To say CM Punk is at a crossroads of sorts in the WWE is dramatic. It is also possibly as true a statement that could ever be said about the former WWE Champion.
After a seven week sabbatical and return to the company at Payback, Punk has become embroiled in a feud with his “best friend” Paul Heyman and his client, Brock Lesnar.
While Lesnar has made one appearance on Raw since Extreme Rules and is hibernating until after the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, the curious case of arguably the greatest heel in the company over the past 20 years has led me to believe the WWE has no definitive answer about what to do with Punk and his character.
There is no reason to believe the company will waste his talents like they have with other superstars (Sheamus, Cody Rhodes, Big Show), but I really cannot see a true feud and place for Punk right now other than establishing a line in the sand with Heyman, Curtis Axel and Lesnar.
That, in my opinion, is disappointing.
The one sure thing, whether he has been the face of this company or the heel of this company, has been that Punk had a definite place. He has been the most creative talent wise, and could deliver at any given time. He still can, but I also feel the WWE is limiting him, in some capacity, of what he does best.
When he is in matches with John Cena, Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho, the genius of Punk shines through. You see the talent, the microphone skills and the respect he has for the craft. This is a business, but it is also a skill, It is one which Punk has mastered from his days on the indie circuit. His in-ring performances with the likes of Bryan and Cena have been poetry in motion.
We aren’t seeing that these days. Monday night’s match with Axel was just atrocious and it appears it could get worse. He may not win the Money in the Bank ladder match. There are no immediate plans written about a title shot and the slow build of the Lesnar situation makes for a very long summer if the feud with Heyman’s lackey does not come off correctly.
Unfortunately, we wrestling fans have the memory of an elephant and we let our feelings be known with low ratings and low PPV buys. It’s our way of getting back at the company for giving us a poor performance.
For now, Punk is stuck in Heyman’s purgatory. While Heyman is a mastermind and the best non-wrestling performer in the company, the storyline is stale and stagnant, not what we are used to seeing Punk involved in.
Maybe this is a way for “The Second City Saint” to get his wrestling legs back. Maybe it is a hangover from the NHL playoffs, which Punk tweeted about many times over while on hiatus (yes, I have been particular about that since he left the company on April 8).
There needs to be a means to an end. SummerSlam is where the WWE wants this colossal match to take place. Waiting for that to happen could be the ungluing of Punk and the WWE universe as it is taking forever to get there.