by Craig Higham - March 07, 2014
I have held back on having my opinion on the CM Punk saga, as I was waiting to see just how it is going to play out, especially with the rumours he was possibly going to come back on RAW in his home town of Chicago. Now with that not happening, and even though rumours still persist of possible involvement with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestlemania, I thought I would give my views on the CM Punk situation. I am writing his based on my readings on the internet that he has left the WWE due to frustrations with management and his role going ahead, and his role going into Wrestlemania.
If he has left due to frustrations with the WWE management and directions, then I know exactly how he feels and he has done the right thing. This is not to say that the WWE is in the wrong, this is just a very common situation (as I went through the same thing with a workplace I was at for 14 years) where after a long time at one place, you and the company have different goals and focuses which leads to disagreements and frustrations. IF this is the case for CM Punk and the WWE, then the correct decision has been made. Staying in a workplace you are unhappy with is not good for your mental health, while having an unhappy employee in your staff is not good for company morale. So while fans of CM Punk might not like the decision, the decision is “best for business” for the WWE and best for CM Punk’s future and health. He actually said that his performances were not up to his usually standards, and he was going through the motions, which is a sign of not being happy in your workplace.
Looking at the issues that (allegedly) CM Punk has been upset about and CM Punk fans are claiming and blaming the WWE for we can understand why he would decide his time with the company is done or he needs this sabbatical:
- Part time wrestlers – Over the past years we have seen The Rock, Chris Jericho, Brock Lesnar, Triple H and now Batista come in during Wrestlemania season and take up a spot that leaves the likes of Damien Sandow, Dolph Ziggler, and 3MB off the Wrestlemania card, even though they have been performing and sacrificing themselves for the WWE all year! What makes it worse is these part time wrestlers have taken main event spots at Wrestlemania, which in essence has held back the likes of CM Punk, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio and Christian from really showing the world what they can do.
- John Cena main eventing over him while champion – This is where I also feel that the WWE let down CM Punk, as the WWE champion, his matches should have been ending the night, not matches like Cena vs. John Laurinaitis. While he held the title for 437 days, he always felt like he was just looking after the title until the WWE felt John Cena was ready to have it again.
- Not fighting for the either major titles – Since losing his rematch to The Rock at last year’s Elimination Chamber (2013) CM Punk has been booked out of the major title pictures, with battles against The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman (which included trying to lift the profiles of Curtis Axel and Ryback). While this was all happening Alberto Del Rio, John Cena, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler and The Big Show all had WWE titles runs and or battles. To have you 2nd top star not battling for the major WWE prize for over a year does show that he is not a major part of your plans going forward.
- Not in the championship match at Wrestlemania – Having not battled for either major WWE title for over a year, this should dictate that you have been a team player, and that your reward as one of the main draws for the WWE would/should be a main event match at Wrestlemania. To then be told that your match would be 3rd of 4th ranked match of the night would/should put you over the edge and decide enough is enough!
Just like with most things, there are 2 sides to every story and for every CM Punk fan criticising the WWE there are other wrestling fans are criticising CM Punk for taking his bat and ball and going home. The reasons these people are upset at CM Punk:
- Having to face Triple H at Wrestlemania; Facing Triple H, at Wrestlemania has seemed worthy enough for the likes of Brock Lesnar, Sheamus, Randy Orton and The Undertaker 3 times! Looking back over Triple H’s last 5 Wrestlemania matches, and he has generally delivered in each match and the match itself is usually classed as one of the main events of the night. While not in the same league as facing The Undertaker, facing ‘the boss’ at the main event of the year shows how much ‘the boss’ respects the superstar
- Not Headlining Wrestlemaia – Over the past 2 years CM Punk has battles The Undertaker, which many like myself is now a more important match then the WWE Championship, and in 2012 he battles Chris Jericho for the WWE Title. While on both Wrestlemanias John Cena vs. The Rock was the end of the night match, CM Punk’s matches were usually close to the matches of the night, and held their own against all other matches on the night. To get upset that this year you are not in the top match or two, after holding that position for the past two years, is hypocritical of CM Punk as one of his complaints is giving others ago. Randy Orton has been patient over the past couple of years, and no matter what people’s opinion of him is, it is his turn this year.
- Doing your job - Last year a returning (part-timer) Chris Jericho faced Fandango at Wrestlemania. Would Chris have preferred The Undertaker, or a main event match??? Yes he would have, but he has said in many interviews he did the job asked of him and gave it his all. John Cena (at this stage) is will be battling Bray Wyatt, a match not even classed a main event, yet he is (as much as we hate it) the face of the WWE. Up to CM Punk’s sabbatical, Daniel Bryan was pencilled in to wrestle Sheamus. A match we have seen before, and again nowhere near main event Wrestlemania. Sometimes fans (and Wrestlers) forget they are a part of a business, and sometimes they are asked to do things they feel are below them, or do not agree with management. You can either suck it up or do it, or in CM Punk’s (allegedly) quit.
Whatever decision CM Punk makes about his future, we as his fans, and fans of wrestling should remember his matches, promos, and awesome moments he gave us. He will be missed, but as we have seen many times over the past 30 years, losing a major star, while is not ideal for a company, allows new stars to be made, just ask Bret Hart if he was upset about Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage leaving the WWE. We have already seen Daniel Bryan replace CM Punk as Triple H opponent, and Christian who now all of a sudden has a feud with Sheamus which should lead to a Wrestlemania match. Both these superstars are not crying over CM Punk leaving.
If he has decided to leave wrestling then I wish CM Punk all the best in whatever future pathway he choses, he returns to the WWE then I look forward to witnessing his promos and matches. But for now I am looking forward to Wrestlemania and having my focus on the men and women who are on RAW and SMACKDOWN every week entertaining me whether they are battling Randy Orton or 3MB!
WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?
Hooroo and see you next week.
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