WWE and the CM Punk Problem: How Can It Be Solved?
CM Punk is undoubtedly one of the best all-arounders the WWE has right now and has ever had. He can wrestle extremely well, has the ability to cut amazing promos every time he has a mic and is full of charisma and passion.
He is one of the few men in the WWE that has pretty much no weak spots and can do anything thrown at him. His list of accolades include three-time World Heavyweight champion, former ECW, Intercontinental, Tag Team champion, a two-time Money In The Bank winner and the 19th Triple Crown Champion. And that's just from his time in the WWE.
Punk wrestled the Indy circuit for years, a time which featured stints in TNA and ROH, becoming quite the star before even reaching OVW in 2005.
From his debut in 2006, the WWE treated Punk pretty well, awarding him several championships and putting him in a few high profile feuds, like the CM Punk-Jeff Hardy feud from 2009 (which happened to be one of the best of that year).
After just a few years in the WWE, CM Punk had become one of the biggest stars, and despite his wrestling fame outside of the company (which Vince McMahon often despises) he has done very well for himself.
He WAS doing pretty well until 2010 reared its ugly head.
Punk became head of the Straight Edge Society, backed by Luke Gallows, Joey Mercury and Serena. The stable had so much potential and could have/should have been amazing, but like many things this year, the WWE dropped the ball on it. Two of Punk's three straight-edge "converts" have been released already. Expect Joey Mercury to follow suit soon enough.
The problem is this would've been good for Punk. The main event scene on Smackdown was shifting once again and he needed something that would make sure he wouldn't fade away. With his mic skills, the Straight Edge Society had the potential to be something of a monster stable, and I have no idea why Creative abandoned it so quickly. Lest we forget the stable's undoing involved job after job to Big Show.
Just like that, CM Punk had gone from one of Smackdown's top men to the dude with a long beard who couldn't beat the Big Show, even when backed by two other men.
When he was drafted to RAW, I expected big things. With the likes of the Daniel Bryan on the show, I marked out hardcore for a Bryan-Punk feud. On Punk's second RAW, it looked like it was about to happen. He joined Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole on the announcer's table during one of Bryan's matches, claiming to be "scouting talent" and stood to applaud him when he won.
...But then CM Punk was forced out of action due to a hip injury.
Words could not articulate how disappointed I was. An American Dragon vs. CM Punk feud was one I'd been waiting for since I found out he was on the first season on NXT!
But all was not lost, as it was revealed that we'd still be seeing Punk on RAW every week, announcing instead of wrestling.
Punk's commentary work on NXT season 3 and Superstars prior to this had me sold on the idea. I mean, hey, at least we'd still see him on television!
Almost a month on, and I can honestly say CM Punk on commentary is the main reason I tune into Raw now.
His astounding mic skills tell us that he'd have no trouble on the commentary desk and seriously, he has outshone Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole week after week.
The thing about this arrangement is that it is the best utilization of CM Punk in almost a year. We all know he can work a mic, and his comedic timing and jokes in general make him perfect for the role. If you get them, that is. If you don't, I sincerely feel sorry for you.
I love the fact that Punk is being given the chance to be himself and pretty much shoot for two hours straight. It's been years since comments made by the men on commentary could be quoted for weeks on end or even remembered at all.
Seriously, some of the highlights of Raw these past couple of weeks are based around CM Punk's gorgeous broadcast commentary. For example, his string of comments on Alex Riley related to his DUI arrest:
"It looks like he's dressed for court."
"It's a good thing a DUI's job security."
"Alex Riley knows all about partying."
Other comments made by Punk are simply unforgettable.
"This is not the Spanish announce table!"
"He spilled my soda and I want you to know that I called the cops!"
"Nothing says Punk Rock like Calvin Klein!"
"King Kofi Kingston has a nice ring to it, pity about the initials!"
And his comments comparing "Dashing" Cody Rhodes to Pat Patterson? Priceless!
Not just that, but his mannerisms and general actions are constantly entertaining, such as his facial expressions while one of the other commentators is speaking, and throwing John Cena's purple wristband back at him after being handed it. God, I love this guy.
So what IS this CM Punk problem I brought up?
First of all, CM Punk on commentary is one of the best things about the product right now. The dude's been behind the desk for about a month and has already improved the quality of Raw and its commentating. But every week I see him, I can't help but think he's getting closer and closer to being completely healed up and ready to compete.
What would happen then?
The higher-ups of the WWE are understandably high on Punk's commentary, so I would not be surprised if they tried to get him to take the position full time. But the problem is, CM Punk in the ring is just as entertaining as CM Punk on the mic.
Let's say by January or February, Punk is fully healed, ready to compete. He'd step away from the announcer's table after months of golden commentary, ready to join the Raw roster properly. But what would happen? How can we guarantee that he'll be used to his full potential? Is there really any point in taking him away from the best spot he's had all year to send him to Raw's mid-card to do nothing noteworthy?
Then there's the Daniel Bryan feud that was teased months back. If Daniel Bryan is still the US Champion by then, a feud between the two men would be a must watch. I wouldn't mind seeing the United States Championship around CM Punk's waist for the first time!
My only concern is what would happen after said feud or if this feud does not come into fruition at all. CM Punk should be a main eventer, and it seems a waste of his ability to have him featured as just another mid-card Superstar.
My feelings are that Punk should be brought back to wrestle to his full potential, and if not, he should stay as a commentator until Creative have something good for him.
You can tell Punk thrives when it comes to commentary, and he is extremely good for Raw. Before coming to Raw, Punk was being used horribly, and spent most of 2010 as leader of a failed stable and jobbing to Big Show. It's not right. If the best way he can be used is as a voice of Raw, then so be it. He does it damn well.
But Lord knows that man was born to wrestle.
So Bleachers, what's your stance on the CM Punk problem?
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