I was watching an old episode of Law & Order: SVU recently, and a biblical quote struck me: "A tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny." Now, I've seen this episode a few times before, but what struck me is that while I was watching it I was commenting on an article asking weather or not CM Punk is a heel at this point (my opinion is that he is).
Then it dawned on me that this is the game WWE is playing with Punk. Punk is becoming a tyrant. Say what you will about him deserving respect, but I don't think you can justify beating up an old man who's practically unconscious—after you've already choked him out in a match and won. Then again, I'm not CM Punk.
CM Punk, the tyrannical WWE Champion with a pretext for his tyranny: respect. Even the people who continually claim that he's a tweener or he's "punk" seem to believe the rhetoric that it all comes back to respect, when I believe that stopped being the case when Cena left Punk speechless in the middle of the ring a couple of weeks back.
I often see the statement thrown that Punk is a face...until he attacks the WWE Universe. By that logic people, Dolph Ziggler is also a face, which simply isn't the case. Despite what we may think, the WWE does still work under kayfabe. It's an institution that declares there needs be good guys and bad guys, and 99 percent of the time it's cut and dry—it's that simple (though occasionally you get a guy like Austin, Kane, or Orton playing the tweener role).
Anyway, I should probably get to the main point of this article, which is my honest thoughts on where Punk's alignment is. Personally, I see Punk is a heel because within the kayfabe that is WWE, his actions are dastardly and uncalled for.
Now, yes I understand that a lot of people in the IWC are tired of Lawler being a mark for the good guys (geez is it hard to be a good guy these days, or what?). Still, the casual fan (you know, the target of the WWE product) doesn't see it this way. They mainly see things as black and white, save for a few spots on the map. Lawler is a good guy (and a senior citizen), and he's being assaulted by a much younger, and somewhat whiny champion who demands people call him the best in the world.
I will say this though, Punk does have something of a point. However, that point works against him as well. The Champion should close the show and be in the spotlight. I can get behind that thought. However, if that be the case then wouldn't the World Heavyweight Champion close the show, instead of the guy who's merely champion of the WWE?
By Punks' logic, Sheamus should be the Alpha-Omega of WWE programming, with Punk still playing second fiddle. Just as the I.C. Title overlaps the U.S. Championship, the world overlaps WWE. However, I'd be more than hard-pressed for Punk to admit that his own logic is flawed as far as assisting him goes because he's "The Tyrant."
Punk does have a point, in that the championship should close the show, but if anyone is showing a lack of respect, it's actually him—if not to a Hall of Famer like Jerry, or a record-holding WWE Superstar like Cena, than to the World Heavyweight Champion.