The “Second City Saint.” The “Voice of the Voiceless.” The “New Anti-hero of the WWE.”
Whatever the moniker CM Punk has received—and let’s not forget the “Straight Edge Superstar”—it seems that he has lived up to all of them and then some. While Punk has made changes over the course of the last year, it has become obvious that his impact on the WWE and the wrestling profession is greater than some of us give him credit for. And for those reasons, his reign as the WWE Champion for the past 400-plus days is even that much more impressive, and it simply works.
If you remember just 18 months ago, we were all complaining that the WWE Title was being thrown around like a hot potato. John Cena seemed to be the one who would take the title and run away with it until, let’s say, The Rock decided he wanted a title shot. The WWE has been treading on some very uneven ground throughout the past 24 months and the only thing that we could say made sense was the fact that a man with huge stones called a spade a spade and transformed himself into a true superstar.
See what a little magic and a microphone can do to someone’s career.
Punk has been successful as the WWE Champion for a myriad of reasons—what he is and what he isn’t, who he has faced and who he beat, who he is most like and who he tries to avoid comparisons to.
And his title reigns are not without challenge, huge opponents and controversy, which are much needed to help define him as a champion and cement his place in WWE history. We are so quick to judge him, compare him, and hope he is better than “Wrestler X” and then we chastise him for what he becomes, either face or heel. I thought his face role was a little soft because you could see him wanting to be cheered and celebrated, which was completely out of character for someone who wanted none of that.
Punk is the anti-hero—the guy we love to hate, hate to love and the one we cannot wait to boo whatever he has to say. He is Randy Savage, Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman in that respect.
When you truly think of it, a mad CM Punk (the heel) is much better than the CM Punk face because it is a truer version of the character that started all the “new era” chaos. As I have said all along, an angry Punk or a Punk chasing the WWE Title is a better Punk.
And there looks to be no end to the reign for another three months.
That, in itself, makes his reign that much better.