Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Oh, CM Punk

CM Punk returnsOh, 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.

[adinserter block=”2″]Somebody might be claiming to be champion — whether it be Cena, Rey Mysterio or even Zack Ryder — on RAW, but we all knew who the champ was!

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?”

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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.

[adinserter block=”1″]Anything to get away from this whole Rock vs. Cena junk.

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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11 COMMENTS

  1. As much as I would have loved Punk out for an extended peroid of time doing wacky Comic-Con types things and appearing in the indies, that wouldn't do anything to get him over to the WWE's main fan base. Sure, all us old school wrestling fans and internet supporters love Punk for all the right reasons, but casual fans and the younger audience don't understand what the big deal is about him.

    I think as much fun as it would have been to have him out for months it would have killed the momentum for him to be gone that long. He now has a much higher ceiling to aspire to, one much closer to where Super Cena is, and where very few superstars have made it in a while. I really think they made the choice they had to make, even if it is not the choice we want.

    • Exactly, for the fans that only know WWE and aren't as hardcore when it comes to real wrestling, the ones who buy up every new Cena shirt or Mysterio mask, the WWE didn't want to lose any momentum from the hottest storyline in years. While I think it's a dumb move, in no way did Punk sell out. He's under contract and has to appear when told to. I'm sure if it was up to him he would be enjoying the summer in Chicago. I'm sure he used his leverage for a hell of a deal and also probably got Cabana a contract also. Also what do you want to bet Beth Phoenix will be getting her push for the Divas title starting with winning this battle royal next week on Raw?

  2. Accusing CM Punk of selling out? As the Miz would say… "really?"

    The entire CM Punk storyline would have NEVER taken place if CM Punk wasn't under contract. There's no way the WWE would have really let him just take the belt. The WWE makes stupid creative decisions, not stupid business decisions.

    I'm rather dumbfounded at all the people who think Punk Plot 2011 is a setup for Wrestlemania when we have SummerSlam, Survivor Series and Royal Rumble before then. Of course Punk was coming back before SummerSlam. WWE HAS A PPV TO SELL. Of course this story will continue well past SummerSlam. WWE HAS MORE PPV'S TO SELL.

    CM Punk is under contract. He has no control of whether or not he can stay off of programming. He does what he is told to do. That's not selling out. That is keeping a job.

  3. Two schools of thought here.
    1. Strike while the iron is hot
    2. Do a long term story line and by the time it came to deliver Punk-a-mania would be an after thought.

    They should have had him go on every talk show, TmZ, ect and proclaim that HE is the WWE's rightful champion, and that Cena is nothing but a paper champion. They could of run with this well into the fall and wrap it up by Survivor Series

    Who's to say that WWE won't be split in two with Punk leading one set of superstars and Cena another in a sort of "Civil War" type deal…..no?

    • I'm bummed out by it too, just because after they presumably go on from here to rush the story out of the way then we'll be stuck back with Rock Cena again.

    • And that may well be true as the whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth

      However the sentence "You sold out" is aboot as definitive as you can get who he blames for this

  4. As an employee of the WWE pretty tough to say that CM sold out. He's doing what he's told when he's told

    if anyone sold out it was VKM and the rest of the creatives for mucking up the best story line they have had a long while

    • "He's doing what he's told when he's told."

      No that's a copout…you don't have to do what you're told so he's selling out because he simply has a choice in this matter. You always have a choice.

        • Exactly. Getting fired isn't much of a choice, unless you think CM Punk has somehow made enough money that he can just retire at this point.

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