by Brian Phelps
Ever since CM Punk dropped his first pipe bomb promo this past summer and became the Voice of the Voiceless, fans have been reaching out for how to describe CM Punk's rise to the top of the pro wrestling industry. However, I think the most common misconception is I often hear the Internet Wrestling Community describing CM Punk as the new Stone Cold. I also hear them refer to CM Punk's "Pipe Bomb" promo as Punk's "Austin 3:16" moment. I hate to burst every one's bubble, but CM Punk isn't the new Steve Austin, nor was his epic promo his "Austin 3:16" moment. I'm going to explain to every one that CM Punk and Stone Cold are apples and oranges.
Why CM Punk's "Pipe Bomb" promo is not his "Austin 3:16" moment - CM Punk's Earth shattering promo that he cut back during the Summer was CM Punk venting his frustrations at the status quo of WWE. He was tired of the main stream superstars that couldn't wrestle half as good as him being called "the best". He was tired of the being the best in the ring, on the mic, and on commentary and still being ignored by the company while John Cena gets all the accolades and hand outs because he has "the look". Punk's promo was about being held back by the administration. No matter how many times he went out and proved he was the best in the business, the corporate machine still labels John Cena the best. The same way that guys like Superfly Snuka and Jake Roberts were far better wrestlers than Hulk Hogan, yet it didn't matter because Hulk Hogan was always labeled as the be all end all of wrestling.
Steve Austin's "Austin 3:16" promo wasn't about being held back. It's implied that Austin simply put down Jake Roberts as being weak because he turned to religion. Austin yelled, "You got your Psalms, you got your John 3:16... well Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!". Austin's promo was essentially him labeling Jake as a bible thumper and telling Jake Roberts that God didn't save him from Austin's wrath. Austin's promo was epic because no one in wrestling had ever been that raw and blunt before (at least not on tv). Wrestler's didn't curse on television back at the time, so it was jaw dropping and very edgy. When you look at it in retrospect, the Stone Cold character actually comes off like he doesn't believe in God, and that all the prayers and scriptures in the world didn't save Jake from Austin beating him. Stone Cold's promo was him mocking Jake "the Snake" Roberts because he turned to the Lord. When you actually examine Austin's promo, it really makes Austin come off as a bad person. (I'm referring to Stone Cold the character, not Steve Austin as a person).
Why CM Punk and Stone Cold are not similar - The only thing that is similar about Punk and Stone Cold is that they're both anti-establishment, but that's where the similarities end. Last time I checked, CM Punk wasn't driving monster trucks, a zamboni, being arrested every week, and just attacking anyone and everyone. CM Punk's character is more intellectual and smarter than Stone Cold's character. Stone Cold was about not being told what to do. CM Punk's character is more about being treated fairly and telling it like it is. If anything, CM Punk's character is actually more akin to characters like Chris Jericho's "Best in the World" gimmick and Punk's walking out with the WWE title is actually more akin to the end of Bret Hart's WWF run in 1997. Back then, Vince couldn't pay Bret what WCW was offering him and since Bret was WWF Champion at the time, Vince was afraid that Bret Hart would try to leave the WWF with the world title and walk onto WCW programming with it. This situation led to the infamous "Montreal Screw job".
On top of everything else, there are NO similarities in how they talk, wrestle, dress, or sound. As I said, CM Punk and Stone Cold are apples and oranges. CM Punk is not this generation's Stone Cold. CM Punk is this generations CM Punk.