Let’s hope CM Punk’s feud with Paul Heyman concludes at Hell in a Cell later this month when Punk takes on his former friend and Ryback in a handicap bout.
Frankly, this program really has run its course.
OK, so CM Punk and Heyman had some exceptional promo exchanges at first. Punk’s brutal match against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam was spectacular, too.
The rivalry was extremely entertaining—for a while, anyway.
But, really, this feud peaked at SummerSlam. And it’s been steadily downhill ever since.
Following his victory at the pay-per-view, Lesnar, who works limited dates as part of his contract, took another sabbatical. He was promptly replaced by in the feud by, eh, Curtis Axel.
As decent a worker he is, the bland Axel is no Lesnar (putting it mildly), and few cared about his interactions with Punk on WWE TV.
Ryback, while more charismatic and better for the storyline, still can’t get fans to care about this rivalry like they used to.
Heyman and Punk seem to be going around in circles, too. They’re both superb talkers, sure, but that doesn’t matter much when they have nothing new to say.
Yes, we know Heyman stuck up for Punk in OVW when no one else in WWE liked him (how could we forget?).
And we know Punk considered the former ECW owner to be like a father to him. We’ve heard it a thousand times.
The feud also seems like a waste when we consider that Punk probably doesn’t have long left as an active wrestler anyway.
Punk has gone all out in the last two years to push himself to the limit and have some of the most brutal, hard-hitting matches WWE’s main event has ever seen. The Lesnar match, in particular, was notable for Punk’s willingness to take some major punishment.
He really is giving it all for the business.
Punk’s mindset is either very admirable or very foolish, depending on how you look at it (personally, I lean toward the latter, especially when you look at the broken-down condition of Mick Foley, another guy who took big, reckless bumps throughout his career).
And Punk’s in-ring style has undoubtedly started taking its physical toll on the star, who looks to be visibly in pain when he walks to the ring these days.
He has been battling various ailments and injuries over 2013, and it’s questionable whether or not he can keep bouncing back—as of the time of writing, reports, including one from PWInsider Elite (via WrestlingInc), are circulating that he may be on the verge of taking time off yet again to deal with his back and knee problems.
With this in mind, shouldn’t WWE writers be using him in important programs while they still have the chance? Why squander him in routine matches with Axel and Ryback?
It would be nice to think that WWE will realize that the Heyman/Punk feud needs to conclude at Hell in a Cell and book a definite ending in the handicap match.
Alas, the creative crew have been churning out such middling results lately, it’s more possible we’ll get a screw-job finish and this rivalry will continue on...forever. (Well, until Christmas, anyway.)