This time last year CM Punk's popularity was at an all-time high. He had defeated John Cena at Summerslam to unify the WWE titles, then was powerbombed by the returning Kevin Nash, which followed the loss of his title to Alberto Del Rio.
The WWE, with Punk at the forefront was as interesting as it had been for years.
Then, gradually Punk was pushed to the background with the feuds between Triple H and Nash, and John Cena and The Rock taking center stage in the WWE.
Even though Punk regained the WWE Championship, his edgy attitude began to disappear in favor of a more crowd pleasing "face CM Punk and let’s face it" far less interesting Punk. While his feuds with Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan were entertaining and fun to watch, face Punk is no match for heel Punk.
Punk is at his best when he is using his intelligence and mic skills to verbally ruin his opponent, as he did with Sheamus on the most recent episode of Raw, and sneaky and cunning tactics to one-up his opponents, as he did with the assault on John Cena during the Falls Count Anywhere match.
The ending of Raw with the union of Punk and Paul Heyman has made next week’s episode of Raw the first much-watch episode since the post-Wrestlemania Raw or even since the Raw after Summerslam 2011 when all the talk was about Kevin Nash’s return and attack on Punk.
The attitude displayed by Punk since Raw 1000 and his recent attacks on Jerry Lawler and John Cena, along with him teaming with Heyman, help raise comparisons between Punk and Triple H from 2003-2005. Just like Triple H didn’t take any nonsense from the competition and used to brutalise them when given the chance, Punk beats other wrestlers with either his brain or his diverse arsenal of attacks.
If the WWE plays their cards right and has Punk defend the title longer with the help of Heyman, it would be similar to him defending the title with the help of a legendary partner, as Triple H did with Ric Flair by his side.
The Punk we have seen post-Raw 1000 is a character almost entirely different to the one we have seen since his title victory that it feels like a new title run. Let’s just hope that the WWE keeps this storyline interesting and doesn’t have Punk drop the title to Cena anytime soon.
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