With wrestling at its annual peak as WrestleMania season is in full gear, the WWE is basically playing with house money in terms of any added publicity they get. Recent social media trends suggest that the mercurial promotion is getting really hot, really quick en route to what is being billed as the biggest WrestleMania of all-time.
With The Rock, arguably the biggest wrestling star of all-time on the strength of yet another box-office juggernaut in Journey 2, set to face the WWE's current poster boy John Cena—and Shaquille O'Neal stashed forcibly underneath the ring until the time is right—things could not be clicking any better for the WWE.
That is until WWE Champion CM Punk clicked "Tweet" on a 140(ish) character message aimed at embattled R&B star Chris Brown, thus giving the abundantly insatiable media its four-course meal for the week.
Fresh off of a rather controversial Grammy win for the popular singer—who was infamously charged with felony assault and making criminal threats against former superstar girlfriend Rihanna—CM Punk threw on his white hat and fired off this somewhat harmless (in the context of a pro wrestler making a threat) tweet:
“I would like @chrisbrown fight somebody that can defend themselves. Me curb stomping that turd would be a #wrestlemania moment.”
If CM Punk truly was looking for a Twitter feud, he provoked the right guy. Brown is a Twitter beef veteran. In fact, he has started so many feuds on the popular micro-blogging site, his Twitter handle should change from @ChrisBrown to @Thef--kareyoulookingat? Accordingly, Brown responded:
"@CMpunk needs more followers. He's such a leader! Not to mention the roids hes on has made it utterly impossible for him pleasure a women."
What ensued has been a back-and-forth exchange better than the any of CM Punk's WWE feuds following his summer classic with John Cena from last year.
Brown vs. Punk is currently one of the hottest topics in all of social and mainstream media, and now TMZ, who has become better at garnering attention from feuds of this nature than the WWE, has ran with it.
The TV-PG WWE has chosen to take more of a brisk jog with their own coverage of a rather touchy situation of man-on-woman violence and the wrestlers who speak out against it.
Now, one cannot so much as Google "Chris Brown" without a story about some wrestler named CM Punk hitting their news feed. This could mean WrestleMania buyrates will see a noticeable spike in the preteen, female demographic who won't get their desired punishment from Brown yet may do so vicariously through make-believe punishment in the ring.
While TMZ has dominated every relevant development of the still-hot Brown vs. Punk saga, the WWE has realized more residual benefits of the "any press is good press" theorem. The inevitable press for Brown, Punk and WWE is sure to drum up similarly inevitable speculation that this is all just some publicity stunt.
I can assure you, it is not.
The WWE has taken drastic measures to become a more family-friendly product in recent years. Of all the celebrities to manufacture a beef with in the heart of WrestleMania season, a freshly convicted felon guilty of assaulting a female would be the last person that the WWE would think of assuming the year isn't 1998.
And while the WWE has done their part in contributing to the current media blitz on the Brown vs. Punk feud, they would be fools not to at least address the situation in an era where mainstream press is equivalent to the WWE's Golden Easter Egg.
With CM Punk continuing to bad-mouth Chris Brown through audio, video, and social media, and Brown upping the ante by encouraging the his teen gluttons for punishment to get #Notnopunks to trend with corresponding t-shirts to follow, this feud doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
For the WWE, it couldn't have come at a better time.