CM Punk’s heel turn at RAW 1000 will no doubt be one of the most talked about moments of 2012.
In a night which saw The Miz capture the Intercontinental Championship and the return of D-Generation X and The Rock, CM Punk became the centre piece with his uncharacteristic antics.
Yet in light of this, I find it hard to believe Punk could change his attitude and outlook on wrestling in such a short amount of time.
Yes, it is sports entertainment after all, but surely a sense of realism within storylines should always prevail.
It is with this that I believe heel turns in WWE are progressing far too rapidly and have become one of creative’s biggest flaws.
Take the Punk heel turn for example.
In the last year, CM Punk has regained the admiration of the WWE Universe through his gutsy ability to speak his mind and let his real life personality seep into his onscreen performances.
Since then, Punk has not only won the WWE Championship twice, but also cleanly defended it against any opponent faced.
Last week on RAW however, Punk not only changed his entrance and connection with the audience, but also interfered in the main event.
This move became a clear attempt to ensure neither The Big Show nor John Cena was named the number one contender to his WWE Title.
Before the show closed though, AJ announced that Punk would defend against both men in a triple threat match at Summerslam, much to Punk’s outrage.
Therefore, this begs the question – what happened in the week between episodes that drove Punk into a spiral of uncharacteristic, drastic, excessive and cowardly behaviour?
Was it simply The Rock’s return?
Instead it comes down once again to subpar storyline management from WWE’s creative team.
When I reflect on the last time WWE successfully and realistically turned a Superstar heel, my mind takes me back to mid 2009.
In fact it was the last time CM Punk turned heel during a program with Jeff Hardy.
During this era, Punk turned heel through cashing in his Money in the Bank contract on a vulnerable Hardy before proceeding to allow Hardy’s very over relationship with the fans to force Punk heel.
This was one of the most realistic and enjoyable turns I have witnessed.
Not only was it a lengthy process, but it incorporated real life heat the pair shared towards each other and produced some of the best promos either wrestler has ever delivered.
Since then however, the WWE Universe has been forced to watch Batista’s cringe-worthy turn in 2010 and The Big Show’s disastrous storyline with John Laurinaitis earlier in 2012.
It is a trend which has really become unacceptable for wrestlers of WWE’s standard.
And for me, CM Punk’s heel turn at RAW 1000 was an occurrence that simply did not need to happen in order for a Punk/Rock program to flourish.
Punk vs. Rock is a storyline involving the two best natural born talkers in the company, and a storyline which has over six months to formulate provided Punk keeps his title.
It really is mouth watering to think of the segments the pair would have engaged in without the restrictions of scripts and characters in the process.
Yet as I reflect on Punk’s ever changing persona leading into this Monday’s RAW, it seems difficult to think a heel Punk can achieve the same momentum in a feud with The Rock as he could as a face.
Nonetheless there is nothing to say Punk cannot change face again before the New Year, and nothing to say Punk’s current heel run is only to help boost ratings over summer.
Though as I reflect on the years gone and the months to come, I hope that future heel turns as talked about as Punk’s maintain their sense of realism ahead of their desire for viewers.