After stealing the show at WrestleMania 29, CM Punk was nowhere to be found on this week’s wild edition of Monday Night Raw.
It looks like Punk’s absence from the show may have confirmed the long-running rumor that he would be getting some much-needed time off after the biggest PPV of the year. PWInsider.com (via WrestlingInc.com) has reported that Punk would not be working live events after Mania, but apparently, his presence on TV may be limited, too.
Of course, Punk has more than earned some time away from the ring. He has been perhaps the WWE’s biggest workhorse over the last two-plus years, and because he’s reportedly banged up again, now is the perfect time to give him a break to let his body heal.
While he will obviously be missed as an in-ring performer because of his tendency to consistently put on fantastic matches, the great thing about Punk is that he doesn’t need to wrestle to be effective.
If the WWE chooses to largely keep Punk off of TV altogether, that’s fine. But if the creative team wants to keep him off of TV, then Punk can thrive in any other sort of non-wrestling role, too.
As arguably the best mic worker in the company, Punk could simply cut promos for the next month or two and still remain over as the WWE’s top heel. In fact, looking back at the build to WrestleMania 29, he really didn’t get physical very often.
Other than his Raw match with Kane and a brief altercation with The Undertaker, Punk largely stayed away from physical contact over the last month-plus, and yet, what happened? He was able to be one of the—if not the—most entertaining aspects of WWE programming on the road to WrestleMania.
That’s what separates Punk from most of the WWE’s other stars.
Whereas the vast majority of the roster wouldn’t be able to have a big TV presence without stepping into the ring, Punk has clearly shown the ability to do just the opposite. He’s thrived whenever he’s done more talking than wrestling, no matter what role he’s slid into.
We, of course, remember when Punk temporarily stepped into a spot on the Raw announce team in late 2010, and when he did, he proved to be remarkably entertaining as a commentator.
During his epic “pipebomb” promo in June 2011, he even said that he was “the best” on commentary, and it’s hard to argue against that.
Quite simply, Punk is a great performer, and it really doesn’t matter what role he’s performing in.
Put him on commentary, he can do it. Have him simply cut promos every week, he can do it. Heck, make him the fill-in GM of Raw, he could probably do it, too.
It’s a true testament to Punk’s nearly unparalleled effectiveness as a heel. Most of the heat that he generates from the crowd has little to do with what he does during his matches—rather, it’s all the despicable things he does before and after them that really gets under the skin of the fans in the crowd.
Only a few stars on the roster are able to do what Punk is able to do, and that’s remain both important and effective even when he can’t step in the ring. That’s why there’s no reason to keep Punk off of TV altogether.
Give him a break from actually wrestling on TV or PPV, and give him a break from even going to live events. He’s earned that right through hard work, sacrifice and abusing his body.
But don’t keep one of the most entertaining men in all of pro wrestling off of TV completely when it’s clear that he can still be entertaining without ever having to wrestle.
Let Punk talk, commentate or just cut promos—because whatever he does, he’s going to be great at it.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!