Friday, February 17, 2012

How the WWE Dropped the Ball With CM Punk

by Brian Phelps

CM Punk set the world on fire this past Summer with what may eventually be remembered as the greatest shoot promo in wrestling history. CM Punk caught fire, and even crossed over into the mainstream. However, since his shoot promo, and his appearance at Comic-Con... CM Punk's momentum has been entirely snuffed out. The WWE allowed him to cool off, and it's a shame because I don't think Vince McMahon realized just how big CM Punk was this past Summer and how big he could continue to be. I'm here to highlight the several mistakes WWE made that has led to CM Punk losing all the momentum he had. They had a once in a lifetime opportunity on their hands and they totally blew it. Here's how.

1) Having CM Punk come back after only a week when he "walked out" of the company with the WWE title. When CM Punk won the WWE Championship at MITB, he made good on his promise that he was going to walk out of the WWE as the champ. This was one of the most unique and original situations the WWE has ever had on their hands. CM Punk had threated to win the title and walk out and go defend the company in New Japan Pro Wrestling or Ring of Honor. Do you have any idea how huge that would have been if they kept CM Punk off of WWE tv for a couple of months, and showed up on ROH with the WWE title and defended it at a ROH event? Or if he would've went to New Japan and defended the title against Yuji Nagata? The WWE could've shown kayfabe news updates on Punk's appearances and threatened kayfabe lawsuits against him, etc. This could've been the biggest storyline in wrestling history. Instead, the WWE had him come back after a week and crowned another WWE Champion. Ok, so they took the safe route... why would you have Alberto Del Rio cash in MITB after Punk unified the titles? Punk was the hottest thing in wrestling, and instead of letting him have his night you have a guy that's not even over yet beat him for the title? It alienated CM Punk's entire "struggle" to get to the top. It was lame and silly. Then, Kevin Nash who costed him the belt at Summerslam never ended up feuding with CM Punk. So, CM Punk never exacts revenge on Nash. Instead, he gets into some seemingly random feud with Triple H. Why does Triple H have to insert himself into everyone else's success and make everything about him.

2) Triple H spinning the CM Punk phenomenon into a storyline about himself. This one made me so frustrated because it went from CM Punk getting back at Kevin Nash for costing him the title to let's have CM Punk insult Triple H's wife (I mean really this isn't 1999) until Triple H gets tired of it and fights Punk. Triple H had to take the CM Punk phenomenon and find a way to make it all about him the same way he's made the Undertaker's streak all about him. This is what really snuffed out CM Punk's avalanche of momentum.

3) CM Punk always playing second fiddle to John Cena. Why does CM Punk always play second fiddle to John Cena? Why is CM Punk the WWE Champion, yet always defends his title during the middle of the show? Why is John Cena and Kane main eventing when CM Punk is the WWE Champion? WWE's biggest issue is that they can't get past John Cena long enough to really build CM Punk up. He's always being seconded to Cena, and until they change that he's always going to be the number two guy despite being the WWE Champion.

4) WWE constantly puts CM Punk in unappealing matches and then blames him when it doesn't draw. WWE needs to stop putting Punk in matches with Del Rio, and six-man tag matches. It's like Punk is the WWE Champion, but he's always wrestling mid-card caliber matches. John Cena is still the one getting all the main event matches with Kane while CM Punk fights Dolph Ziggler.

CM Punk should be the most important star in the company right now, but instead they are still stuck on Cena. Until the WWE realizes that CM Punk is the future of the WWE, and starts to move on past Cena... I fear Punk will constantly be playing second fiddle. Since becoming the WWE Champion, he hasn't really had any "defining" moments. I hope the Punk/Jericho feud changes that.

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