Missed Opportunity: CM Punk and WWE Revolution
by, 08-01-2011 at 07:23 AM (5668 Views)
As far as I'm concerned WWE have already botched this CM Punk angle. For me it's done and the only thing we can expect now is for everything to return to the same predictable WWE routine.
Bringing Punk back so soon totally undermined his classic shoot-style promo, his title win and his character because:
A) he did not leave with the title like he said he would
B) He doesn't hate WWE as much as his promo suggests
C) The whole "I'm a rebel and I'm gonna do what I want" attitude fell apart as soon as he came out wearing his WWE shop t-shirt. Not to mention he's back under WWE's contract and following their rules.
The reason Punk's promo worked so well is because people bought into it and thought it was real. Now, if Punk tries to "shoot" again the fans will know it's a work and that we can't believe anything he says.
Not only did WWE go back on Punk leaving with the title, they went back on firing John Cena. It's the old "boy who cries wolf" scenario where stipulations don't mean anything any more.
There's no way to come back from that.
What's more, having 2 titles just seems silly. Maybe if he'd been away more than 1 week and Cena had notched up some title defences, the 2nd title might actually mean something, but it's pointless.
And now we're back to Punk vs Cena again and again. Same old predictable WWE programming.
What I would've done....
Following the shoot interview I would not have brought Mr McMahon out in character for the contract signing. That was too comical to be taken seriously and looked like a total work.
In fact, I would've tried to cover up the promo like it never happened (which would be WWE policy if it was a real shoot) and spread a rumour to wrestling sites that Punk had been fined for it. This would get the fans really stirred up as they did when Daniel Bryan was fired.
I'd give Punk the title match as planned, but all announcers and ringside staff are told that Cena will be going over. Only the ref knows the true plan.
About 15 minutes into the match Punk would hit Cena with a stiff kick and appear to knock him out cold. This would come without any build up and look like Punk had gone off script and into business for himself.
While Cena is unconscious, Punk covers him. The referee hesitates, looks round for guidance, but makes a very reluctant 3 count. He then stands up and looks around confused.
Punk grabs the title and runs into the crowd holding the title.
Medics rush to the ring to attend to Cena. Security run to ringside and WWE staff look visibly confused. There is no annoucement for the winner and commentators aren't clued in so they don't know how to react.
The show ends abruptly.
On Raw the following night Vince gives an out of character speech stating that CM Punk is no longer associated with the WWE and is not recognised as the champion. The following weeks WWE continue as though Punk never existed and have Cena as their champion.
Everyone will be thinking that Punk took the liberty of going rogue, knocking out Cena and stealing the WWE title. The controversy of this would be the talk of the net and the media. It would be bigger than the Montreal Screwjob.
Meanwhile, Punk builds publicity for the angle by conducting interviews with mainstream news papers, magazines and appearing on chat shows. He would talk about how WWE screws many of their workers and how he decided to turn the tables. He would shoot on Vince and WWE the same way Bret did.
Punk appears on the indy circuit with the WWE title. He claims he's the real champion and how Cena is just the corporate face etc etc.
So, although WWE is continuing as normal. Punk is garnering mainstream publicity for this angle and fans are hooked.
Wrestling news sites start picking up rumours about how WWE are trying to file a lawsuit regarding a breach of contract and assault charges against Cena.
Eventually the fictional lawsuit results in Punk being given an ultimatum of being made bankrupt or signing a contract with WWE and defending the title. He begrudgingly rejoins WWE.
However, he continues his loose cannon role, continues to speak out and continues to be the rebellious character we've grown to love.
Cena, in the meantime, starts playing into the role of corporate champion. He claims he will do what is necessary for the good of the company and becomes the antithesis of what CM Punk stands for.
In the 25 years I have been a wrestling fan there is one key to success I have noticed. Fans respond well to chaos, unpredictability and rebellion. They love the idea of wrestlers straying from the script, fighting the higher power and doing what they would love to do. It's the same formula that made Stone Cold, NWO, DX and ECW so successful.
We saw hints of chaos and rebellion when NXT rookies tore up the ring and fans went crazy for it. If WWE knew how to follow through on these angles and break away from their sterile, predictable and forumlaic routine, and take some risks they have the potential to start an exciting new era.