While everyone expected WWE champion CM Punk to pop up on an independent pro wrestling event after winning the title at Money in the Bank, I don’t think anyone predicted that moment would come at an AAW show in Berwyn, IL.
Most independent pro wrestling fans following this angle expected CM Punk to pop up on the indys. However, I think it is fair to say that all of the betting money was on Ring of Honor. Heck, Punk even said it himself on RAW Roulette when he threatened to defend the WWE championship in ROH. Yet it was a small independent show in Berwyn, IL that was the first to land the new “Hero of the Indys”, CM Punk.
Punk made a quick but exciting surprise appearance on Saturday night in Berwyn, IL at an All-American Wrestling show in Berwyn, IL. Punk’s friend Colt Cabana just finished wrestling Gregory Iron and started to cut a promo in the ring. Cabana then put the microphone down, went to the locker room, and returned with the WWE champion.
I can’t imagine how exciting this must have been for a fan that paid their hard earned money to see AAW without any indication that Punk would be in attendance. It was a great moment that did nothing other more than give the fan’s a surprise and put Iron on the map. This was hardly the self-serving promo most would have expected by Punk on an indy show to get over the current angle with him and the WWE championship.
Unfortunately I wouldn’t expect many more of these appearances from Punk on the indys. As a matter of a fact, I wouldn’t expect any more appearances from Punk on the indys. He is obviously signed to some kind of a new deal and is expected to be back in the WWE fold shortly. Most of the speculation points to Punk defending the WWE championship at SummerSlam 2011.
I would also expect Punk to stick around, at least for a short while. Regardless of burnout, an opportunity like this only comes along once in a lifetime for someone like Punk. I can’t imagine someone just up and walking away from the hottest angle of his career. This isn’t a case like Batista and Chris Jericho where these guys had plenty of runs on top and burnt out. This is the biggest and by far best push he has ever received by the WWE. It would be tough for anyone in his position, no matter how burnt out they are, to up and walk away after achieving the moment they have worked for their entire career.
This also puts Ring of Honor in a really tough spot. Punk practically promised to take the title to ROH if he won the belt at Money in the Bank 2011. ROH has their first television taping for Sinclair in Chicago on August 13. There is a real good possibility that the majority of fans buying tickets that night are expecting to see CM Punk. Why not? The show is in Chicago and after all, he more or less told them he was coming right? That could really backfire by the end of the night when it becomes apparent that he isn’t coming.
I have heard some speculate that once Punk is officially booked for SummerSlam that most Ring of Honor fans would presume he won’t be there. I disagree. I am still getting emails from readers who think that Punk is unsigned and this whole deal is a shoot. I would expect that if Punk does wrestle as planned at SummerSlam, the WWE would still continue the angle as if Punk isn’t signed. Thus, ROH fans would still expect him in attendance.
Regardless, this angle has really brightened up what appeared to be a pretty dull summer for pro wrestling fans. Whether Punk wrestles at SummerSlam, Ring of Honor, or both, the Summer of Punk 2 will go down as one of the most memorable in this generation of pro wrestling history.
Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com