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'The Antagonist Within' - The Curious Case of CM Punk

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Hi all, it’s been a while since I added a blog, mostly because others have been covering topics pretty well already and because I haven’t had much to say lately. Post Mania has for me seen WWE plateau a bit, this time of year always does seem a bit quiet but that may be because of the hyperbole of the first four months of the years viewing.
And then in the past few weeks something really caught my attention, the amazing evolution of CM Punk. And right now I have to applaud the efforts of the WWE on this because they have played it (almost) perfectly. Now the angle Punk is playing is not necessarily a new one but the way WWE are using it and blurring the edges of reality and fantasy is pretty interesting stuff.

The ‘Antagonist Within’ angle has been played out many times, to be fair it pretty much was the entire angle of the Attitude era. We cheered week in week out as Austin basically ran amok, sticking fingers up at the company, stunnering everyone who got in his way and kicking his bosses ass. DX as well were based on the ‘We can do what we like’ persona but always with a bit more humour and misbehaviour than intensity, but again unbelievably popular with the fans. NWO in their original format were probably the ultimate ‘Antagonist Within’ angle giving the air of complete chaos and unpredictability and although storyline the believability that they were spreading through the company like a disease – this formula has been replicated so many times since (Nexus, New Nexus, Corre, Every single faction ever on TNA) but has never had the same impact.

And now we come to the current angle with CM Punk, he’s always been best as an anti-establishment character and this latest development is that much of a character change – he always spoke his mind there and lets not forget that it was Punk who they allowed to metaphorically throw Jeff Hardy under a bus with some very personal promos when it was his time to leave the company. So the company has shown that they have confidence in Punks promo ability and also in his wrestling ability (which is exceptional) so why oh why do they leave it until he’s about to walk out the door to turn him into an out and out superstar??

I do genuinely believe that Punk will leave after MITB, it’s been rumoured for a while now I think I first heard whispers at the beginning of the year. He’s definitely not winning the title that’s for sure – I did think maybe he would win and then the MITB winner would cash in that night, but since SuperCena was given the You’re Fired ultimatum this week, that is definitely not going to happen. If this is genuinely the case what I don’t get is why the WWE single handedly create the hottest free agent in Wrestling. Answers in the comments section please.

People say that he’s a definite shoo in for Impact but I disagree. I feel that would dilute his character. See the problem Impact has is they allow everyone to shoot their mouth off ‘The network can kiss my ass’ ‘F**K you Bischoff’ etc…its basically the whole dam show. The WWE does however maintain a certain sense of integrity, its never said but we know when a wrestler has said or done something wrong and fall from mid card to jobber overnight but everything is structured controlled and . The WWE learnt from the implosion of WCW that displaying your dirty laundry in public does not equal ratings and success. So then to entrust a leaving main eventer with a promo angle slating PG, wishing McMahon dead, bashing the merchandise loving fan base and referencing Lesnar has generated such attention because the first reaction is ‘You can’t say that on WWE!!!’ and that’s the beauty of it. On Impact it would be another character getting edgy, on RAW it’s almost blasphemy.

If CM Punk does leave in a couple of weeks he will not be short of offers, a stint with his old partner Colt Cabana in ROH seems a perfect fit. In fact im already excited about the prospect of them joining being added to the mix in the Tag Team division over there (which for the record is the strongest in the Industry and makes the WWE and Impact look like they have got a clue – but that another blog entirely)
Whatever Punk does I hope that WWE can see that some well placed antagonism and controversy can really generate interest in their programmes and can sit very comfortably within the PG era.
Kinda rambling but think I got the points in there as usual feel free to comment, abuse, etc below all responses welcomed.

Until next time


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  1. CM_SUXX_NOT's Avatar
    Very good blog, nice reading.
    I will mention that Punk never wished McMahon dead, he was just saying that Hunter and Stephanie were taking over once he was dead.
    I think Punk will take time off, his reason for leaving is he's burnt out.
  2. Krakzor's Avatar
    Really good read. Makes clear sense and makes you wonder if CM Punk will officially leave and not just "leave" since if he was going to be gone, then WWE would have no real incentive to push Punk so well. My thoughts are that Punk will leave in order to take time off, but he will still be tied to the company and not join TNA (maybe ROH) so that future WWE promos can still reference Punk

    good point about the difference between TNA structure and WWE structure and how when tna does it, whatever, but when wwe does it, its blasphemy. Sounds like something Paul Heyman would say. Good blog
  3. SmackdownhotelCEO's Avatar
    Solid stuff! I think you hit on some very key points. I agree whole heartily with the controversy creating interest and staying comfy in the PG era. I think people think PG means no fun, no controversy, blah blah blah. But I guess what I took most from your blog is WWE may have figured out how to do all of that without going outside the PG realm. I know it's a big MAYBE but we can hope right? Very enjoyable read.
  4. Domkin's Avatar
    Thanks for the really good comments so far. This is exactly why I choose to blog on here, you get intelligent comments that enhance your own thoughts. Apologies for mis quoting the Punk promo of sorts (I was going from memory)
    Yea I do think we're entering a slightly edgier PG era, UFC has the rated R fighting demograhpic now and it would be foolish for WWE to try and compete, but certainly I think they're learning that you can shock and impress the older fans without having to resort to blading and outrageous stunts that shorten careers.
  5. Krakzor's Avatar
    Hmm so I dont want to get too much off topic, but since we're talking about CM Punk's situation, ill pose this question to you guys since i honestly have no idea. What do you think Vince McMahon actually thinks of CM Punk?

    Despite how real it may seem, and how they're trying to build the storyline how the WWE should be freedom of speech (almost government-like with Vince as president), its still a business. There's a reason for what's happened and those routes are always confirmed by Vince the GPS. What does he think of CM Punk? What does he think of Colt? Enough to make a semi-deal with ROH and the storyline? We know Punk is good friends with Colt, so it could be that Punk recommended Colt for possible involvement in a storyline? If so, then Vince must have some sort of favor for Punk. Its confusing stuff

    ...but i guess that means that WWE is doing a good job with this storyline :P
  6. CHRISFLAME's Avatar
    Heres what will come of all this great work done by CM PUNK and the WWE.....ready for it? ready? NOTHING! Nothing ever comes from anything that looks promising in the WWE. It will soon be forgotten and go right back to the Cena show this time starring Del RIO as the threat. yawn
  7. TheVipersCenation's Avatar
    I myself believe he at least signed a 6 month contract extension to do an ROH invasion angle with Cena getting injured or something.. and taking out and defeating Heel's and Face's alike on the WWE roster.. such as maybe defending his Rebellion/ROH/Punk World Title which wil recieve a punk like facelift, cause lets face it.. the spinner belt got old after Cena won it the 2nd time.
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