May I answer this with a resounding “YES"?
Not to take away from Daniel Bryan, who may be the best wrestler in the business today, but I think CM Punk represents an era that is still trying to find its way.
And because of what Punk has done over the past year and the body of work he is assembling, maybe he is the best champion of his time and the reason why others, although worthy of the WWE title, are not holding gold at this moment.
That was a message to the likes of Daniel Bryan, John Cena and Dolph Ziggler.
Punk and his “badass” mentality, which really isn’t all that bad, speaks to the masses. He is an everyman, for lack of a better term.
He resonates with everyone who has ever had a beef with his boss or did not like the politics of a business or a job (sound like someone else we all know?), and he comes across, whether liked or disliked, as genuine.
There is something to be said for Cena and his “like and dislike” banter with the fans and the WWE Universe, but many find him popular by just hating him. You don’t get that vibe with Punk. You either like him or hate him—there are no two ways about it.
Punk wins fans over because he sells for his opponents, most notably the likes of The Miz, Cena, R-Truth and Bryan. And if the feud between Bryan and Punk is any indication of what is in store for the next few months, then maybe the WWE will finally get out of its doldrums and find the even keel it needs to remain on top of the wrestling world.
Champions like Punk keep you guessing. They are funny, serious and adaptable and can fight through the pains of the moment. I don’t see a lot of wrestlers doing that.
Because the WWE has taken to a “PG” era of business, where it does not want to upset mom and dad and create a more violent or explicit show, Punk’s edge is perfect for this time in television. It is a far contrast from Cena and certainly a totally different perspective from someone like Brock Lesnar.
Maybe the best way to put it would be to say that Punk is the balance that allows the WWE to try to make a Lesnar program work or have Cena test his “dark side” in and out of the ring.
In other words, if you ask whether he is the best champion right now for this era, then the answer is “Hell yes!”