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WWE Payback 2014: No CM Punk Added, But Certainly Needed

Even in his absence, CM Punk causes a stir. Well, the “Payback” pay-per-view was in Chicago in Punk’s back yard and the hope by myself and millions of WWE fans would have been for the “Voice of the Voiceless” to appear on the show, throw his weight around a bit and excite the masses.

But to his defense, there was a Blackhawks playoff game at the Rosemont – a Game 7 no less – and of course, he was needed en mass to root on his hockey team.

But still, the sentiment was there for a “guest appearance.” It never happened, but what did happen was even better. Punk’s name was chanted on more than one occasion by the crowd in attendance Sunday night and in turn, was mocked and jeered by Paul Heyman and Stephanie McMahon, all by admitting how vital Punk – even in his retired state – is important to the WWE and its “business” that McMahon and her husband, Triple H, talk about.

The Payback pay-per-view was better than I anticipated, with John Cena, Bray Wyatt, the Family and the Usos giving us one hell of a match. And to follow it up with the Shield and Evolution was an epic clash.

But where does the WWE go from here? The fact is there is still a state of purgatory that exists within the ebb and flow of this company. The segment with Daniel Bryan, Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon must lead to a SummerSlam event involving Bryan, Triple H and the WWE World Title. The feud between Bella and McMahon is not match worthy, but it sets the husbands up nicely.

I kept waiting and waiting for Punk to jump through the crowds and enter the arena to no avail. I guess he did not read my letter begging him to reappear.

Oh, well.

The bad thing about these pay-per-view events is that it either furthers a feud or begins one. And if you notice, rarely does a feud travel more than a few months to keep a freshness. But the reality of that is this – great feuds of the WWF, AWA, WCCW, and the NWA carried on for months and years because fans continued to want to see them. Even Punk matched with John Cena has enough legs that it could carry on for a few years – if Punk had not taken his boots and left the company.

Tommy Rich and Buzz Sawyer chased each other all over the NWA for over a year in the early 1980s. Sting and Ric Flair beat the hell out of each other for a decade. Dusty Rhodes and the Horsemen were as good as it got in WCW and Jack Brisco and the Funks were must see wrestling in the 1970s.

Punk has that kind of appeal that makes the WWE know what it had and in turn, had to play off of it tonight – taking a stab or two at him like Rex Ryan did last week when he made comments about Tim Tebow.

I commend the WWE for putting together an event that was better than expected. Solid “B” (hope you are reading this, Stephanie McMahon).

The coming months and the summer should be scorching with potential. Sheamus and Cesaro are a good rivalry to build on (no more inside cradles) and we are all awaiting the return of Brock Lesnar. If the company can keep the ship afloat for a few months without losing too much more money, there will be a pot of gold at the end – culminating in one hot SummerSlam event.

But I assure you, there won’t be a CM Punk sighting until then, at the event or afterward. Sadly the best way for the WWE to capitalize on him is to put him down for his decision – like it or not.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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