CM Punk has unceremoniously managed to stay in the news despite taking time off from the strenuous hustle and bustle of the WWE. He has been, albeit rather unwillingly by his manager Paul Heyman, booked to compete against his former nemesis Chris Jericho (the one who was dancing with stars while Punk was swimming with sharks) at this Sunday's pay-per-view Payback at his hometown, Chicago.
If WWE Creative were to sadistically swerve all the Jerichoholics by not making Punk appear, or even worse making Curtis Axel appear in place of him, then it would pierce a wound that would ooze with bad blood on the passionately opinionated Chicago crowd, and this would consequently affect the matches to follow and maybe even the success of the PPV.
This would naturally dish out an inordinate amount of heat on Punk, but this isn't the heat he would want and frankly he has proven himself capable of generating heat through his heinous actions alone.
CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho is on the official card for the PPV, and has had weeks of advertisement and even a contract signing so the crowd has all rights to raze down the ring for not getting something they paid for. Considering the person they paid to watch is also their hometown hero who is a respected wrestler and entertainer legitimately adds to their ire.
What WWE needs to consider is that this anger would result in a lot of negative reaction for any match (or matches) that follows. The main event for the PPV is Ryback vs. John Cena, two superhuman superstars who are bound to be vehemently booed by the riled up Chicago crowd. Such a reaction for the main event on your PPV could be detrimental, and wouldn't aid the grand scheme of things. In Triple H's mind, that would be bad for business.
They could always place this match before one involving crowd favorites so the action in the ring could wash their emotions away. Daniel Bryan, The Shield and Dolph Ziggler are iconic individuals that come to mind - ones with substantial star power to make passionate wrestling fans blow the roof off an arena.
The best solution, however, would be to make CM Punk actually show up. He doesn't necessarily have to compete in the match—he could be anywhere for the crowd to take something memorable back with them. He could be involved in the WWE Championship match in some way, maybe even be the ambulance driver. A feud with either John Cena or Ryback, however, is a bit too early to dive back into for the Voice of the Voiceless.
Before The Rock snatched away Punk's title, his last two feuds were with the entities involved in the current WWE Championship match. Ryback's a heel now with his own set of Rules, so unless Punk changes sides his only option is John Cena - and in my honest and extremely humble opinion, it's not time for it yet.
CM Punk has been booked strong for almost two years now. He has enjoyed a 434-day title reign, one which involved triumphing over fantastic wrestlers. His losses to The Rock were controversial at best, especially the one at Elimination Chamber.
He lost cleanly to the Undertaker, but not without creating the match of the night with the Phenom and cementing his place in people's minds as a man who deserves to be respected. He won a lot more than he lost with that match, and in Triple H's mind that's good for business.
Now WWE has to maintain his momentum yet somehow keep the fans happy after advertising his return at Chicago. Knowing the WWE Creative's antics, I'm not keeping much hope, but it seems to me that WWE knows what it's doing with this feud.
Thanks for the read all.
Shalaj Lawania is known for his disappearing acts, because being there all the time is too mainstream. Do show him love, he needs it. For more love, you can follow him on Twitter if you have a good annoying tweets threshold. For the rest, use Wikipedia.