WWE has emerged victorious. In it’s battle against CM Punk they have looked every bit the victor as Punk has looked indifferent. While we may never know what led to Punk walking out before Wrestlemania season like Bad News Brown in a Survivor Series match, we definitely saw how WWE has moved forward without him.
In the court of public opinion, and pages of the IWC, WWE was slandered by CM Punk fans for everything, while knowing nothing. Punk was defended better than the Denver Broncos in this years Superbowl, by fans who simply wouldn’t accept him possibly being at fault.
As the months have passed, WWE took the criticism and responded in the only way they know…The Show Must Go On. They gave fans the Wrestlemania main event moment of their dreams, and dared them to not enjoy it. They rolled into Chicago twice, and emerged unscathed by an audience that proved to be fighting a battle way above their weight class. They’ve done everything but show a highlight reel of everything after the Royal Rumble, with the words, “And You’re Still Chanting For CM Punk?” at the end of the video.
While CM Punk could eventually return to fans that will welcome him with open arms, his exile will never be forgotten about. He single handedly changed WWE’s direction at it’s biggest show ever, Wrestlemania 30. While pretty much disregarding what it meant to anyone else.
Here are 7 Reasons WWE won the battle against CM Punk.
7. Wrestlemania 30 Was A Classic Without Him
At Wrestlemania 30, Daniel Bryan wrapped up the greatest storyline in ages by besting Triple H in the best opening contest since Bret vs Owen, and winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event against Randy Orton and Batista. Bryan was able to reach the level that eluded Punk for so long. If Punk was watching, I’d guess he felt some type of way about this.
John Cena and Bray Wyatt clashed in a hard hitting contest that was the opening chapter of their compelling feud. Cena stepping down to the mid-card at Wrestlemania was the antithesis of what CM Punk did. Cena never really got credit for this, while folks defended a wrestler that wasn’t on the card.
Paul Heyman’s client Brock Lesnar conquered The Streak. While the match wasn’t what fans had hoped for stylistically, a moment that will stand the test of time was created. When The Undertaker’s shoulders didn’t come off the mat, fans completely forgot about mockingly chanting CM Punk. The humanization of The Undertaker > guy that walked out.
Other happenings included Cesaro’s victory in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, The Shield’s destruction of the Attitude Era, and the most epic start to a Wrestlemania ever witnessed when Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Rock met in the center of the ring to sing the praises of the next generation. CM Punk only lingered over Wrestlemania. 20 years from now, someone watching WM 30 by itself would have no clue one of the biggest stars in the company at the time was missing.
CM Punk walking out gave birth one of the 3 best Wrestlemania’s ever. Who would have guessed that?
6. A Roster Full Of Talent Ready To Break Through
Punk’s immense place on the card has been filled by younger, hungrier, more determined superstars in his absence. Guys like Cesaro, The Shield, The Wyatt Family and The Usos have all upped their game, and fans have willingly thrown their support behind them. Even further down the roster, NXT is loaded with more prospects than ever.
In all honesty, we could be on the verge of the biggest talent boom since WWE purchased WCW. It’s kind of like in baseball, where a team initially finds it tough to replace a big bat that is no longer is with the team. At first it is a struggle, but eventually they find value in other areas to replicate his success with a combo of other guys.
If CM Punk does come back, he will have a host of new elevated opponents. If not, we’ll continue to publish articles about him until he breaks down emotionally and announces return via tout.
5. History Is Written By The Victors
The longer this glaring silence exists, WWE will be able to tell the story. History is written by the victors. Just look at how WWE describes WCW and ECW since their death. We’ve gotten “Rise and Fall” DVD’s about both companies. The only thing stopping CM Punk from getting one of those dedicated to him is his rumored “good” relationship with Vince McMahon.
WWE has the ability to produce brainwashing propaganda. Just look at the promo videos for HHH leading into Wrestlemania. It would be the easy thing to lob a grenade saying “Oh Triple H really doesn’t like CM Punk, so I’m sure he’ll bury him!”, but no one really knows that for sure. Triple H, on and off screen is committed to doing whats best for business. He laid down for Daniel Bryan, killed any argument that he buries people, and is single handedly spearheading the NXT movement. Blasting CM Punk could ruin his long term value forever, and WWE likes money.
So what may prove more effective than anything, is silence. Long, debilitating, awkward, silence. Eventually, the support of most fans will swing toward WWE as long as they keep producing awesome television. As for Punk, his voice will only effect those that will listen to him. If he waits too long, that audience may diminish rapidly.
4. How WWE Handled Their Trips To Chicago
Stop me if you read this back in March.
“The fans in Chicago are going to hi-jack RAW!”
“They will chant CM Punk the entire night!”
“They Will Boo EVERYTHING!!”
Well it was a good plan, until WWE sent out Paul Heyman for perhaps the most pressure moment of his career. He entered to CM Punk’s Cult Of Personality theme song, and cut a truthful kayfabed interview that ended up being promotion for Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker. From that moment on, the crowd seemed subdued as WWE put on a PPV quality event that included The Wyatt Family facing The Shield, Daniel Bryan squaring off with Batista, and The Usos finally reaching the apex of the Tag Team division. Besides those stellar match-ups, Sheamus defeated Christian, and Dolph Ziggler handled Alberto Del Rio.
By the end of the night, the Chicago crowd had been figuratively powerbombed by WWE’s superior booking, and how they attacked the CM Punk issue head on. The only time he’s been mentioned since was the next time they went to Chicago 3 months later, where Stephanie McMahon proclaimed “Chicago wants you to quit like CM Punk did!” to Daniel Bryan.
That same night featured what will go down as The Shield’s final act as a trio, and an acclaimed Last Man Standing match between John Cena and Bray Wyatt.
WWE met and conquered the challenge of CM Punk’s home crowd, and won them over on both trips to the Windy City. Despite the absence of CM Punk.
3. The Yes Movement Made Punk Expendable
After Wrestlemania 29, CM Punk took two months off to recover from his long title reign and Wrestlemania performance. During this time, the genesis of the Yes Movement was happening. Each night Daniel Bryan was bringing the noise to any match he was in, and staking his claim as the best performer in the business. CM Punk would never get those two months back.
Summerslam 2013 was the last time we would see Daniel Bryan and CM Punk on an equal playing field. After his incredible match against Lesnar, Punk was shuffled into feuds with Curtis Axel, Ryback and Paul Heyman that generally bored the audience. Punk pretty much knew it too, as it looked like he was slapping a 43 cent stamp on each match.
Conversely Daniel Bryan was participating in the greatest long arching underdog story ever seen. No matter what happened he was the shining star of each broadcast. Although Punk would never admit it, he probably looked at Bryan’s ascension and asked himself where he fit in the hierarchy of WWE. At best he was the #3 face in WWE, something that clearly didn’t sit well with him.
WWE gave Bryan the chance to shine in the main event of Wrestlemania, and he pretty much scooped most of the fans that CM Punk abandoned. WWE found a new small indy guy that was no where near as tough to please. Once again, the only person that lost is CM Punk.
2. Radical Punk Fans Are Still Investing In WWE
CM Punk has one of the most radical fan bases ever, and for good reason. CM Punk succeeded in a system that wasn’t designed for him to rise to the top. Without question he is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. Along that journey, CM Punk garnered fans that would never abandon him, even as he did ridiculous things that any other wrestler would have gotten crucified for.
He put his hands on fans, BLADED ON LIVE TELEVISION, and walked out the day after the Royal Rumble but and never ONCE got questioned. CM Punk was always doing the right thing. Yeah right.
But as the Punk chants continue, all it proves is that his fans are still spending money, and time on WWE. If those fans really want to make a statement, they should try not watching. Something tells me doing that would have the same effect their chants are having, none at all.
Next time you attend a live event, look for those people chanting for Punk and just glare at them. I’m betting they’ll stop.
1. CM Punk Doesn’t Care To Win
It’s hard for CM Punk to win when he doesn’t seem to care at all about it. Honestly, have we heard him refer to anything in wrestling in the last 6 months? CM Punk made his long awaited return to twitter after 5 months, and was bombarded by fans who were annoyed with him tweeting about Hockey. You almost have to wonder if Punk is trolling everyone on purpose. He’s one of the least, most self aware people in the wrestling industry. He claims he wants privacy, but goes on The Walking Dead? He shows up wearing hockey jerseys to nationally televised playoff games. He’d rather answer a mascot than acknowledge millions of fans who worship the ground he walks on. CM Punk cares about CM Punk.
WWE has proved what CM Punk said in his pipe bomb promo. He was just a spoke on the wheel and the company would keep going. However it was hard to know that they would succeed to this extent. CM Punk helped save WWE in 2011, but never figured out what was next after he was tasked with not being the man. Those two months he took off after Wrestlemania 29 was a preview of now, and it seems like WWE was prepared for it.
What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts, opinions, feedback and anything else that was raised.