The WWE has made sure CM Punk's heel turn would be effective. Punk still receives pop from the diehards that appreciate his talents in the ring and on the mic, but the fans whose heart strings are pulled by the storylines have to hate him.
Despite the unfortunate and sad real-life events on Monday Night Raw, Punk's work mistreatments of Jerry Lawler were brilliantly despicable. Disrespecting Bret Hart in his hometown of Montreal was yet another step in that direction.
Punk's character has gone completely old-school heel, and I love it.
He's headed toward a mixture of Randy Savage (heel version) and Ric Flair. Obviously, he has some work to do in the ring and on the mic to reach that level, but the seeds have been planted.
Aligning himself with Paul Heyman somewhat blurs the lines a bit, as Heyman is a bit of an anti-hero himself. However, the constant attacks on the defenseless is a good way to put Punk over as a heel.
Having him walk out on matches and suddenly turn coward will definitely draw the ire of the fans that really just want to see the in-ring action.
During Stone Cold Steve Austin's career, WWE creative attempted to turn him heel a few times, but it never seemed to completely stick with the fans. There was always a huge Austin contingent in every arena.
Punk certainly hasn't lost all his supporters, but he is certainly hearing his share of boos. He is a major star, so the process will take some time.
That can be the other side of allowing a rebellious character to become so popular. I think the WWE has learned from those previous mistakes, and the Punk heel turn is being executed far better.
I'm waiting to see just what Punk pulls at Night of Champions to put the stamp on his heel turn.
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