This week, most of what the Internet has been abuzz about WWE wise has all centered around the ending of Raw that involved CM Punk attacking The Rock and then walking out of the ring. Going through many a message board and comment section, I have concluded that various versions of the same three conversations have been on repeat all week. Conversation One: Is Punk a Heel Now? Or is he a ‘tweener? And what exactly constitutes being a ‘tweener? Conversation 2: “If I ran WWE this is how I would play out this turn from CM Punk…” Followed by various levels of armchair bookings that range from quite exciting to downright ridiculous, with at least one having the obligatory phrase “And this would be the perfect time to turn Cena heel. “ Conversation 3: “Guys, Check it out!” Followed by a link to Punk’s ROH promo involving a story about a snake and an old man. You know the one.
So this week obviously we were going to open with Punk explanation. (And ignoring the whole “We just set our stage on fire” thing, it did.) The first thing that Punk does, upon receiving the mic, is to turn his attention to Lawler, and focus on how bad of a commentator Lawler is. Right then and there, Punk had me sold. Lawler, and to a greater extent the status of WWE commentary right now, is a pet hatred of mine, and for Punk to not only call them out on their flaws, but then to show them up later that night…well I don’t want to sound like a giddy fan, but I was pretty close to that on Monday listening to Punk’s commentary.
But as to answering the question as to why he attacked the Rock, Punk’s explanation was one that really kept him from any risk of heel turn in my mind. Citing complaints about the Rock that Internet fans have long since voiced ever since the rock “came back,” Punk was able to establish himself as a face that had a problem with another face. Beyond that fact, Punk’s big complaint was not that he, CM Punk, was not the man focus of the company, but rather that he, the WWE Champion, was not the main focus, a big difference. By focusing the conversation on the treatment of the company’s champion, Punk is defending something that we all are supposed to care about, and attacking the Rock seems less like a pouting heel move.
So now comes the question that must always be asked: Where do they go from here? We first wonder if they will in fact allow Punk to retain his title until January. And this also opens up the question of is the Rock going to win at the Royal Rumble? If there was ever a time to have Rock as a Champion again it would be during that Road to WrestleMania, for the very simple reason that it’s honestly not all that long. We go from the end of January to the beginning of April, just over two months long, with one of those months being February. That’s about the longest that I ever expect the Rock to sick around at one time, and even then it’s a bit of a stretch. So what you have at this point is three guys angry at each other and all hanging out right by that title scene, CM Punk, John Cena, and The Rock (hopefully the Big Show will have faded far, far away by that point.) Having Punk hold on to the title between now and then will help give the match an important feel, and hopefully offset how unlikely it is that the Rock will be losing that match. Although he has to lose at some point right? It’s not like he can just defend via satellite forever right?
More immediately, my question is, now that we know who Punk’s challengers are for SummerSlam, what with be the final match of the evening, that one or HHH vs. Brock? In a statement that flies in the face of all of my complaints about booking over the past three PPVs, I don’t think that Punk should close out the show. While not using these exact words, Punk’s major complaint this week was that since wining the title, he has been treated as a mid card champion, playing second fiddle to stars who are more popular with the company. He cited the Rock in his promo, but Cena, who has been in the final match of every PPV since February is another perfect example of this. Despite being champion for all of 2012, Punk has yet to close out a PPV. (A few of these, Royal Rumble and WrestleMania, I can accept without complaint, but Johnny Ace in the main event? Over the WWE Championship match? Come On) For SummerSlam to end in the exact same manner, with a favorite of the company in the main event slot, this time with the extra punch of it being HHH, will just at fuel for Punk to promo with the next Monday, and hopefully all the way to January.
Unrelated thought: It has occurred to me that there has not been a draft of any kind this year. So is that just not going to happen anymore? I mean, there’s hardly any point with superstars appearing on both shows on a regular basis now, but I always like the draft episode. It was actually one of the few things about the brand split that I enjoyed. It’s a shame to see it got.