If you’re a wrestling fan, CM Punk mocking Jerry Lawler should not offend you, but you should be offended for a different reason.
Last Monday’s Raw featured a controversial angle involving CM Punk, Paul Heyman and Jerry Lawler.
Lawler returned to the broadcast booth after suffering a heart attack six days before the WWE’s Night of Champions pay-per-view. He was carted off during the match between Team Hell No and the Prime Time Players. Lawler, who returned after missing nearly two months, received a thunderous standing ovation and hugs from his old friend Jim Ross and current broadcast partner Michael Cole.
Then, CM Punk and Paul Heyman arrived.
Punk went on to make fun of the heart attack, even with Heyman feigning one right in front of Lawler.
Fans booed in response to their actions. Both men succeeded in their cheap heat, and Mick Foley appeared showing that he was obviously offended at their actions.
Punk didn’t stop there. He posted various tweets after the performance continuing to poke fun at Lawler.
The angle got a lot of press. In fact, many fans and former wrestlers were divided on the angle itself. Twitter exploded with comments that stated their feelings on the angle.
Should you be offended by these actions? Absolutely. That’s what Punk and Heyman wanted you to feel: hatred for them. It worked.
All four men approved the angle, according to FW4Online.com (via Wrestlinginc.com).
Lawler is no stranger to controversy. Just last year Cole used Lawler’s dead mother to hype their much-maligned match at WrestleMania 27. Not only that, but this is also the same man who used to irk fans as a heel to perfection, never shying away from confrontation but steering towards it. Nothing is out of bounds with Lawler.
Controversy also fits Heyman and Punk like a glove. Heyman used many controversial angles during his time in ECW. One angle featuring Tommy Dreamer, Beulah McGillicutty and Kimona got ECW kicked off their syndication deal (via The Rise and Fall of ECW DVD). Why would he go soft now?
Likewise, Punk thrives off controversy. Punk was a man who challenged fans in the stands during house shows. He nearly caused a riot in Sacramento during his Straight-Edge Society gimmick. In his documentary, he admitted he sought to become a false prophet and provoked fans to chase him out of town.
These three men are no strangers to conflict and controversy, and let’s not forget Vince McMahon himself. You should be offended at these angles—but not at the performers.
They came in understanding the situation and approved it. Do you really think Lawler would go with it if he didn’t have a problem with it?
You shouldn’t be offended by the WWE taking this route. They love controversy and had Punk and Heyman, who are fearless in the face of controversy, thrive off it and make uncomfortable situations their own.