CM Punk on last night’s Monday Night Raw… hopefully, it’s not his last.
It’s one thing to make a comment on how the WWE Creative Team poorly handles and misuses their talent. It’s another thing to make a comment on how the WWE Creative Team poorly handles and misuses their talent while it’s actually happening.
Enter the events of last night as Philip Brooks, the man you know and must love as CM Punk, as he criticized Vince McMahon for having no idea what the WWE Universe wants or desires. His point was literally proven in the ring as the inclusion of John Cena in last night’s angle almost single-handedly brought the momentum of the Punk-McMahon angle to a screeching halt.
It’s ironic that this worked shoot is stirring up the wrestling world and the social media world in one fell swoop. The WWE has a been given a rare chance to display their product while the rest of the world keeps their eye on WWE TV… namely to see what Punk will do next. Instead of capitalizing on the golden opportunity, they put on a remarkably sub-par show that only Punk was able to save.
John Cena was featured in the opening and closing segments of the show, just as CM Punk was. What was more apparent than ever was that Punk is more talented on the microphone than any other superstar in the world, so much so that it made Cena (an accomplished mic-man himself) look inferior in a situation where the Creative Team is attempting to continue to make him look strong. It was borderline pathetic, and it truly shows that some superstars in the WWE are only superstars because Vincent Kennedy McMahon wants them to be.
Cena came off as a complete tool, and it’s no surprise. If we were playing the $25,000 Pyramid last night, any Cena comment could have been followed up by a contestant who would uncontrollably scream out “what a douchebag would say!” Even Vince McMahon was off-kilter, as he shook the hand of the father of a man who he threatened to fire just two weeks ago on a taped episode of Raw in Las Vegas. Thanks for keeping the realism of your storyline alive and well, Vince… you dumbass.
Not only did Punk’s words and actions scream “poetry in motion” last night, he was indelibly forced to blur the lines of fantasy and reality again after attempts from Cena and McMahon to turn viewers and believers away. McMahon is the less guilty of the two, as his use of Punk’s real name during the public contract negotiation helped a little. If McMahon, would have been less of a pu**y last night in the angle, I would have given him higher marks.
Cena, however, is a ticking time bomb of “awful”. If you haven’t seen the open and close of last night’s Raw, you must. He doesn’t fit this angle in any way, shape, or form. His pathetic attempts to get his “hometown” crowd to side with him, which included terrible quips and “poop” jokes, were embarrassing. Punk’s mention of ice cream bars got the biggest pop of the night. There was nothing Cena could have done to top that. It shows me personally, that the wrong person is on top. It’s not to say that Cena couldn’t be the WWE’s top guy, but my God, the fact that the creative team and McMahon haven’t turned him heel after countless opportunities makes me miserable.
It goes well beyond how I feel about the talent. The WWE has been in a funk for years, and it’s not a a shot at Cena but he’s been the big man of campus during those years, and that’s not particularly saying a lot.
What you are watching on TV right now is scripted, for the most part, and it’s Punk’s chance to shine. The unfortunate reality, though, is that Punk should have been given a chance years ago… literally. I remember attending the 2006 Survivor Series as a fan while 20,000 people chanted Punk’s name while D- Generation X was in the ring. The WWE could have fully capitalized on him then, but they didn’t. Who knows where the WWE would be if they had?
I’m not against John Cena, I’m against his character and his gross misuse on television (a heel turn for him would be absolutely magical). I’m actually against the majority of the characters portrayed on WWE television, but I’ve never been against Punk. He is the gift that keeps on giving. God, do you remember his promo in the 2010 Royal Rumble? How about his commentary during his hip injury? This guy is a gold mine, so much so that anything else on WWE TV last night seemed dull and stale. He’s so far above the product, that he hurts and helps it at the same time.
You can talk about how ECW failed and Paul Heyman’s philosophy on wrestling, but Heyman’s product made you think. The angles seemed to flirt with the line between fantasy and reality. CM Punk’s recent tirade is the closest we’ve gotten to that feeling in more than 10 years. The sad part is that Punk is the only one effectively pulling this tactic off right now. They have tried with Cena and failed. McMahon isn’t much better.
So what do you do at this point? Vince McMahon is sitting on a powder keg of success if he pulls all of this off right, but if he does, CM Punk will be the man he has to rely on to carry it for years to come, not John Cena. This is one of the rare occasions where the superstar means more to the company than the company means to the superstar.
There are 1,000 finishes that could result from the Punk-Cena match at Money in the Bank this coming Sunday, but there are only one or two that will satisfy not just the WWE universe, but the wrestling universe as a whole. The WWE really can’t mess this up, or they will find themselves back in the vat of mediocrity they have become so comfortable existing in for the past few years.
So… after so many years of being unsatisfied with a product that continually distances itself from the wrestling fan, we have to ask if the WWE can finally get it right. Either that, or we apparently will have to wait until Vince McMahon is dead… but even then, it probably won’t matter because it’ll be taken over by his idiotic daughter, his doofus son, and the rest of his stupid family anyway.
It’s time to listen to the fan, they know what we want now, but it doesn’t mean they will give it to us. But like every wrestling fan in 2011, we hope…
…and we’ll all be watching.