CM Punk set the wrestling world on fire last July with his promo heard around the world, or pipe bomb as he calls it.
Punk went on the tangent of all tangents, and no one was safe. Not Triple H, not Stephanie nor Vince McMahon was safe from the ire of Punk on that faithful night.
In one night, Punk went from misused talent to a bonafide superstar.
The way it was executed was brilliant as well—cutting off his microphone and suspending him. It was awesome. They made CM Punk a cult hero in a matter of weeks.
They made him out to be a guy that the company could not control and did not want around, but had to keep because the fans loved him so much.
As much as I love CM Punk, he is not that same character.
The CM Punk that cut the promo that night in July did not cater to the crowd as much as he does now. He was not as happy.
What appealed Punk to the fans that night was that he was upset, and he was not going to take it anymore.
He was doing what every fan in the audience wishes they could—that's stand up to people who they feel are holding them back.
Now, Punk still does that, but not to the degree that he did last summer.
Let me clarify by saying that I am still a huge fan of Punk. But I think that his character could be executed better.
A prime example of what I am talking about is Kevin Steen and his current character in Ring of Honor.
Kevin Steen was in a baby-face tag team with El Generico. Steen then turned on Generico and aligned himself with Steve Corino. Steen-Generico embarked on a year long feud that ended in December 2010 with Steen losing to Generico and being banned from ROH.
Steen was not seen in front of a ROH audience for months, as oppose to Punk, who came back to WWE with the title after about two weeks.
Steen would eventually make sporadic appearances at ROH pay-per-views, but in a way that made people think that he was not an employee of the company. They didn't even show footage of him trying to get into the building after he was turned away.
When Steen somehow got in the ring, he did not cater to the crowd. He destroyed everything in his path. He was an angry, mean and downright surly guy who went after everyone, including those in charge.
Everytime he made an appearance at an event, the crowd went crazy. Part of the reason was that people didn't get to see Steen much, but when they did, they knew that something crazy and unpredictable was going to happen.
Eventually, Steen forces his way back into the company, after a year away from it. I understand WWE doesn't have time to embellish stories in that way, but it just makes it that much better.
Steen's character is one of a heel who the company does not want around at all.
He has made no friends and he is there to simply cause havoc. And the fans at the shows can't get enough of him.
Not to say that people don't love Punk because they do. It's just that more people would love him if he was doing what Steen is doing in ROH.
When Punk gets in the ring, I don't have that feeling of unpredictability like I did last summer. And again, I am still a huge CM Punk fan. I still love what he does, but I wish that it was done better.
When Steen gets in the ring, all hell breaks loose almost every time.
Simply put, Punk needs to get that edge back again. Punk needs to go out there and do something that heels usually do, but get cheered for it.
Some may say that giving John Laurinaites the GTS a few weeks back was something of that nature, but it happened too soon in my opinion.
Maybe beating up a guy like Triple H would help, but wait, they've already tried that and Triple H won.
Regardless, Punk is one of the few in WWE that do not have their promos scripted, but he still has abided by some rules so it's not his fault.
Punk is in fact one of the best in the world, and maybe his current feud with Chris Jericho will cement that. Time will tell.
The feud has loads of potential and will have me in front of television every Monday night.
I will say this one more time though, I am a CM Punk mark just like everyone else.
But when I see Steen and what he is doing in ROH, it makes me think that he is what Punk could be.
Not to say that Punk is bad at what he does, he's great. But he could be even better.