WWE: Why CM Punk Doesn't Care What You Think About Him

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2012

photo by wwe.com
photo by wwe.com

CM Punk is kind of a jerk.  

He is. Come on, like you don’t already know. At this point, is there anyone among us who is not aware of it? While some fans are losing sleep over this little fact nugget, the truth is they shouldn’t. Why?

Because Punk knows he’s a jerk. And, he doesn’t care. So, why do we?

For me, the answer is simple. We want our WWE Superstars to be very accessible, to be as human as possible. When they’re in front of the camera, we expect larger than life, we expect to be thoroughly entertained by everything they say and do. It’s their job, and it’s our job to buy into it.

But when they’re off camera, sitting behind an autograph table, or making a personal appearance somewhere, we want them to be friendly and easygoing. We want them to be like us, just normal guys who are there to shoot the bull and be very gracious as we hit them with questions and compliments. We want them to be smiling, energetic and somewhat humble.

Yeah, that’s not really CM Punk.

The truth is, while we would like all of the WWE Superstars to be that human, that real, Punk is more genuine than we would perhaps like. He is the real deal in many ways because he is so matter-of-fact in his attitude and personality. Oftentimes, he’s not really all that chummy with fans because it’s just not his style.  

He’s not an everyday regular Joe who loves everyone around him and has a very high tolerance level for the moments when he’s accosted by fans in an airport while he’s minding his own business.

He’s not a Boy Scout who is just itching to do a good deed. John Cena already has that role, as he is more accessible and more patient in many ways than not only Punk, but many of his contemporaries.

Punk is just Punk. Simple as that. He’s not phony in any way and he’s nothing if not brutally honest. If he tells you he doesn’t have time to talk, then he’s being straight. If he tells you that he doesn’t feel like answering any questions, that he just wants to be left alone, then just take his word for it and move on.

And if he politely asks you not to push him while he’s standing in the crowd or he’ll slug you, then you thank him for his time and keep your hands to yourself.

OK, that last bit was a joke. Pretty sure Punk didn’t ask not to be shoved.

The fact is, there’s nothing funny about a trained professional wrestler losing his cool and physically attacking a fan in the audience. I make no excuses for that and neither should anyone else.  

But while Punk’s brutal honesty and genuine nature appeal to many fans, could it be that he has perhaps been given a little too much leeway in his behavior? If he had maybe been kept in check in terms of how he deals with the WWE faithful, would that incident have happened in the first place?   

Or is the truth that Punk is so real, so rebellious, that he simply will never be able to “fall in” when it comes to how WWE Superstars should act with the company’s paying customers?

The flip side of this of course is that a good number of us are loud, obnoxious and flat-out rude. Some fans don’t care if a guy is walking through the airport, on the way to his car, or is trying to enjoy some downtime in a public place.  

Much like CM Punk and others have discovered, the only thing that matters to this segment of WWE fans is getting that autograph, that photo, getting what they can get out of the Superstar who is just trying to get from point A to point B. For them, showing common courtesy and mutual respect is not on the agenda. And, that complicates the issue even more.

But, again, Punk is Punk. He is who he is, and despite what work WWE may or may not do with him after this incident, there is a very real possibility that he will not change whatsoever. After all, he did not attain the spot he has now by “playing ball” with the company or becoming a yes man to Vince McMahon.  

CM Punk became the voice of the voiceless, he became the WWE Champion for nearly a full year now, by just being himself. He was convinced he could do it and he’s done it. And, he deserves all the credit. If you don’t believe me, just ask him.

Here’s the part that we as a collective have perhaps not yet considered, the part that could solve a lot of these Punk issues for us. Punk is a jerk, it’s true. But, he’s happy. And, he loves the fact that it just bothers us so much.

I believe that he is the kind of guy who just loves to push buttons. He loves to have fun with us. He loves to stoke the fire as often as possible and if that means upsetting fans who he considers ignorant or immature?

Tons of fun.

Punk is all about getting a rise out of people. The same is especially true now, since he is being presented as WWE’s top heel. Everything he says and does is now being geared toward making you hate him like you never have before, and he loves every minute of the reactions he gets.  

The joke’s on us.

Let’s face it. Punk is not exactly a people person when it comes to fans. He may not be a supremely arrogant villain when out in his everyday life, but he certainly is not John Cena either. But the truth is while many fans can’t stand Punk for this very reason, there is also no denying that Punk reached the heights that he has without compromising who he is, or how he does business. What you see is what you get, and it always has been.

So while some hate him and others love him, the fact is that CM Punk could care less either way. He’s doing what he loves at a very high level and he is allowed to be who he is while he’s doing it. Why would he change a thing?

CM Punk is a jerk and he’s totally cool with it.  

And for some fans, that makes it even worse.