In-Depth Look: The State of CM Punk
by, 09-22-2012 at 10:25 AM (4153 Views)
It's time we took a look at the current state of CM Punk.
It doesn't seem too long ago that Punk blew the roof off of the wrestling world and became "white hot" overnight with his shoot promos from the top of the ramp on RAW. To any wrestling fan who knows, it was almost shocking to see Punk name-drop the likes of Colt Cabana, Brock Lesnar, and Paul Heyman, none of whom were at the time employed by the WWE. And considering what transpired for two of those three names, it turned out to be a wrestling version of prophetic.
However, that was a long time ago. Things have changed. The "voice of the voiceless" became more and more tame over time, which isn't necessarily entirely bad. Punk used his excellence and comfort on the microphone to become an edgy face for quite an extended period.. until now.
Yes, now. The "Respect" era of CM Punk's career, and while I've never heard the man sing, I'm guessing he's not in the league of Ms. Aretha Franklin.
Let me just say that I feel CM Punk's crusade for "respect" in the WWE had severely cheapened his character. It's admirable that he has been booked as a "tweener", a character who speaks out with and against the fans, depending on the issue (and something the WWE needs a whole lot more of). No doubt the best tweener I followed had to be the ECW Taz from 1997-1999, but that's a whole different blog in itself.
CM Punk's drive for respect has made him seem obsessive, which is a weakness for a main event character. It basically sets up the fact that he's going to lose. It reveals the hand, and takes away what we as wrestling fans all want to see: two powerful characters facing off. No doubt the biggest use of this blunder was during the Invasion angle when a WCW main eventer Diamond Dallas Page came into the WWE only to be completely obsessed with the Undertaker's wife. Throughout that entire angle, never once did I ever think DDP ever had a snowball's chance of winning, which made me more uninterested in the match than the newest celebrity survivor television series.
I hate to say it, but through this respect craze, CM Punk has become stale. He has become Alberto Del Rio, who couldn't go 20 seconds on the microphone without informing us that it is "his destiny" to become WWE Champion. Through it all, it has even caused him to get "Punked" on the microphone. I watched John Cena come down on an episode of RAW right before Night of Champions and run down Punk with strong points that made sense. In my mind, I thought "Cena is really bringing it and testing CM Punk, this should bring out Punk's best promo work yet", and I awaited a great response. Instead, Punk didn't even answer. He let Cena walk up the ramp, and then turned to bullying a 62 year old announcer, Jerry Lawler. I was shocked. While certain parts of the show are 100% scripted, I truly think Punk had the green light to respond to Cena if he wanted, but he just didn't know what to say.
So, weeks ago I had come to this conclusion. CM Punk is getting stale, and is undoubtedly being given a character trait that will eventually cause him to lose the WWE championship. I was certain his last weeks as champion would be equally as stale and un-electrifying. While the WWE often misses opportunities, they undoubtedly saw some of the same things that I did, and acted on it.
In comes Paul Heyman. After all, CM Punk IS a "Paul Heyman guy".
Heyman, the "voice of the voice of the voiceless", has brought a whole new "outsider" influence to CM Punk's character. Heyman's connection with Brock Lesnar can't be ignored, and I certainly hope for a Lesnar/Punk alliance in the future, perhaps against a Rock/Cena superteam, or something to that effect.
I will say that the few weeks that Heyman has been back, the "respect" issues has still been in the forefront. However, the Heyman factor spices it up enough to make it interesting. As for Punk, he's far removed from sitting criss-cross applesauce on the top of the RAW entrance ramp, but he's on a comeback from an obsessive gimmick of one repetitive word. Let's hope it fades a bit in the background, for Punk's sake.