Straight Edge is an interested word, for it can lead down 2 totally different paths. First we have the passive followers. The men and women who believe in, and adhere to the straight edge idea, but do not condemn those who don't follow this idea. Then, there are the militant practitioners. These are men and women who will cause some sort of damage and/or harm to those who do not adhere to the Straight Edge lifestyle.
From this basic definition, we can definitely see which on CM Punk and his disciples are. However, that is all they were. They were a force consisted of a man preaching and 3 followers. Nothing more, which was a problem for the group. What they needed was an actual presence. Instead they had a feud with Mysterio and then then the Big Show, and now the group has fallen apart. This prompts me to ask the question, how could this have been done better?
We will start with the concept of the Straight Edge society. This is a sect of a large movement that has gained steam since the 1970s. Throughout the world the Straight Edge ideal has spread rapidly. In my college (a party school) the straight edge group has over 200 people. This popularity is so cult-like, that it makes you wonder, why should Punk just be a preacher for a small group of 3 people? Why not turn it into a large cult, with its polarizing figure being Punk. However, Punk the preacher, should be reminiscent of an insane cult leader known as Charles Manson. A man who met people who were down on their luck and brought them to a higher sense of being, and in the act become part of a family, and not just a group. this family would be consisted, not only of wrestlers, but fans too.
Occasionally Punk may read fan mail, or he could even interact with people planted in the audience, but not 1 or 2 people, but whole groups of fans taking up a noticeable section of the crowd, and the group would grow larger and larger as he preaches more and more. There should be noticeable reaction from the group too. Unlike currently, the believers could actually physically react to the "word of Punk" as if the Holy Spirit were flowing into their bodies. Similar to the practitioners at a Southern Baptist church.
And now we talk about the members of the society. I would like to make a reference to one stable who was lead by a charismatic leader. This leader was a hardcore icon, holding the hardcore championship more times than any other man in history. This leader was Raven, and his faction, was Raven's Nest. This was a group filled with misfits. It was composed of people who were hard on their luck and needed to be saved. People whose physical or mental attributes would cause them to stick out such as Kidman (who was in story line a druggie), Lodi (who had a psychological need for acceptance) and Reese (who thought his height ostracized him from society).
Currently, we have 2 members of the Society, and we know their reasons. Luke Gallows took drugs which kept him in a mindless state (as Festus) while Joseph Mercury had a painkiller addiction. However, from there we have nothing. In order to make a stable with a cult-like presence, more people are needed.
We will start with the female of the group, since the resident female unfortunately is gone. In this, a woman with a combination of beauty and power is needed. Someone with a silent attitude, who can definitely go in the ring. A woman whose body is all-natural, with an all-natural beauty to her. This powerful woman is the "Firebird" Beth Phoenix.
Beth is the complete package. Power, technical ability, beauty, in-ring presence. She has all of the above. So what can Punk do with her? He can make her an example of what can happen if a female leads a life without the negative influences that the Society is against. She can be a role model for females. After all, she did wrestle against men on multiple occasions (amateur and professional). She is living proof that the WWE can have a strong, sexy woman who is a good role model for young women. Plus combining that with her muscular physique, and her lack of steroid usage to gain her build, I think we could have Punk's female disciple.
Now we have the male followers. This will consist of men and women whom the WWE have forgotten in a sense Which is why we start with the most underused, and a heavily underrated talent in the WWE known as Tyler Reks. Here we have a young man with a great physique, good strength, very good agility (especially considering he is 6 foot 3 and weighs about 250 pounds), and he can wrestle good matches (watch him in FCW). Reks is criminally underused and his gimmick is probably the reason why. He has a terrible gimmick (being a surfer). He just never caught on because of a dead-end gimmick, and this is how he can do it.
He is becoming desperate to be known. In the locker room, people do not know who he is since he never appears on television. He tries to cut promos only to me ridiculed by other wrestlers (such as MVP and such) with jokes questioning his credibility and who the hell he is. Eventually, there is one man who listens to him. A voice of reason who sees what Reks can be. This man is none other than CM Punk, and from there Punk gains his new disciple. Reks shaves his locks, to be bald. he gets rid of his surfer shorts, to don a more traditional attire, and with the Society he gains the upper hand on those who ridiculed him in the past, starting with MVP.
The next male member would be the sleeper surprise. This would be the surprise pick, that no one would see coming. It would be a second (or third) generation superstar. Now why would this be so important? Imagine the instant credibility a group gains when it has a pure-bred son of wrestling in it. It would spread shockwaves of sorts throughout the WWE if the Society could gain someone with a tremendous amount of influence. Also, it could definitely lead to feuds, and a rightly deserved face turn. Which fortunate son am I referring too (that was a hint). Brett DiBiase.
You have a rising star in FCW, with a constantly growing repertoire of moves, developing faster than wildefires in California. Brett could be the forgotten brother. The son that didn't get his share of the family fortune, and so he had to cut down on his lifestyle. However, he found difficulty in it. He becomes stressed, and angry, developing hostility towards everyone, especially his brother. He soon finds a family to take care of him. One that shows him that the cravings of the "man made toxins" can be forgotten no matter who you are, or how much you had before the change. This could even lead to Ted's face turn, in order to save his brother from the iron grips of the Society, and who knows. The DiBiase's could in fact be a dangerous force in professional wrestling as a result.
Male member number three would be the show man of sorts. This young man has learned how to work in teams, and learned the idea of power by numbers. He is the high flyer of Nexus, Justin Gabriel. Now there will be a big question for why he should be in here. After all, he should be a face in the future, right? I disagree. I was never a big fan of Gabriel as a face. He felt lifeless, and has limited charisma. If he turns face, he will need charisma to go over. He will need to develop his microphone skills in order to not make a fool of himself. However, by staying heel, he can stand back and let someone do the talking for him. Especially if he is in a stable.
With that being said Gabriel and the Society just completely click in my head for some reason. As a stable the Society needs the man that will put the final cherry on the sundae. They need someone to point the exclamation point. A 450 splash can definitely do just that.
As for how Gabriel joins the Society, it would have to involve the end of the Nexus. With the Nexus broken, the former members have lost all credibility and power. Only Barrett and Sheffield are operating normals. The rest of the group has been reduced to midcarding and jobbing, with the smallest one Justin Gabriel, being the main jobber. After another loss, he is confronted by another wrestler who grew from a dying career, Tyler Reks, a friend from FCW. Reks talks to Gabriel about how the Society can help change Gabriel's losses. Reks uses his own personal story about losing and alcoholism to convince Gabriel that the idea of a Straight Edge lifestyle is admirable and powerful.
The next member would be the powerhouse of the group. He stands at 6 foot 5, weighs 286 pounds and is Irish. His name, is Ryan O'Reilly. I chose O'Reilly for a big reason. His power. This man is an intimidating beat. He is powerful, and deceptively quick. He is focused and intense in the ring. His presence can scare even the strongest of people.
O'Reily would be an audience plant to start. A man from an Irish background, who neeeded an escape from alcoholism. However, he couldn't do it alone. He tried for much of his life to quit, but he just did not have the willpower, until he hears the words of CM Punk which sitrs him up like never before. For weeks he send Punk mail about how much Punk's words and ideas have changed him, and eventually he decides to take the Straight Edge oath in front of a live audience, shaving his head, and changing his name to O'Reilly.
Last but not least, is the protege. A young man that Punk has seen grown from the Chicago scene in the Age of the Fall. I am referring to the recent addition, Tyler black. I can already picture it. We have Punk attacking Daniel Bryan, for not joining the Society when Punk proposed it. The brawl gets into the crowd and Punk and Bryan start fighting through the seats. Then Kaval comes out to help a friend, only to be introduced to a super kick a Straight Edge Disciple named Tyler Black. After taking Kaval out completely he works with Punk to soften up Bryan with a few tag team maneuvers indicating a tag team with these 2 wrestlers.
Tyler Black is definitely an obvious pick, and I understand why people may be wary of having crazy fans, however I picture the fans of the Straight Edge Society to be completely brainwashed into helping their leader whenever they can, and as a result this confrontations will take place.
Now that I have the new members chosen, I guess it is time to explain the certain "Why" of this. It initially begins as a crusade against drugs, and alcohol. However, as the Society begins to gains followers, and power and television time, while the rest of the Society focuses on their current goals, Punk begins to shift his focus onto a larger scale in the WWE, He wants to make the society the most dominant force in pro wrestling, soon morphing his preaching into rants on the thirst for power. Punk soon focuses completely on power rather than helping those who need saving, and in the process becomes delusional due to the feeling of control over a whole society of individuals. He soon forces his society to do only one thing, to win. He refuses to have those who are weak of body for it would lead to a weak mindedness. Soon, the Society gains each championship possible (the United Heavyweight Championship held by Punk, the US championship being held by Reks, the IC championship being held by Tyler Black, the Tag Champs being Gabriel and Reks, and the Women's champion being Beth Phoenix).
This was the first in my planned series of articles known as "What Ifs". I hope that you enjoyed this article. If there's any questions, comments or ideas, feel free to recommend them.