WWE Raw 1000: CM Punk's Heel Turn and What It Means for WWE's Immediate Future

Erik BeastonFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2012

Photo Source: WWE.com
Photo Source: WWE.com

On Monday's Raw 1000 broadcast, CM Punk shocked the world when he attacked The Rock at the conclusion of Punk's WWE Championship defense against John Cena, effectively turning heel for the first time in just over a year.

The turn has been building, quietly, for just over a month. It has been hinted to, on more than one occasion, that Punk has been overshadowed by any number of events going on around him since becoming WWE champion eight months ago.

Eve Torres pointed it out to the self-proclaimed "Best in the World" prior to a mixed tag team main event on Raw just before Money in the Bank.

Since that time, the epic showdown between John Cena and The Rock, the rise of John Laurinaitis, the return of Brock Lesnar, the AJ-Daniel Bryan saga and the placement of the aforementioned Cena in the main events of pay-per-views has consistently left the company's top champion in the shadows.

No longer willing to sit back and watch as others hog the spotlight, Punk appears poised to make sure fans know he is there, even if those fans will not appreciate how he does it.

A heel turn for CM Punk allows him to be himself more freely. Since becoming a fan favorite, Punk has done an admirable job of filling the No. 2 babyface slot, just behind Cena. But as a villain who is unafraid to speak his mind, who cares not about the fans but himself and achieving what he wants, Punk has the ability to be the company's top heel.

He is the anti-hero, the complete opposite of John Cena's superhero good guy, who looks out for everyone else before he looks out for himself. In recent months, Punk has tried to be that guy, but that's a jacket that does not fit.

Punk is Batman to Cena's Superman. Punk has goals he wants to achieve and he is willing to do what it takes to reach those goals, even if the way he goes about doing so makes fans less than happy with him.

For those fans who watched Raw, brushing CM Punk to the side and anxiously awaiting the appearance of John Cena, be prepared to sit up and take notice of the WWE champion in the coming weeks.

Whether you like it or not, the CM Punk that sat on the Raw stage last June and vented his frustrations with anything and everything around him is back.