible title fued ala cena/edge

  2. Stop. The world isn't similar. The wrestling landscape as a whole has completely changed. Austin didn't inspire a world of nonwrestling fans to be like "You know what? This Stone Cold guy has me. I'm going to watch now." He turned fans away from WCW and towards WWF. Thinking that Punk is going to convert nonwrestling fans into wrestling fans is absurd, Austin didn't do that either.

    Also, Austin had a HUGE roster of people to work with, and work fresh with, as the "Stone Cold" character was created later in his WWF run. Punk started out as punk, and as a result has had feuds with most of the top guys already, before his "Summer of Punk II"

    Compare the roster of then to the roster of today. Austin had to feud with: Bret Hart, HBK, Triple H, Mick Foley, The Rock, Kurt Angle, The Corporation, DX, the McMahons, The Undertaker etc. All Hall of Famers/ Future Hall of Famers. The top guys in the WWE today are: John Cena, Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio, and (arguably) The Miz, Mark Henry, Sheamus, and Christian. Not to be an asshole, but A. they just don't necessarily compare, and B. Punk has already feuded with some of these dudes before at length, so there's no point in revisiting it.

    Austin is amazing, and had an amazing supporting cast. CM Punk is amazing, but does not have the supporting cast that Austin did.

  3. I have some thoughts on the handling of Punk versus that of Austin.

    CM Punk is at a disadvantage because he was hired back weeks after he quit. And has not made good on any of the vague changes that he outlined.
    Austin never quit and was also not afraid of being fired. He didn't care about making the company better nor did he have any desire to be the voice for the voiceless. It was a simpler approach.

    Austin's promos were laced with catchphrases, threats and expletives. He basically used the same formula whether it was against McMahon, The Rock, or even Taker. It worked because it was basic and believable.
    Punk's promos have been chock full of insider references that were shocking the first time but now come across as a bit too cutsey and long winded. We need more action from the second-city saint.

    Punk has lost a lot of steam, not only due to not fulfilling his promises, but he has not been but in a dominating position since his return. He came back to work, and immediately went after the man who rehired him. The man he referred to as a 'douche' and he lost to the same douche who he vowed to oust as COO.
    Austin was fed announcers and mid-carders on a weekly basis to build his popularity. The anticipation of who he would stun was a simple formula that quickly built his reputation as a no nonsense ass kicker. When he said he would stomp a mud hole in someone you knew before the 2 hours was up, there was going to be a whoopin'.

    Punk has gained a few tainted wins over Cena, tainted losses to Cena and HHH, and a few clean wins over Del Rio. This same kind of trading wins did nothing for the mid card last year (Ziggler and Kofi come to mind) and are doing nothing now to separate Punk from the pack. It's again clear that it's more important to protect Cena – and Hunter.
    Austin was slated to be the top guy from the start. Sure, there was Taker, Bret, HBK, Sid but there never any doubt that Austin was the one to watch. He had a problem with EVERYONE.

    Everything you said about Punk from a talent standpoint is true. But I believe he has every bit the ability to carry the company that Austin had. It's creative's impatience and the stroking of several major egos that will never allow the Punk era to truly take flight.

    Austin was allowed the ability to run wild because at that time WWE had nothing to lose. They were behind in the ratings and willing to try anything. These days the WWE is competing only with themselves and a dwindling talent roster.

    I've been aged out of WWE's target audience and I know they aren't worried about what I think is good TV or good wrestling, but their lack of follow through in 2011 is both disheartening and alarming.

    Anonymous GM who?

  4. Well, I never was much of a Punk fan. However, I think the comparison to Stone Cold is a bit of a stretch. I do feel that the Rock was just as huge a star as Austin, IMO.


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