Of the many moments that CM Punk has provided over the last 12 months, the one that will ultimately define this title reign occurred at the end of Raw 1,000 in July.
CM Punk was defending the WWE championship against John Cena, who cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase for a title shot on the biggest Raw of the year.
After 20 minutes of back-and-forth action, WWE did what WWE does to get out of these main events when it doesn't want to put someone over: Have someone interfere. Big Show came charging to the ring, attacking Cena and just letting Punk lie in the corner.
Punk walked out of the ring before The Rock came out to help Cena. After everything was okay, Punk came back into the ring and delivered the GTS to Rock, who earlier in the show informed everyone that he would be receiving a title shot at the Royal Rumble in January.
There are two ways to look at this heel turn. On the one hand, it was a great singular moment for WWE. It gave the company something to build towards in January, and so far WWE hasn't changed plans because Punk is still champion and Rock is still returning in a couple months.
I likened this heel turn to something that you would see in a procedural drama, where the action had to take a certain turn in order to get people talking. In that singular moment, it was as good as it could be.
However, taken in the context of serialized storytelling, which is what WWE should be doing but doesn't because shows are written and booked on a week-to-week basis depending on what Vince McMahon wants this week, it did not have the impact it should have.
There were no hints that Punk was turning heel before this show. Just earlier in the night he was cutting a babyface promo on Daniel Bryan after Bryan got left at the altar by A.J.
For a story to have the full impact, you have to lay the breadcrumbs for the people to see. WWE decided on a whim to put Rock in a title match at the Rumble and Punk would make a great opponent.
Therefore, WWE needed to turn Punk heel and give him time as a dastardly villain before the Rumble. It was a great singular moment for Punk and WWE, but one that could have been executed better with the proper storytelling.
Since we are talking about just individual moments, it is hard to find a better one from Punk over the last 12 months than what he did at the end of Raw 1,000.
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