Around this time last year, CM Punk was seated atop the entrance way cutting a meticulously-worded, faux-shoot promo as he prepared to leave the WWE leading up to a memorable Money in the Bank pay-per-view. CM Punk would go on to capture the WWE championship from John Cena at Money in the Bank in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois.
One year and some change removed from the moment where CM Punk's career may have peaked, CM Punk and John Cena once again find themselves at odds.
Instead of tensions leading to a showdown in CM Punk's hometown of Chicago, however, WWE Night of Champions will emanate from Boston, Massachusetts—home of John Cena.
But if Massachusetts is the home state of John Cena, somebody certainly forgot to tell them as this old-school, rabid East Coast contingent has proven to be as hostile toward Cena as any self-respecting jaded wrestling crowd.
In any event, this past week on RAW Cena continued his All-American heroics as the WWE started the build up period toward a familiar one-on-one rivalry that still has significant mileage, all things considered.
This time around, CM Punk is on pace to being an even more potent heel than he was last year before he was cheered too much to keep up the charade.
The WWE beat stubborn onlookers over the head with Punk's currently ineffective heel gimmick as RAW ended with CM Punk kicking beloved announcer Jerry "The King" Lawler in the head.
Where's Jim Ross when you need him?
Punk's roundhouse kick to the temple of pro wrestling royalty gave him the most heel momentum he has had since his Straight Edge Society run in 2010, but the big moment didn't come before John Cena castrated the WWE Champion on the mic.
When dialed in, John Cena cuts as good a promo as anyone in wrestling, and free of his usual silly-joky shtick, Cena laid into Punk as he threw around accolades that dwarfed the otherwise impressive feats CM Punk has achieved as WWE Champion.
Cena even hit close to home when he very poignantly mentioned that CM Punk's near year-long WWE title run has been a forgettable reign defined by one moment in Chicago.
It was a scathing monologue fine-tuned to antagonize, and CM Punk only accelerated his unlikeable factor when he refused to respond. Instead he refocused his animosity toward the aforementioned Jerry Lawler.
Punk's second heel turn in a month was far more effective than the first and may have set the stage for lighting to strike twice come Night of Champions.
The subplot concerning CM Punk's absence from the main event will be remedied on September 16th when—barring unforeseen circumstances—CM Punk takes on John Cena to close the show at WWE Night of Champions.
If the next chapter in Punk-Cena lives up to its potential, we'll finally have something else to talk about during CM Punk's run as champion.