Oh, CM Punk.
I don’t know how to say it, so I will just be blunt.
You sold out.
Just like that.
In a day when angles and storylines in professional wrestling — excuse me, sports entertainment — switch at will, you gave me hope. It was a hope that you had the WWE by the family jewels well enough to dictate one heck of an angle.
Alas, just a short time after you “left” the WWE with the title in hand, you are back. Already?
See, I realize that most males over the age of 18 or 20 don’t like John Cena. I do. I have since he first came on the scene and I’ve stayed a fan since. But even you got me to forget about Cena. To cheer against him. To hope that he wasn’t going to wear the title for a while.
You had me hooked.
I felt like this was an old-school angle. A storyline that would take many weeks or months to unfold. Sure, we’d see obvious setups (such as Comic Con), but you’d be dangling the WWE title with you all along.
He was the guy that took the WWE spinner belt and put it in a refrigerator the night he won it.
He went around Chicago with Colt Cabana and others, showing off the gold and taking pictures after winning the title at Money in the Bank.
The next day he posed with Cole Hamels, one of the four aces of the Philadelphia Phillies, before the Phillies and Cubs faced off at Wrigley Field.
And the crowds loved it. Oh did they love it! And Vince McMahon was back-pedaling. How much? So much that apparently the board (which seems to forget that McMahon owns more voting stock in that company than anyone…) decided to strip him of power and put HHH in charge.
Must be you and HHH did a little more than trade banter at Comic Con, eh?
Punk, I’m sorry that I am putting this on you. I know it’s not just you. I realize that Vince writes the checks and makes the rules. But I was so hoping you had some pull when negotiating to make this one for the ages.
That worked shoot was wonderful. What followed was poetry. The match you did with Cena? Amazing. The aftermath? Awesome.
See, Punk, you gave this all a sense of believability.
But why does it have to end so soon?
Despite being a Cena supporter, I cheered against him at Money in the Bank. I rooted for him to lose on RAW because I knew the reality of what would happen if he won. Then he won.
Sure enough, your ROH music pipes in and here you come.
To quote the Miz… “Really?”
Even the crowd didn’t seem so into it.
Sure, they popped when you held up the WWE title. Not so much for Cena. (Though, to be fair, the crowd seemed like it was pro-Cena for the match).
Just like that, the story that seemed like it was “cash money” didn’t seem so great anymore.
It had legs to carry past SummerSlam and into the fall. That is, if the WWE had allowed you to keep being, well, you. Showing up at independent shows. Maybe doing some things with you outside of a live RAW. So much could have been done.
As soon as I heard “Cult of Personality,” my head dropped, I let out a deep sigh and realized the rush job was on.
Even then, it wasn’t too late. RAW could have faded away with Cena wondering what the heck was going on. Looking around in the crowd and up the ramp as the credits came and went. The crowd didn’t know what to expect. They didn’t seem to recognize the music.
It was still there.
Then you came on stage. And all I saw was Mr. Straight Edge with dollar signs. Those shirts? Oh they’ll sell. I’m sure you’ll eventually be on a WWE cup. Probably not an ice cream bar, however.
Believe me, I don’t blame you. I’d take the money, too. With the economy the way it is, nobody can blame you.
That still doesn’t take away from the disappointment I had when I saw you come on stage tonight. I understand that this is a generation of now. Having you come back is probably a boost. And those ratings for a couple of weeks weren’t great, so I’m sure the WWE pushed a panic button.
I also realize that you probably didn’t have much of a say in this. You seem like an amazing mind for the sport. I’m sure if you had full control of the booking you’d have held off and played it out a little more. I hope, anyway.
Alas, it still doesn’t wipe away how I feel. And in the end, I can’t help but to blame you. Just because you gave me so much hope for something that I could dig into and get behind. That I could believe. That I could get lost in a storyline
I’ll keep watching. I know you’ll deliver. I hope Cena delivers with you. I hope the WWE allows the two of you deliver. It’s just a shame that this all could culminate at SummerSlam as I was hoping to see this be a true slow build to something major. Maybe at Survivor Series. Or the Royal Rumble.
Instead, we’ll get the norm. The difference is this time, I had honestly believed it would be different. I do hope I’m wrong. Really, I do. Maybe the WWE is going to really pull a card out of their sleeve and let this evolve into a Cena/Rock/Punk storyline that runs until Wrestlemania.
Even if that happens, however, I’m still bummed you are back so soon. This had the makings of being legendary. With weeks of you doing things with the WWE title and showing up in different locales. They could have easily had some WWE employee be with you with a small handheld video camera getting all of this goodness.
But hey, you got a week off, eh? Kind of, anyway. Hope that’s what you needed for another run. I just hope this doesn’t turn into another situation where eventually you are buried back to the mid-card. Welcome back into the fold, Punk.
P.J. Harmer is a freelance writer who writes about life, geocaching, photography, varied sports and other things at his personal home on the web www.hoohaablog.com. P.J. can also be found on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/softball29.
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