As soon as CM Punk's music hit during Jerry "The King" Lawler's return speech a couple of weeks ago on Raw, a collective groan rang out through the WWE Universe.
While Punk berated Lawler and mocked him for his health scare, many fans squirmed in their seats, wondering which creative mind backstage could devise such a storyline.
According to a report from Wrestling Inc, this question can now be answered, and surprisingly, Vince McMahon wasn't the source.
WWE creative head Michael Hayes came up with the idea for exploiting Jerry Lawler's heart attack on RAW a couple of weeks ago. Hayes felt that the angle would get Punk super heat, and it'd carry over with non-Lawler affiliated story lines.
According to a source, Paul Heyman lobbied to have the angle changed to a slightly more tasteful version that would be more true to the Punk character. However, Hayes was said to be unrelenting in pushing his idea.
McMahon would have undoubtedly given the OK for the angle, but to learn that Hayes was the source is no real shock.
The former wrestler has long been a prominent member of the backstage creative team, known publicly as the head of road agents and producers.
Like his boss, he has long been thought of as a confrontational character, unafraid of courting controversy.
One example of this was when he was suspended by the company for using racist language toward Mark Henry during a public gathering (via prowrestling.net).
Despite being unsuccessful in his attempts, to learn that Paul Heyman was lobbying for a more restrained treatment of the angle is also somewhat revealing of his backstage standing in the company.
But what's done is done, and I'm sure down the line, Hayes will have little regret when he reflects on the angle.
What was your reaction to the angle? Should we be surprised that Michael Hayes was behind it?
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