It’s not just a gimmick; CM Punk really is the best wrestler in the world right now.
The WWE champion has been consistently good both in the ring and on the microphone over the past year, and now that John Cena is off TV for a few weeks, it seems like it’s finally CM Punk’s time to be viewed as the face of the company.
This is a huge opportunity for the WWE to make Punk a huge star, and if they made Punk look like the undefeatable legend that he tells the WWE Universe he is, it would both make Punk a star and give Cena the most credible opponent he’s had in a long time when he returns.
With Cena possibly returning as soon as the Hell in a Cell PPV on October 28, Punk may have less time than many fans would like to make his mark, but he has a chance to make the best of a bad situation and roll with the backup plan that the WWE put into place in case Cena is unable to go at Hell in a Cell.
Instead, they’ve had Punk getting into verbal exchanges with WWE Hall of Famers and refusing to engage in a fight with the one-man wrecking crew that is Ryback.
A CM Punk vs. Ryback match is a lose-lose situation for the WWE, due to their reluctance to end Ryback’s undefeated streak, but if the monster were to score a pin fall win over Punk, he would immediately be thrown into a main event scene, something he’s obviously not quite ready for.
Simply put, the WWE should have gone a different route for CM Punk with John Cena on the shelf, and there’s still some time to try and fix the problem.
Here are a few alternative feuds for Punk to engage in while waiting for Cena to return.
Now that Ziggler has returned the favor by walking out on Punk just a few weeks after Punk did the same, it wouldn’t be surprising if these two ended up butting heads in the near future.
Ziggler walking out on his tag team partner could be seen by some as the ultimate form of disrespect, something that Punk could easily pick up when he appears on Raw next week.
It’s tough to pull off a Heel versus Heel feud, but Ziggler seems to be getting more and more cheers from the live crowd. Both men are over enough with the audience to make it work.
This would likely be a short little feud to keep both guys busy over the next few weeks, but the quality of matches would be good, and a fluke victory for Ziggler would do a lot for his credibility as the Money in the Bank briefcase holder.
It looks like Randy Orton is heading into a rivalry with Alberto Del Rio, but he would have been a great addition to the Raw main event scene if he had gone after Punk.
Orton is an established star who gets a ton of love from the WWE Universe, and that’s exactly the type of opponent Punk needs to make him the most hated wrestler in the world.
The WWE doesn’t have a ton of star power at the moment, but Orton and Punk are two of the biggest names on the roster and could have benefitted with a few exchanges on television.
These two have feuded a few times before, but Punk is at the pinnacle of his popularity at the moment. It would be the first time that the WWE crowd would look at him as the favorite in this longstanding rivalry.
Orton hasn’t been on Raw in the last few weeks due to filming obligations for 12 rounds: Reloaded, but if there was a chance to get him on TV with Punk, I think he should have taken it.
When CM Punk walked out of Chicago a few weeks ago and flat out refused to fight the World Heavyweight champion Sheamus, I thought we might eventually get to see these two fight on a bigger stage.
Instead, the WWE has decided to throw them in a meaningless match on the premiere episode of their new Main Event show onIine.
Punk would have been made to look like a strong threat to Cena if he had gone out and targeted the “other” champion to prove his status as best in the world, and any interaction with a natural Heel like Punk would have helped Sheamus gain some of the cheers the WWE desperately wants him to obtain.
This wouldn’t have worked long-term, as the WWE has shown no signs of wanting to unify the belts, but it would have been an entertaining little feud along the lines of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan’s matches when they were both champions.
It was actually a bit surprising to see Big Show return and not go directly after CM Punk.
Show disappeared after losing in a Triple Threat main event to Punk at SummerSlam. When he made his return last week, he went after Sheamus and the world title, effectively ending his attempt to earn the WWE’s biggest prize.
This doesn’t make a lot of sense. Big Show has been billed as an unstoppable monster, yet he just gave up on winning the title after losing a title match?
I’m not buying it.
Big Show isn’t the most popular wrestler amongst online fans, but to the majority of the WWE Universe, he is viewed as a very real threat and would have been a pretty credible opponent for Punk.
This one is a bit out there, but it makes a lot of sense in terms of giving Punk the big victory that he needs to become an icon.
No matter how long it’s been since Foley stepped into the ring, the fans treat the Hardcore Legend with more respect than nearly any other star on the roster.
A win for Punk in a Hell in a Cell match with Foley would be a huge notch for Punk’s belt and would leave fans with a memorable bout on a PPV card that will be in serious trouble without John Cena.
Foley himself said that Punk is one huge moment away from becoming a legend, and The Straight Edge Savior could easily earn that status in a brawl with Foley.
The PG era likely wouldn’t allow for some of the crazy things Foley has done in the past, but if you throw two intelligent ring workers like Punk and Foley in a cell, good things are likely to happen.