'The Antagonist Within' - The Curious Case of CM Punk
by, 07-08-2011 at 05:21 AM (6992 Views)
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