One Count Kickout – Living Color
Million’s of fan’s complaints and grievances have become one man’s revolution. Shockwaves within a single wrestling organization are not unheard of. Frankly they are in the business of trying to create shockwaves, of trying to galvanize their viewers with fantastic occurrences that make you put the controller down on the table for the next few weeks, months or even years. More rare, however, is an action, storyline or person who not only radiates shock and intrigue through their own company but manages to stretch those tendrils out and affect an entire industry. WWE has been in this game before, though the last time they truly affected their entire industry it was with their purchase of WCW and that revolution was sparked by a completely different company and creative team all together.
Anyone who is a wrestling fan, whether they admit it or not, has seen or heard of the electrifying performance of CM Punk as of late. From his fourth wall shattering shoot promo a few weeks ago on Raw to his shocking title victory at Money in the Bank, Punk has managed to turn the man against the machine and in doing so he has taken the burdens, complaints and arguments of so many wrestling fans onto his shoulders. Whether planned or not his current rise can be defined as nothing short of meteoric and his new persona, the new twist on the old Punk, has caught the attention of fans world wide.
Punk has been a compelling story within WWE. Vince McMahon has a history of not fulling supporting or getting behind individuals or organizations that he himself did not make. His disinterest in perpetuating the use of anything made by anyone else can be no clearer than in his blatant disregard for the fan favorite match known as War Games. However, McMahon did not create this and rather than giving us something he didn’t create he’d rather shock our palettes with things like year ’round gimmick PPVs most of which are almost entirely meaningless. Either way it appears clear to anyone who has followed the history that CM Punk is a unique character whose creation was neither a plan nor result of his arrival in the WWE. His time in ROH speaks for itself.
So why now have we finally seen this change which has not only allowed CM Punk to reinvent, or more accurately, release himself from the mold they tried to squeeze him into as well as breaking down the walls of what has become by many fan’s views a mediocre, form fitting show. There has been a lot of speculation about Vince McMahon and when his time would come to step down. The storyline has presented (kayfabe) that he has and we are seeing the new era of Triple H. This era has thus far delivered us the new contract for CM Punk, the returns of Jim Ross and CM Punk and promises to keep us entertained for a while. Perhaps Punk cannot be given complete gratitude for this as clearly they were following a map here but for someone with the balls, creativity and drive to not only spark this revolution but to pull it off is in itself remarkable.
Hopefully patience will be a virtue here and we’ll see things slowly unfold. There was some discussion that perhaps Punk returned too soon but by his own statement Summer Slam is around the corner and time is something they weren’t necessarily awarded here. When the box begins to grow to the point that “outside of the box” thinking is within it’s bounds there can be a problem and hopefully we will not see this occur now that it has become clear Punk has returned to WWE with new (old) music to boot. Punk stood out and himself attacked the “Cult of Personality” of not only WWE but of it’s golden boy, John Cena which awarded him immediate interest from most of the older fans. The monotonous “super” Cena persona began to grate on the nerves of older fans years ago but it has been gradually increasing with each passing month. Punk came out and showed us a different way that things can go and it is quite possible that the shock of his victory came because people have been taught that when John Cena wrestles for the title he tends to win. Actually when Cena wrestles for anything he tends to win and without much pomp and circumstance so to see him actually “wrestle” a match at Money in the Bank was, for the most part, a surprise. Seeing him lose his title, especially to someone who was leaving, was certainly mind blowing.
Where do we go from here? The options are limitless at this point and Punk has earned a little faith here. WWE does have a tendency to blow these things, to rush them, to lack the patience necessary to stick it out and wait for the numbers to reflect the changes that they have made. Punk, though, has shown that wherever this goes and whatever he does, he truly is a main eventer within WWE and he is one of the most entertaining people we’ve got going today. This is a man who loves wrestling and wants to see it return to the way it was when he watched it growing up, the way it was when he made the decision that he wanted to step inside the squared circle. Cena will likely remain the chosen one of the WWE but Punk is certainly coming up the rear. Perhaps Cena will remain the choice of children and young women and Punk can take his rightful place as a choice for the older generation that misses the tougher days of wrestling. Either way we’re in for a fun ride and right now CM Punk is in the driver’s seat.