Remember how excited you got when you read that WWE champion CM Punk would walk UFC fighter Chael Sonnen out to the cage on the live UFC on Fox 2 broadcast? Well unfortunately it was all for nothing as Punk will not be walking to the cage with Mr. Sonnen.
According to several reports that broke on Saturday, CM Punk confirmed that he will not be walking out with Chael Sonnen for his fight against Mark Munoz. According to the reports, it was Vince McMahon who made the call to pull the plug on the festivities. McMahon reportedly informed Punk last week that he would not be allowed to make the appearance.
[adinserter block=”2″]The timeline for the course of events is rather odd. Punk reportedly got off from the company the night of a house show specifically to walk Sonnen out to the ring. Somewhere along the line Vince had a change of heart. Dave Meltzer speculates that all of the buzz created when the news was originally announced may have actually worked against CM Punk. Meltzer also said on his F4Wonline.com podcast that Vince “advised Punk to not even go to the building.”
I can’t say that I am surprised at all. This is different than Triple H or Dave Batista getting permission to walk out with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. For one thing, I can’t imagine that Punk would be a “McMahon guy.” Obviously he isn’t. He hasn’t been doing good ratings as WWE champion and I could easily see Vince wondering why he should reward a guy who he has put a lot of money into and isn’t delivering the RAW ratings.
I can also see why there would be a conflict in business here. Why offer up one of your most popular superstars to the UFC for nothing? Keep in mind this is the same UFC that blocked Brock Lesnar from wrestling The Undertaker at WrestleMania 27. At the same time, I have to wonder how many eyes Punk was really going to draw when in fact he has been seen as a ratings disappointment by the company to begin with.
I am not saying I agree with where Vince is coming from at all. I am just saying that I can see his point of view. Why be the door mat to the UFC? Why just offer up one of your top stars to the company for nothing in return?
[adinserter block=”1″]The counter argument to Vince McMahon is that by exposing CM Punk to a massive UFC on Fox audience that they would be getting free advertising for their WWE champion. Why not put Punk’s face on live television next to one of the most polarizing personalities in all of MMA?
While that is a nice argument but quite frankly, I don’t imagine any MMA fan becoming a big CM Punk fan by simply watching him walk Chael to the ring. Whether Sonnen endorsed him or not over the microphone, a UFC fan who doesn’t watch WWE wrestling isn’t tuning in just because he saw their champion walking Sonnen out.
Regardless, it was a fun story for a week. I’d imagine we’ll hear more about this from Mr. Pipe Bomb at some point even if it is years from now when he isn’t with the WWE. But as of now, the Sonnen-Punk combination is over and that is bound to make as many MMA fans happy as WWE fans disappointed.