The pro wrestling world is practically banking on CM Punk vs. Steve Austin at WrestleMania 29. However, a new interview with the Texas Rattlesnake indicates that while he is open to a WrestleMania return, Punk may not be the man to welcome him back.
The interview appeared last week on the UK Sun website. Austin offered some interesting insight into WrestleMania 28, life outside of wrestling, if he misses it, and whether he could get back inside of the ring. Of course that all paled in comparison to the big question everyone is asking, “Are you wrestling CM Punk at WrestleMania 29?”
“Maybe Punk’s not the guy to go against. He needs to pick up his intensity. We’ll have to see what I do, I’m happy now doing what I am.”
This answer surprised me. Punk and Austin have played around a bit on Twitter regarding a match. While nobody ever said the match was on, I can tell you that most fans are expecting this bout at WrestleMania 29. Austin’s words should probably damper your expectations.
Reading the entire interview gives me an indication that the answer was 100% legit and not Austin working the interviewer or talking in kayfabe. Austin even mentions Punk as someone he keeps in contact with. Why would he mention Punk as a friend if he is planning on wrestling him next year in New Jersey?
Austin’s words also back up something that I have felt all along. While Punk has a large fan base online (& chances are that you may be one of them), I have always felt that he is not the big star that his fans think he is. Is he a top WWE guy? Yes, but he is not a megastar or a difference maker when it comes to ratings and buyrates. Austin is a businessman and if he is coming back, he is in it for the money. If he feels he can’t maximize his payday with Punk, he’ll look elsewhere. It appears that right now Austin is looking elsewhere.
I don’t find the Austin vs. Punk match nearly as exciting as a lot of fans do. Their styles really don’t mix at this point in the game. Plus, you’d have to turn Punk heel and I don’t know if that is the right thing to do next year. He’ll turn heel again someday, but do you progress to that stage early for one match? It just doesn’t make sense for anyone.
I also feel that Punk needs to pick up his intensity. His intensity in the Chris Jericho feud looks manufactured in my opinion. I know I am going to catch hell for this one, but guys like John Cena, Triple H, and The Undertaker blow Punk away in intensity. He could always turn that around but when I see Punk making those intense facials on RAW, it looks a bit phony to me.
A lot can happen and a lot can change in a year. Maybe Austin and Punk come up with a storyline that makes the match work? Austin isn’t getting any younger so if he does have that desire for one or two more matches, he better get cracking. Although at this point it looks like Austin is more content watching from the sidelines than risking his legacy for a quick WrestleMania payoff with Punk.