Let's be honest: CM Punk vs. John Cena is a worn-out and tired feud by this point.
Fans have already seen the two wrestlers face off against each other in too many matches and promos to count.
Their rivalry dominated much of 2011 (during the infamous “Summer of Punk”) and has been all over Raw for the past couple of months, too. Not even WWE Champion CM Punk's recent heel turn has managed to imbue the program with any freshness or originality, and the two are heading into Night of Champions for a rematch with a decidedly strong “seen-it-all-before” factor.
However, the addition of veteran wrestler and Raw announcer Jerry Lawler has given this stale program some much-needed intrigue.
Per the storyline, Lawler became embroiled in the angle two weeks ago when he declined to call the recently turned CM Punk “the best in the world” in an interview segment. An embittered Punk retaliated by laying out the announcer with a brutal kick to the head.
The following week, a shaken but determined Lawler then demanded a match with the WWE champion to avenge his honor. Not only was Lawler given his shot, but fan voting rendered it a steel cage fight.
Despite his advancing years, Lawler put up a good fight, with him and Punk putting on a brutal (well, by PG standards) cage match. Sadly, the crowd in attendance didn't appear to appreciate it too much, having likely been worn out by a long show and HHH's emotional retirement speech earlier in the evening, but it was a tremendous effort by both men nonetheless.
The bout ended with Punk beating Lawler then continuing to assault the aging star long after the match was over. Heroic babyface John Cena stormed to the ring and demanded the cage be lowered so he could stop the onslaught (why he couldn't just climb the cage is beyond me).
Thus, the show ended with Cena standing over his fallen friend and staring in horror over at Punk.
This was a good segment in that it established Punk as an indisputable heel to fans. Ever since he attacked The Rock at Raw's 1,000th episode, the WWE champion has been more of a tweener than a flat-out bad guy, but his attacks on a beloved announcer like Jerry Lawler changed all that.
It also set up a potential angle in which Lawler gets involved in the match at Night of Champions and helps Cena regain the title. Indeed, it makes perfect sense: Not only would Jerry get his revenge, but it would help set up a rematch between Cena and Punk, with Punk claiming he was screwed out of the title.
It may also help the fans in Boston get behind Cena a bit more.
Despite WWE's best efforts at making CM Punk a dastardly heel, fans are still struggling to get behind Cena. However, having the support of a fan favourite like Lawler may helped change that.
Of course, it is possible Lawler's involvement in the feud served no purpose other than to get the heat on Punk and will not get followed up on. After all, WWE needs to be putting over their wrestlers, not the broadcasters. Also, Punk getting outsmarted and embarrassed by the announcer probably wouldn't get his new heel turn off the best start, would it?
Could Jerry Lawler interfere at Night of Champion? It’s very possible. But don’t be too surprise if WWE chooses not to do this, deciding instead to focus on Cena and CM Punk.
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