CM Punk’s much needed and inevitable heel turn could not have been done better.
Of all of the possible ways for Punk to return to the dark side, incorporating the Rock was a smart decision from WWE Creative.
For well over a decade, CM Punk has dedicated his life to becoming “the best in the world.” From the independent circuit, to ROH and to TNA, Punk did the rounds as he established a name for himself.
In 2005 he made it into the WWE, but as Edge once said, it’s getting to the top of the WWE that’s the real challenge.
Punk rose through the ranks from Ohio Valley Wrestling, to ECW, to SmackDown and eventually to prominence on RAW. All the while the Rock was off in Hollywood becoming “the most electrifying man in all of entertainment.”
After two Money in the Bank victories and successful cash-ins, Punk still couldn’t quite reach the top of the WWE. Even now as the WWE Champion he is neither the “main event” nor “the man."
John Cena is “the man," or if he decides to show up, the Rock holds that title.
At RAW 1000 Punk attacked the man who stole the main event of WrestleMania away from his grasp. The same man whole stole his main event spot at Survivor series last year.
For the past seven years of Punk working his hardest in the WWE, the Rock has been completely disinterested in the industry. Now the Rock announces that he has been given a WWE Championship opportunity without any effort.
CM Punk is not going to let even the Great One come in and take the title from him on a whim. It’s an insult to everything Punk has worked for.
That is why Punk turned on the Rock.
Punk’s heel persona needs to build upon this, and WWE Creative needs to play to this very notion. Forget the straight-edge-preacher heel character of the past, Punk’s new heel persona is as simple as being pissed off.
Pissed off that after all of his work for the company, he still isn’t treated like the Rock. After a whole year of pandering to the WWE Universe, he still isn’t treated like Cena.
Last year Punk demanded perks and entitlements in his contract that made him somewhat of the company’s face, just like Cena. Punk wanted his face on everything from posters to cups and, to an extent, he has gotten that.
But he still isn’t “the man.”
Punk has managed to make his way to the ring for a year now with Living Colour singing “I exploit you, still you love me” as the fans cheer with adoration.
Now is the time for a disgruntled Punk to reveal that even using the WWE Universe hasn’t made him WWE’s top star, but it has taken him far closer to his goal.
All of Punk’s frustration came out on the Rock at RAW 1000. As tried and tested as Punk’s simple heel-turn was, it was effective because of its significance. Because of the significance the Rock holds.
Now we just have to wait to see how Punk addresses his actions on RAW 1001, and whether WWE Creative continues to build this angle correctly—all in the name of the eventual match against the Rock.