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Where did the WWE go wrong with C.M. Punk?
As we come up on the anniversary of the promo that catapulted C.M. Punk to his rightful “spot” on the WWE’s roster, I think it’s time to revisit said promo and reveal one of the biggest bungle jobs in WWE History.
Do you remember where you were that night? Of course you do. You were in front of your T.V. watching Raw like I was, completely unaware that we were about to see one of the greatest “shoot” promos of all time. C.M. Punk was obviously gaining steam heading into the Money in The Bank PPV. In the weeks leading up to the event, Punk built up the fact that he was leaving the company after his contract expired and he was going to leave with the WWE Title. The set up could not have been more perfect. As C.M. Punk made his way up to the top of the ramp and sat down and spoke those magic words, I couldn’t help but to think these thoughts: This is it. Wrestling is back. This is going to be the next great cycle that professional wrestling or sports entertainment, or whatever you choose to call it, seems to go through every few years. It will be hot again. It will be the Monday Night Wars. It will be the “Attitude Era”. It will be scorching hot again and I for one could not wait to take that ride again. When C.M. Punk fulfilled his prophecy and stormed through the crowd in his frenzied hometown of Chicago, I could not wait until Monday Night. I couldn’t wait to see how the WWE was going to continue to spin this gold. They couldn’t possibly mess this up could they?
Now, don’t get me wrong. It started off good enough. We all wondered what Punk was doing. Where was he going to take the WWE title next? From the tweetpics of the title in his fridge and hanging out at Wrigley Field with Darwin Barney, to Comic- Con and his tirade on Triple H, it had all the makings of success. Then the unthinkable happens. From the moment Living Colour’s Cult of Personality hit the air that night of July 25th, 2011, I knew it was all over and it was so wrong. Really? Really? 8 days later? WTF??? I sat in utter disbelief. While it wouldn’t tarnish the fact that Punk was my new wrestling hero, I couldn’t help but to be disappointed.
What would I have done you ask? What would I have done different and better than the great Vincent Kennedy McMahon? Whether you asked or not I am going to tell you. When I am I done, I am 100% sure that you will all agree with me. If not, you don’t have a clue, let alone know anything about wrestling.
The first thing I would’ve done is kept C.M. Punk off of T.V. as long as possible, at least a full 2 weeks. Have the WWE up in arms wondering where the title is and where to go from here. Have a big tournament and crown the champ at the next PPV with a new or retro World Title. That’s a story for another day, but that belt flat out sucks. After the WWE starts to put a plan in place to crown the new champion and things finally start to get back to normal and Punk is becoming forgotten, you hear the music. Still no Punk, but you hear the music. Cult of Personality hits while Cena or someone is in the ring and he starts cutting little 5 minute promo videos similar to the old NWO videos that WCW used to run, but much more cutting edge. Do this every week at different parts of TV. Have C.M. Punk talk about how he is the true champion and that the only way for there to be a legitimate champion again is to beat him. Have him call out Triple H with demands. Have him make threats to show up anytime, anywhere and with anyone to ruin WWE shows. Have him talk about all of the guys who have busted their ass and lived on the indy circuit that are better than half of the WWE roster. Guys like Colt Cabana and Chris Hero. Guys like Daniel Bryan, Claudio Castagnoli and Dean Ambrose just to name a few. Have him talk about how long the WWE has spit in the face of the independent wrestler who barely has 2 nickels to rub together, yet they keep going, hoping that one day they will get that call. I could go on and on and I’m sure Punk would be much more creative, but you get the idea. Do this week to week leading up to the PPV where a new champion will be crowned.
What I would do next might not seem too original, but what’s old can always become new again especially when it’s done right. The WWE almost had something and even did for a short time when they had the NXT guys “invade” the WWE to form the Nexxus. The storyline got stale and mismanaged, but it was almost an NWO moment for awhile. Anyway, at the end of the PPV while the champion is in the ring, presumably Cena, we hear the music. As Cena looks up at the ramp for Punk, he gets jumped by some guys from behind in black or masks or maybe neither and he gets the boots put to him. PG would have to go out the window on this night, because Cena would have to be left bloody in the middle of the ring. As this is done and Cena lies there, the music hits again and out comes Punk with none other than Paul Heyman. Punk gets on the mic and simply says “See? I told you I was a Heyman guy”, and walks back to end the PPV.
From here the possibilities would be endless and kept fresh each week by Punk and Heyman. They could reveal the men in black one by one and start what I would call, “The Indy Movement”. A few tweaks and twists aside that I haven’t thought of and this would be the makings of the next great era in wrestling where seemingly nothing can go wrong. Even the stupid comedic stuff and the “Divas” who don’t know how to wrestle would have their place. For the next few weeks however, there would be nothing but classic promos and destruction.
So there you have it. This how I would have and could have saved the wrestling business. I will close with some now famous words by C.M. Punk and that classic night on 6/27: “I’d like to think that maybe this company will be better after Vince McMahon is dead. But the fact is, it’s going to be taken over by his idiotic daughter and his dufus son-in-law and the rest of his stupid family”
Peace out y’all, comment if you dare!
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