WWE Raw's 1,000th Episode: CM Punk's True Opportunity

Pedro SuarezCorrespondent IIIJuly 19, 2012

Photo: WWE.com
Photo: WWE.com

Legendary superstars in WWE history have moments of glory that symbolize the legacies of their careers.

Rock versus Hogan. Bret Hart versus Shawn Michaels. Stone Cold versus Vince McMahon.

And then there are unique opportunities that will catapult a superstar to new heights.

When it comes to CM Punk, everyone talks about Punk versus Cena.

And although CM Punk came out on top at last year's Money in the Bank, let's not forget how he came out on top.

Cena's character has insisted on remaining the good guy. As such, when Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis walked down the ramp during the match, Cena stepped outside the ring momentarily to defend Punk's right to challenge for the WWE Championship.

As a result, CM Punk was able to catch an unsuspecting Cena with the GTS finishing maneuver.

It was WWE's way of allowing Punk to win without putting him completely over John Cena. And since that time, we've never seen a truly clean win between Punk and Cena.

Is it time?

When we look back at CM Punk's title reign, he's had a great set of feuds and matches.

But for all of Punk's hard work, he hasn't been able to escape John Cena's shadow. Cena has remained the top face of the company—almost completely dominating the main event scene.

On this past Monday's RAW, I was excited to see that Punk was going to main event. But alas, the reason became apparent when it involved Cena.

Cena came out to challenge Punk under honorable circumstances. He would wait a week until Punk recuperated from the beat down incurred by Big Show.

And then Cena nailed Show with the suitcase, again defending Punk.

By defending Punk at last year's Money in the Bank and again on this past Monday's RAW, Cena is influencing our perception of Punk's character as weak—that CM Punk cannot stand on his own.

But next Monday night, CM Punk has a unique opportunity.

It will be RAW's 1000th episode, which has generated a significant amount of promotion and attention. All eyes will be on CM Punk versus John Cena.

In fact, Punk has a better opportunity of gaining recognition for his victory next Monday than he did at Money in the Bank, because Money in the Bank is a pay-per-view.

Monday Night RAW has the potential to be seen by loyal fans, casual fans, channel flippers, non-fans and basically almost anyone with cable television.

And it will be, without a shadow of a doubt, Punk's biggest chance to prove to the world that his victory over Cena was not a fluke. It will be Punk's chance to tell the world that he is here to stay as champion.

It will be his chance to make a statement to the world that he has been champion because he earned it, not because John Cena allowed him to hold it.


And while most people are expecting John Cena to win, I honestly cannot see how the WWE can truly gain from such an outcome in the long-term.

While CM Punk is known by many, when you consider his recognition outside of the WWE Universe, he has not generated the worldly appeal that superstars like The Rock, Stone Cold, Hulk Hogan, John Cena and others have attained.

This is CM Punk's chance to do so.

John Cena has nothing to really gain from a win on the 1,000th episode of RAW.

For CM Punk, it's everything.