The human mind has this tendency to look out for the anomaly. In the mind-numbing repetitive atmosphere which the normal man faces, it thus becomes natural to find out a way out of the ordinary. It could be ordinary, but it seems better that the reprieve be an extraordinary one.
In professional wrestling, CM Punk was somewhat similar.
He was my reprieve from the constant RKOs, superhuman strength and accented pastels which Raw offered me. More often than not, I would watch SmackDown! only because of Punk (and also to see if they had finally decided to give Kane a storyline).
So, I hope the reader would find no fault with me if I said that Punk and his Straight Edge Society have been some of the things the WWE Creative Team has handled with the care and prudence of a group of two-year old kids.
The Straight Edge Society was, I must say, a nice idea for the SmackDown! roster. Each and every wrestler’s credibility depends on the extremity of the reaction which emanates from the WWE universe, and the idea of a drug-free, pure and better group of people got the appropriate responses from the WWE universe. The response was, of course, accentuated by the mic skills which CM Punk had.
And he proved that his idea wasn’t a flash in the pan, by converting the unstable Festus into an able henchman, Luke Gallows.
Then, Punk did something which made the normal populace hate him, and bring in unprecedented levels of emotion. Deriding them, humiliating them and degrading them weren’t enough. Punk had to convert a member from the audience into a Straight Edge disciple, taking a few lucky ones out of the cove of darkness, into a purifying, bewitching, sunlight.
There, he got the company of Serena, and the trilogy was complete. He had a nice, good stable, ably supported by Punk’s great speeches (to which Matt Striker added a nice bit, you have to say). The way in which he riled up the universe and delivered his sermons of purity was inimitable. Combining them with Punk’s unusually good wrestling skill, and you had a winner.
And soon, the fued with Rey Mysterio started.
It was the best of times.
Also added to the clique was a masked man, just the icing on the Straight Edge Society’s cake.
Let me tell you, that Mysterio’s daughter’s birthday party has been one of the many memorable segments I have seen on SD!, and better than quite a few of those.
Wrestlemania came, and Punk lost. Never mind, Shawn Michaels was going; they needed some good news too. Just delaying the inevitable.
Extreme Rules came, and Punk won. The end was nigh and soon.
Then the WWE Creative Team brought out its infamous, inglorious, notorious, “reverse-Midas” touch.
At Over The Limit, Punk lost. Then, he got bald. Thanks to Kane, though to this day one struggles to understand what the hell the Big Red Monster was doing there in the first place.
I was appalled.
It had been a great opportunity. A bit of heartbreak for the kiddies, more heat for Punk, a new Rey Mysterio and a steamrolling Straight Edge Society were in sight.
Only to be discarded, just like the feud (okay, Punk goes bald, but how are his henchmen doing absolutely NOTHING about it, apart from consoling Punk like nursery teachers?!)
I was still hopeful. They wouldn’t be stupid enough not to give this a second wind, right?
After the abysmal Draft (I call it abysmal as I fail to see anything substantial done by Jericho or Morrison on Raw, and Edge wasn’t all that used too), there was a vacuum at the top.
They HAD to do something with the SES, right?
All they got was an unmentionable feud with the Big Show, only to add in another match at a not-so great SummerSlam.
And three members of the SES lost. To a huge oaf. No offense, Show.
It was the worst of times.
Hurrah. That is how you should destroy what could have been the contemporary of the Nexus, a great stable, and apparently a great wrestler’s career.
As the SES heads towards what looks to be an inevitable split, I look back and see some of the things the WWE Team did before:
Abysmal performance at PPVs: I’m not only talking about the tally of wins and losses. I’m also talking about how they treated Punk’s character, and reduced any credibility the SES may have. At Wrestlemania, it seems that Gallows is stupid enough to let himself get hit by Punk, and let Punk lose (check out the ending). At Over The Limit, the entire SES cannot battle Rey Mysterio and Kane, from God knows where. I can’t even remember what the hell they did at Money In The Bank (and even if they were present), and let us not mention the debacle at SummerSlam.
Bad usage: If the SES had to acquire any semblance of reputation, they had to lord over SM! for quite some time. They never did. A continuous infusion of new members (e.g. current low-carders who are doing nothing) would have been great. They never had that. And also, I wonder how in the world one could consider Big Show joking about the SES (during his MITB ladder unveiling) as a way of building credibility.
Lack of Titles: Forget getting titles, no one in the SES was close to getting a title shot! Punk was already a two-time World Champion. The SES could’ve brought him more reigns, and they did the opposite. Come on, fella! SmackDown! has a serious talent crises, and Punk could have covered some slack.
I agree that all of this is passed, and moaning about it won’t make a difference.
But I would like to point out what went wrong. So that it never happens again. Never again should such a great idea be ruined like this. Never again should such a great wrestler's career be rent apart. Never again should any member of such a stable be left in the lurch.
So, let us look back at the SES and see that it's handling was a huge mistake. And let us hope that this never happens again.