In recent weeks, the feud between CM Punk and Chris Jericho has gotten awfully personal, and it has taken it to a place that isn't comfortable for viewers.
None of that is a good thing for the WWE.
While it's intriguing that the creative team would use Punk's straight-edge lifestyle against him, bringing up his own family's struggles, it just comes off as very raw, very personal and uncalled for. A lot of the champion's storylines have blurred the line between reality and fiction, and it's been done with great success, but this is one time it has fallen flat.
Every time Jericho brings up a member of Punk's family, an awkward hush falls over the crowd, and instead of rallying around the champion, it feels like we're getting an uncomfortable peek into his torturous past. It puts the audience in a place where we feel like we shouldn't be there, and it doesn't add spice to the match.
It had been obvious the two men didn't like each other long before Jericho made it personal, and it would have been fine if this was a match that pitted the old guard against the new guard. Instead, the creative team has taken it over the top to a place it should have never gone in the first place.
Two weeks ago, when Jericho brought up Punk's sister, the segment took a bizarre turn, as the crowd was stunned and Punk broke PG Era rules to drop two massive curse words. As someone who grew up in the Attitude Era, none of this phases me, but nonetheless, it came off as a blurred reality, and a painful one at that.
There is nothing wrong with bringing real life into the wrestling world, as we've seen numerous times it can be done successfully. However, when you cross that line to bring up something painful or uncomfortable, it puts the audience in a very awkward position, one that makes it hard to enjoy what's going on in front of them.
Once these two men step into the ring, all of this will be put back in our faces by the commentary team and it won't do anything but distract us from the world-class wrestling going on in front of us.
When we look back on this feud, we'll omit the fact that the WWE made a serious blunder in bringing up Punk's family history, and that's the way it should be.
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