Smark Talk: Final Batch Of Angry & Supportive CM Punk Feedback
Everybody sick and tired of reading about CM Punk yet?
Well, you are all in luck. This will be my last column dedicated to him for awhile. I am sure his name will come up again. No doubt, it will. However, with all things in the news cycle, it is time to move on. First Batista was the big story. Then Daniel Bryan at the Royal Rumble. Now CM Punk leaving. By next week, the ‘talk of the town’ will be something new. Here we go…
Jason: “Loved your article on CM Punk. I read reports when I got off work, and instantly thought good for him. Way to stand up for what you believe in and hopefully change will come of it. But reading your article, like you stated you cannot just take your ball and go home. The same “fans” you are standing up for are the ones you are turning your back on and walking away from. I do not have the luxury of having enough money to just walk away from my job when it’s not going good. I think he was looking for a reason to get out and this was a good of time as any. You are the only columnist I read without fail. Don’t hesitate to write more. Thanks for your time!”
Thank YOU kind sir.
I think what bothered most is how CM Punk left. If he wanted out, that is his right as an American. Even with a signed contract, there is the door! As The Rock said in 2002, if you do not want to be there, then get the ‘F’ out. However, could he have given a two week notice like most people around the world do? Be written out of s story line maybe? Give closure to fans who have stuck by you thick and thin? Wait for your deal to expire in July? Nope, he just quit. Simply showed up to the arena and quit. Not, not, not cool.
John: “Like every other fan, I was disappointed at the end of the Royal Rumble. But, as a fan of wrestling for over 25 years, I have become accustomed to seeing my favorite wrestler passed over in favor of someone else, but I must admit I have never seen someone as popular as Bryan being passed over and I think that’s what makes it hard for us fans to deal with. I will continue to support the WWE and buy their product, but it’s getting harder and harder to do so. With that being said, I have a couple questions/statements I wanna make if I may.
1) You and others are right that Daniel Bryan wasn’t advertised to be in the Rumble but neither was John Cena the first time he won it. And Edge wasn’t advertised when he won it neither. And when the Royal Rumble came around there was only about 20 or so superstars advertised to be there, so it’s only natural for fans to assume Bryan would be among them since he may be the most popular wrestler on the roster right now. JBL and Kevin Nash weren’t advertised to be there neither and they were. Daniel Bryan did say that he wasn’t advertised to be in the Royal Rumble, but he also said in another tweet that he was trying to be in the Royal Rumble which left it open as a possibility and fans were disappointed when it didn’t happen.
2) You are right on the money about CM Punk’s sometimes unprofessional attitude holding him back, but what about Batista? How come there has been no mention by you or anyone else about Batista flipping off and trying to fight with fans after the Rumble? He even did the YES chants with both his middle fingers in the air. The one of many things that I respect about John Cena is that he has been booed by the “smarks” for years and still takes it with a smile on his face. Batista couldn’t handle it for five minutes. Batista has done some stuff too. Didn’t Booker T fight him because he was being disrespectful to the legends over the Summerslam poster? And Batista winning the Rumble may be what’s best for business but how should fans support that? Why would fans support a guy who left the company 4 years ago and has only been back for a week over a guy who they have been cheering since WrestleMania 28 and has now seen his popularity grow so much that it’s now crossing over to the mainstream. Fans should be patient and see what comes of this, but they should also be allowed to be fans. Batista being booed is no different then Hulk Hogan being booed 20 years ago by the hardcore WCW fans when he came in because they felt he was the “enemy” and didn’t want him stealing the spotlight of the guys who been there. Sound familiar? The whole NWO/Outsiders angle was created because Bischoff knew that his fans were getting tired of the WWF “invasion” and he just ran with it.
3) What is your opinion on Mick Foley’s post Rumble comments when he said that he was “disgusted” and that the WWE must “hate their fans?” Thanks for your time.”
Fair points. Appreciate the feedback. Let me tackle each point here in rapid fire fashion.
1. If John Cena did not win the Royal Rumble in 2008, would his fan base be upset? Of course not. He was never advertised. If Edge did not win the Royal Rumble in 201 would his fan base be upset? Of course not. He was never advertised. Same with Kevin Nash and JBL. Come on, I can not say anything negative about JBL. WWE and Batista pushed hard that he was going to win the Rumble, and he did. Same with Cena last year. Right in front of your eyes. We could argue about the Royal Rumble all day long. The bottom line is you used the word “assume,” and that is it. Fans wanted a surprise and did not get it. You know what happens when you assume…
2. I can not comment on Batista after the Rumble because I was not there. Fan reports often times lie (as we saw after Monday night). Since they were probably upset over the Bryan not being in the Rumble, they may not be in the right frame of mind to focus on Batista celebrating. As for his past? Yeah, he certainly carries a reputation. Nobody will deny that. As a “draw” though, that will slide. It happens in every walk of life, at every job, and every place in the world. The higher ups get a break. The bottom levels guys do not. Batista or others get away with more…others would be fired That is life.
3. Mick Foley is probably the nicest and calmest guy in wrestling. I still remain skeptical that he did not flip out because WWE told him to…or he knew it would drum up interest. Regardless, it is a free country. Assuming (there is that word!) he paid full price and watched the pay-per-view legally, he has a right to his views. In the past few days, he has calmed down probably realizing like most that Daniel Bryan WILL get his time to shine. It just is not happening WHEN fans want…and in this age, it is always now, now, NOW!
Damion: “Okay, I get it. Money is like god. The WWE machine will be all like terminator and not even John Joaquin Phoenix can save us. This is not a question. It’s a warning. CM Punk is gone like Austin. Austin misses the paychecks. Boo hoo. I think CM Punk misses the artistry. The story. He got “pushed” and held a “title” mad long. You think Bruno Sammartino gives a rat’s booty about that? The world is about making money. Fine but the reason we “IWC” jerks root for him is because like us, he can be a billionaire and still crave that one last match. Austin missed out on money? No. He misses the opportunities. He realizes what he could have created with Brock. He misses the wrestling world. If **** tells you you have to watch TNA all year and you are only allowed to write positive reviews, will you not “take your ball and go home” or will you obey because you will miss the money? CM Punk didn’t walk out and disrespect his fans. He walked out and represented his fans.
“Poor Daniel Bryan” who gets to headline corny PPVs and lose. No, no, no. CM Punk left because no matter the paycheck no matter the “pushes,” he breaks his back for his fans to see his skills. The money making machine tells him he has to wait and not do certain moves. Step aside, a “movie star” is back. CM Punk is gone because wrestling is gone. Ask Sting. No. Ask Shawn Michaels. No. Ask ol’ JR why wrestling is gone. Mick Foley knows. CM Punk left as a one man walk out. He’s waiting for others to follow. He didn’t leave his fans. He’s waiting for his fans to come with. May sound weird but if you walked out for what you believe in, I would also leave. I am boycotting WWE until WWE gives him the respect he deserves. I know he is a “jerk” to people, but becoming a star doesn’t mean you have to change who you are. The WWE will continue making money. Cool but no longer off the broken backs of people they want to humble…and certainly not me. #jobsquad”
Well, then. Damion, you know I love your emails. Thus, for the first time in ages, I am not even going to reply. I will simply let your message reach my readers and let them react. Have at it folks! What do all of YOU think? Email me or find me on Twitter and tell me all about Damion’s email here.
Gurung: “What is the ring on the Randy Orton’s right hand?”
Wow! A question that has nothing to do with CM Punk. Love it! Nice breath of fresh air. I did a little bit of digging. Apparently, it is his daughter’s hairband. Somebody on Twitter asked a similar question awhile back, and that is what Randy Orton said – his daughter’s hairband. There you go. Straight from the source.
Chad: “I found your article on CM Punk’s departure refreshing. Manly because I’ve felt the same way about him for some time. He comes off like, for lack of a better term, a giant Beotch…often, I must say that the Internet fans have made the WWE just as unwatchable as the WWE has. I was disgusted by the treatment of Cena and Orton, Batista and of course, Rey Mysterio. Do these fans forget, these guys have EARNED their spot! They put their a***s on the line just as much as Punk or Bryan-who I also love. I remember how loved Orton was 2 summers ago, and now it’s like “oh, my girlfriend wants him and he’s a WWE darling…so BOO!”. Keep up the good work brutha!”
Yep. Funny how fans wanted Randy Orton to turn heel for years. Now that he is heel? Nope, still not satisfied. Never ceases to amaze me. I felt bad for Rey Mysterio at the Royal Rumble. Also, despite what anybody says, John Cena and Randy Orton had an entertaining match at the PPV last Sunday night. On to Batista, that is true. Like it or not, Batista has earned that spot. Just like Brock Lesnar has earned the right to call his shots. Just like The Undertaker has earned the right to wrestle once a year. Just like The Rock has earned the right to return when he sees fit. These guys are not newcomers who just show up and get handed main event matches. They paid their dues and are proven money makers for the company.
Someday, it will Rey Mysterio working a few times a year. Someday, John Cena will be a special attraction. Someday, Randy Orton will only wrestle at major events. Someday, yes even Mr. “I hate part-timers only until I become one myself in a few years” CM Punk will be a part-time wrestler eventually. Just how it goes.
Anonymous: “I just wanted to thank you so much for your CM Punk column. I quoted it and shared it in a Facebook post. I am so angry at CM Punk at this very moment, and I wanted to share with you an argument I had with a friend of mine over it. I personally request all persons be kept anonymous.
My opening statement: “I’m sorry but I was behind Punk in 2011 because how they used him was ridiculous but here? Not so much. The guy got to have a very lengthy and prosperous run with the WWE Title, work with guys like The Rock, The Undertaker, and Brock Lesnar, and go from being “barely promoted” as he said in his worked shoot to a consistent fixture on WWE programming. So what, because Punk didn’t get to main event Mania this year he quits? I’m sorry, I loathe Batista right now and do believe that guys like Punk are worthy of the main event but going about it this way is not good business. There is being a revolutionary and there is being a petulant child. In 2011, Punk was the former in my eyes. Now if this is true? He is most certainly the latter.”
My friend’s response: “I just think his frustration stems from the landscape. He wanted to change the company for the better. He wanted guys like, Ziggler, Ryder, Bryan and others to get their notice. Bryan has but the landscape is still the same to him. When punk was champion, he didn’t main event one ppv. I’m old school when thinking title should always be last. He held the title longest in a while and a part timer broke his record. I love Rock and he is money. His feud with cena didn’t need the belt. They are money without. I’m not saying Punk is 100% right if he left due to not being in the main event. But I can see the frustration of working all year to see Batista come back and in 7 days be the main event of mania.”
Second person’s Response: “WWE is a job like anything else. If you feel like you are mistreated or you have reached a dead end, you leave to find something better. WWE is awful so not having a job would be better than putting up with their crap.”
My response to my friend: (Punk actually main evented PPVS Beginning from NOC in September of 2012 to Survivor Series 2012 in November. He also main evented TLC 2011 at the start of his run and Royal Rumble 2013 and Elimination Chamber 2013.) I understand he was frustrated but there is a certain amount of professionalism you exhibit with frustration. You know how you shut down Batista? The same way Bryan is. By outworking, out wrestling, and all around outperforming him as I know Punk to be capable. Also, him leaving after working with the Wyatts, The Shield, and the Authority tells me he might have an ego if he thinks all of that isn’t worth his time. If Punk TRULY feels that way I say good riddance.
My Response to Person #2: I agree. You should leave if you feel mistreated. But given everything that WWE has done with him recently I feel like he should finish his contract out. The only rationalization by Punk I would accept would be issues revolving around his personal health/life. That is exalted above all else.
Person #2’s Rebuttal: I don’t think the WWE did anything for him besides giving him a pay check and allowing him to use Cult of Personality. They had more faith in Ryback, which led them nowhere.
My Rebuttal: ” I don’t think the WWE did anything for him besides giving him a pay check and allowing him to use Cult of Personality.” I completely disagree, Being the longest reigning WWE Champion in the past 25 years, working with guys like The Rock, Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker (AT WRESTLEMANIA), The Shield, The Wyatts, and then the Authority is not just collecting paychecks and using a theme. It is being a part of the growth of a product and its constituents. You wanna talk about collecting a paycheck and using a theme? Take that up with Kofi Kingston, Drew Mcintyre, and others first before Punk. If they had more faith in Ryback, they would’ve taken the title off Punk MUCH SOONER than they did.
The Final Statement from Person #2: I’m sorry but I respectfully disagree. His title reign wasn’t anything special thanks to guys like Cena and Triple H being headlined over him and the WWE blaming him for bad buy rates. He worked his ass off to get to where he was just to be mocked by Ryback would did nothing and reached the same level. His big matches were tarnished by bad booking (Rock, Undertaker) or completely ignored (Lesnar). He has been coasting ever since last year’s Mania, only helping people like The Shield and The Wyatts reach the same glass ceiling that he is currently facing. While he is in a better position than people like Kofi, that is only because of the hard work he has put into it yet he hasn’t received a title shot in almost a year while Kofi gets to beat the current champ on Raw. Now he is looking at the last six months of his contract and the best they can give him is Triple H at Mania? He should of quit last year.
At this point Justin, I was just done. If people can’t see the value of CM Punk furthering the future of the business and getting to work with HHH of all people at Mania? Then there is no getting through to them. CM Punk always calls himself The Best In The World, but the best never acts this way. You’re absolutely 10000000000000000% right that Punk should have talked it out with management and come to a resolution rather than going home IF this is true. Guys like Daniel Bryan and John Cena deserve to be where they are because unlike Punk, their individual egos don’t take precedence over the health and well being of the business. CM Punk, while not a draw like John Cena or perhaps even Bryan at this point, has just turned his back on his legions of fans and more significantly, has taken bread out of his co-workers and friends’ mouths. Every dollar goes a long way in keeping the livelihoods of these performers intact and CM Punk just spit on them. Yet people still wanna crucify the likes of Cena & Hogan. Punk needs to get over himself and if this isn’t a work, I hope he NEVER comes back. We don’t need people like him poisoning the state of our business with even more politicizing and financial bullying. I’ll be too busy reveling in Daniel Bryan being a champion in his hometown while Punk sits on his behind and collects checks. Thank you for being a voice of reason in the midst of all this insanity Justin. In this case, it is you who is a voice among the voiceless such as myself.”
*Okay, I am trying to keep your name and everybody involved anonymous, as requested!*
Honestly, you covered it perfectly. Your argument on Facebook was not even worth having. Do not even bother next time. Those people will defend CM Punk to the bitter end no matter what he did. ‘That man is an indy god who can do no wrong, and WWE are big poppy heads who are evil!’ There, I just saved you the time and effort. Your final paragraph was well written and really hit home. Major props to you sir.
Matthew: “One of the rumors suggest that Punk was mad about Batista coming back and being given a top spot but didn’t Punk know that at the Royal Rumble? If he was really angry for that reason, why wouldn’t he “accidentally” throw out Batista? Why not just go over the ropes instead of hanging on? So he’s professional enough to do the match but not professional enough to give proper notice to the company? Punk collected his pay per view bonus and then went home; he’s a true P.O.S, lost his number 2 face spot the Daniel Bryan and hopefully someone seizes the number 3 spot he had before he comes back. He doesn’t deserve it.
I just wish HHH would open Raw by saying “Punk screwed Punk” and not mentioning him again.”
Hahaha, good stuff. Let me go at it point by point.
1. You are right. CM Punk HAD to know that Batista was getting the main event spot weeks/months ago. Did it finally dawn on him the day after the Rumble? Makes no sense. He clearly knew his feud with Triple H was happening. He knew for awhile the WM main event slot was not his. He had weeks/months to leave. Again, Punk knew the WM main event spot was never his. There has to be more to the story.
2. He acted unprofessional behind the scenes. Screwing with the actual Royal Rumble though and messing with Batista? That would be VERY unprofessional. I would like to think Punk (and everybody else) knows not to do that on live PPV.
3. Another great point. One of the rumors is that performers are nervous about potential PPV bonuses going away. Yet, what does Punk do? He happily works the Rumble, takes his giant bonus check and THEN leaves? Come on. That seems like one last cash grab. People can say all day long that they do not care about the money, but they do. They all do. Punk worked past one last big event and will be paid handsomely for it. He knows that.
4. Fair point about Daniel Bryan. A lot of folks think Stone Cold also realized he was getting passed up on the card in 2002, so he left. Same with CM Punk. I have written for awhile now that Daniel Brayn has leap frogged him on the card. Maybe he could feel the tide turning? Maybe he knew his deal was coming up, and his fans had now flocked towards chanting “Yes!” every night? Fair point, very fair point.
5. Triple H and the entire company simply ignored him on Raw. I think that was done for two reasons. First, they are still trying to work out a deal with Punk to come back. If he was truly gone 100 percent, yeah. I would expect a major smear campaign. However, there is always the chance he returns soon. Thus, you want to keep him strong and not shun him totally. Second reason is the flip side. WWE is just moving on. No need to mention him. Kane has transitioned into feuding with Daniel Bryan, all the while leaving Punk out of the picture. After that, logic says Bryan gets HHH one on one at Wrestlemania XXX. If Punk is back by then, so be it. If not, Bryan just took his spot all in one smooth motion.
What do you folks think? Comment below with your thoughts, opinions, feedback and anything else that was raised.
Email: email@example.com | Twitter: @JustinWatry