Elimination Chamber, WrestleMania 28, Extreme Rules, Over the Limit, No Way Out and Money in the Bank.
Despite holding the WWE title since last November, CM Punk did not headline any of those events. Instead, he took a back seat to an Ambulance match involving John Cena, John Cena vs. The Rock, Cena vs. Brock Lesnar, Cena vs. John Laurinaitis, Cena vs. The Big Show and the WWE Title Money in the Bank ladder match eventually won by, you guessed it, John Cena.
See a pattern forming here? Despite being the champion for going on nine months, he's not counted on to be the company's top draw, something he will likely never take from the aforementioned Cena.
Remember Punk's now infamous "pipe bomb" promo from last June? Remember the things he mentioned? Scripted or not, Punk was clearly frustrated by the fact that the spotlight always seemed to be on someone else. And now, despite the fact that he is one of the company's main champions, not much has changed.
Cena vs. Laurinaitis goes on last when a match between Punk and Daniel Bryan, for the title, is on the card. Even at WrestleMania, Punk's match with Chris Jericho was pushed down the card in favor of Cena's clash with The Rock.
Now, from a business standpoint, it makes sense to put that match on last at WrestleMania. But this is where WWE could make a very smart move by incorporating Punk's perceived anger at the fact that he doesn't get that top spot, which is likely a real life feeling, at least in part.
After Punk attacked The Rock at the end of Raw 1,000, many fans expected to see a heel turn. But the company has yet to make the full-fledged turn, although it is slowly building to that.
Punk is set to defend the title at SummerSlam in a triple-threat match with The Big Show and Cena. If he is to start using his angst at being pushed back in his promos, despite his status as champion, it will only make his heel turn that much better. With Punk's mic skills, it's something he can definitely pull off as well.
It remains to be seen if the match at SummerSlam will actually go on last or if they'll put something like Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar in that slot. But even if it is the main event of the show, it's only because Cena is in the mix.
Punk will be able to take that ball and run with it. He could build tremendous hostility toward upper management and their "face of the company", Cena, from a storyline standpoint, of course.
Name the last WWE champion to go six pay-per-view events and counting without being in the final match of the night. This is something Punk should use to his advantage in order to create an even bigger heel persona, one that a lot of fans who disagree with WWE's booking would side with.
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