A Modest Response: Supporting Punk

Sometimes I wonder about the IWC. On Monday, CM Punk, in what is nearly universally being hailed as an amazing moment, won the WWE Title from Edge by cashing in his Money in the Bank. This was followed immediately by the IWC having what can best be termed a collective orgasm, as the next days columns all focused on how great this moment was. This was immediately followed by a cynical reactionary wave of columns citing that the face Punk should never have won in the manner he did, that this will be bad for his career, and that he’s merely a transitional champion anyway. What. The. F*ck.

If CM Punk’s winning the title was a great moment, why should that it has the potential to end badly sully that the initial moment was great? Do you refuse to enjoy your first kiss because it probably won’t work out with the girl? Does your wedding lose meaning because the union might end in divorce? Of course not. The moment stands as a special, great one worthy of being happy about. What follows is an optimistic counter to those complaints with the moment and its potential follow ups.

1. Punk is a face and shouldn’t have defeated Edge in such a cowardly manner.

Those who saw and cared about Punk’s win are WWE fans or, at least those who follow enough to tune in when they hear a major change occurs. Those fans would know Edge managed to use cheap tactics with Money in the Bank to win the title twice and that Edge interfered and cost Punk his ECW title. That Edge was defeated in this manner by Punk isn’t cheap, but rather his rightful retribution. Punk has never done anything like this before and his one time doing it made complete storyline sense.

2. This will be bad for his career, just like the Unified Title was bad for Chris Jericho’s career.

The Unified title wasn’t bad for Jericho’s career, his handling heading into Wrestlemania was. Without Triple H on Raw, it is premature to suggest this will be how events will unfold with Punk. Might they? Sure, but it’s still worth noting that Jericho is still constantly in the periphery of the top of the card and his return created a noticeable ratings spike. This is what’s supposed to be so terrible for Punk? That’s a career nearly everyone in the business would kill for: constant top level programs, time to wrestle and develop a personality, and plenty of mainstream publicity. So what he might not be the top guy. I can live with that.

3. As a face, he has no one to work with, JBL and Jericho (Cade too maybe) being the only top heels.

Punk could work with JBL and Jericho easily for months if there was a need, with the Jericho feud being particularly notable as something many would love to see. Furthermore, it seems at least likely that Batista will turn heel and Randy Orton will return soon. WWE hasn’t had a true, in ring underdog top face since Shawn Michaels was in his prime and Punk would be an excellent return to that in ring style, having plenty of top dogs to steal victories from. Add in to that the potential for a Punk heel turn or a feud with a face like Cena or, better, Shawn Michaels, and you have many real possibilities for feuds with Punk as the top guy.

4. Punk is being used as an ancillary to a JBL-Cena feud because there’s nothing else to do with him.

Do we actually know that this will last for more than a month? Perhaps Cena and JBL will last only a month. Perhaps Punk will immediately battle Batista, a viable main eventer with no current feud. Perhaps Jericho and Shawn will blow off their feud soon, leaving one to work with Punk. Perhaps, even as an ancillary, Punk will win the JBL and Cena feud. That this role will prove poor for Punk is just cynicism.

5. The only reason the WWE is pushing Punk is because he’s clean of drugs; he’s really just transitional until WWE proves their point.

Maybe, but did anyone stop to consider that this is one facet we can easily change? The ratings for the Punk title defense were through the roof for recent Raw ratings. If that continues, do you really believe WWE will move the title away from Punk long term? If he delivers ratings, then he’s delivering the WWE advertising dollars. Want to affect that moreso? Check out Nielson Media Research and request to provide viewing data. Is that too much work? Then buy a few Punk shirts or Punk toys. Make Punk signs to take to Raw. And, of course, if Punk headlines a PPV, then buy it! WWE understands the bottom dollar, that this is all about how much money a headliner makes for WWE. The more support, particularly financial that you throw behind Punk as champion, the more readily WWE will accept him as a permanent fixture atop their cards.

Don’t just assume the worst because WWE has made mistakes in the past. Don’t chastise fans for enjoying a great moment in wrestling. Instead, join in the celebration and help in ensuring that CM Punk remains at the top of the wrestling world. Worst case, your fears are confirmed. Better to have enjoyed the run while you can than to have been miserable all along for the right to say “I told you so.”

Tags: , , ,

Join our newsletter

never miss the latest news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary for Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games!