CM Punk, the voice of the long-time WWE fan
by, 06-28-2011 at 10:27 AM (3139 Views)
Last night I sat down to watch RAW, and found myself annoyed at the blatant fixing of the RAW Roulette wheel, and the repetitive matches that were put together. I pretty much switched off after the Evan Bourne versus Sin Cara match because I knew it would be good, which it was (the ending was questionable though).
After RAW had sent me to sleep I woke up this morning to check this website for the results and I see that CM Punk has cut a shoot promo. Being a big fan of Punk, I watch. I never expected to be left so stunned and happy at what he said. He took the truth and shoved it down the fans' throats, with the Cena demographic booing and those over the age of 10 cheering in agreement. This was, undeniably, the single best promo WWE has aired in years and the most tuned into a RAW segment since The Rock returned pre-WrestleMania.
Now, why do I label CM Punk the voice of the long-time WWE fan?
[To John Cena] "I like you a hell of a lot more than most people in the back. I hate this idea that you're the best."
A direct statement to Cena, perhaps the only one, was something so many of us older WWE fans probably wouldn't say, but nonetheless so many of us agree that he is a likeable person. Not character (due to his Hogan-esque role in the company and lack of wrestling ability that goes along with it), but as a person it is easy to see that he loves WWE and does his best to promote and support it. He is a nice person.
John Cena being declared as the best might please younger fans in the same way that Hogan's rise brought excitement to the faces of young 1980s WWF fans and the same way that a hell-raising Steve Austin did for me in the 1990s. At some point we all believe that the superstar of the moment is the best, but most of the time it is simply untrue. CM Punk is the personification of being an all-rounder, but until now he has been ignored for the main event despite being the absolute best entertainer, wrestler, and character WWE has to offer right now. He has also always had the ability, so labelling Cena as the best simply offends those who actually have the ability to single-handedly carry the company without a cheesy gimmick. Punk said exactly what most fans think.
"There's one thing that you're better at than I am, and that's kissing Vince McMahon's ass. You're as good at kissing Vince's ass as Hulk Hogan was. I dunno if you're as good as Dwayne though. He's a pretty good ass kisser."
The direct comparison between Hogan and Cena here is what the IWC have been thinking and saying for the past couple of years (at least) now. As far as the ass kissing comments go, I have no grounds for claiming that Cena has done just that, so I choose not to comment on it as it comes off as a rant. The point of this comment from Punk seems to be saying that Cena is a carbon copy of Hulk Hogan in a new outfit. Another thing most of the IWC will agree with.
Punk also does a great job of pulling heat from us older fans by insulting The Rock too. This is why he is the best heel in professional wrestling today. He knows how to push anyone's buttons and does it well.
"I am the best wrestler in the world. I've been the best ever since day one when I walked into this company and I have been vilified and hated since that day because Paul Heyman saw something in me that nobody else wanted to admit. That's right, I'm a Paul Heyman guy. You know who else was a Paul Heyman guy? Brock Lesnar. And he split, just like I'm splitting..."
I'll admit there is a slight ego trip involved with this quote. But it's a part of Punk's character and it helps draw more heat off the youngsters in the crowd. The reference to Heyman really makes this work, and comparisons to Lesnar will make the IWC pop because many of us support Brock and respect his career choices. At the very least we admit that Brock is a major talent. Punk's references to WWE's past as a TV-14 product are thoughts lifted directly from many of our minds and blog entries. It seems as though Punk is truly annoyed at the direction of WWE and it helps us to get behind him. Also, backstage politics and Paul Heyman is an endearing combination.
"I've grabbed so many of Vincent K. McMahon's imaginary brass rings that it's finally dawned on me that they're just that, they're completely imaginary."
Taking pot shots at Vinny Mac is something the IWC seems to run on these days. We dislike the PG product (yet still watch it). We hate that Cena is the top guy and blame Vince for putting him there. This quote begins a tirade against the way that WWE is run. He hates the politics and the favouritism of guys who can't cut the wrestling elements of sports entertainment as well as gifted talents like him and Chris Jericho (as a sidenote, his WWE career is missing a few WWE Championships IMO), a lot like us older fans.
"The fact that Dwayne is in the main event of WrestleMania next year and I'm not makes me sick."
Punk seems genuinely pissed off that instead of taking the product forward, WWE is taking a step backwards by booking a legend in the main event of the company's biggest show. Particularly one who has made very few appearances in the last five years. It's not necessarily a view I share with Punk, but there are certainly some who think Rocky is past his best and shouldn't have come back to begin with. My only quarrel is that he is booked against a guy who specialises in comebacks on the biggest stage, and not someone who he can produce a great match. But overall Punk's shots at The Rock are a great representation of the mixed reviews The Rock got for his return and subsequent feud with Cena.
"[On the topic of leaving as WWE Champion] "...maybe I'll go defend it in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Maybe I'll go back to Ring of Honor."
Just the mention of two of the biggest indie promotions in the world is enough to show that Punk is tired of the idea that gimmicks are what makes a great WWE Champion. The IWC generally respects indie promotions, because they focus primarily on the wrestling aspect of the business. Something that seems to be lost in WWE right now is a great technical match. Benoit gave us them. Angle still provides them in TNA. Jericho, when wrestling, is committed to making his matches entertaining and technically sound. For now, we have Punk. The best technically gifted wrestler on the WWE roster. He came from the indies, and whilst being a shout out to those companies it is also a shot at Vince for letting the wrestling aspect slip away in favour of throwbacks to 1980s gimmicks and sequences of five or so decisive and predictable moves.
"I'd like to think that this company will be better after Vince McMahon's dead, but it's not. It's gonna get taken over by his idiotic daughter and his dufus son-in-law and the rest of his stupid family."
If any of the IWC claims to have not thought about this they're lying. We all know Vince's creativity is running out, if not completely gone. Any company will ultimately fail because of those running it, and after Vince we get Steph. And with Steph we get Triple H, a guy who knows how to play the politics of the wrestling business but I doubt has any idea about running the company. Punk's concern is something shared by the IWC.
I'm sorry this has been a long blog entry. It was never intended to be, but Punk said a lot. To summarise the cyber-scratchings you just read, Punk took six and a half minutes at the end of RAW to do something the IWC and the older fan has been begging for for a long time. Punk told the world what us older fans are worried and frustrated about, and it seems he feels the same.
CM Punk, the voice of the longest-running fans in modern professional wrestling.