Earlier this week, I got an excessive amount of criticism for my first article in weeks. I stated my opinion of the CM Punk/Nexus angle and most took it as me criticizing Punk himself. To clear the uneasiness about this situation I decided to write this article.
Back in 2006, newcomer CM Punk's first vignette aired. Myself honestly a bigger fan of ECW than RAW or Smackdown, I remembered the guy from a small segment with Brock Lesnar. After Lesnar won the WWE title from Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania, he was making his return to Smackdown!
Backstage Brock was entering the arena. The sight of Lesnar immediately caused the crowd to explode. Then Brock shook hands with a few people and was congratulated by an awkward looking blonde. This would be the first time I saw Ken Anderson and CM Punk.
I also remembered the guy from Wrestlemania 22. As John Cena made his entrance in the mafia style attire, a car from the early 1900s carried a number of individuals. As the camera zoomed on of those faces it was the Straight Edge Superstar. That's right, the same guy Punk's feuding with was also assisted by Punk for his Wrestlemania entrance.
Punk informed us he didn't do any form of drugs and that wrestling was his addiction. My immediate reaction was that this guy must be a machine. From his look and the way he used discipline you could tell he had some form of martial arts in his background.
So I tuned in every week and anticipated the guy's debut. When the guy made his debut, he was already a fan favorite among the ECW Audience. We're talking Hammerstein ball room, not a regular WWE event. Punk sped to the ring obviously having the goosebumbs for his first t.v. match.
Punk incorporated his submission and muy thai background during the match. At one point, I began to hear overrated chants. One second later Punk delivered the shinning wizard bull dog combination and the chants immediately stopped.
A muy thai combination and Anaconda Vise later, CM Punk won his debut. I was delighted by the newcomer. He had proved some fans wrong already and I knew he would become a staple on the ECW Brand.
Punk began an undefeated streak that would last six months before a loss to Hardcore Holly. By now the guy was my favorite all time WWE Superstar. Fast forward to Judgement Day 2007. Punk was set to take on New Breed leader, Elijah Burke.
Weeks before Punk supposedly turned "heel," he joined Burke's New Breed faction, only to betray them and turn face the next week. Despite a great match by Burke, Punk stood victorious and his hunt for the ECW Title began.
When Bobby Lashley was drafted to RAW, he was forced to relinquish the ECW Title. With the title vacant, newly drafted Chris Benoit and Punk defeated Elijah Burke and Marcus Cor Von in qualifying matches for the ECW Title match at Night of Champions.
While I'm sure we all know happened to Benoit, Punk was left without an opponent until Creative picked Johnny Nitro as Benoit's replacement. Nitro shocked me because I figured Punk was a lock for the title. After a elevated corkscrew neckbreaker, Nitro won the ECW Title.
Punk was my favorite wrestler, but Nitro's match with Nunzio pleased me. So I wasn't too mad about Punk losing to a newcomer to ECW. Punk got two rematches and over the course Nitro had become John Morrison. Punk's last chance came on an episode of ECW. Morrison clearly showcased his ability, debuting the Starship Pain in this match, but it was Punk's time.
Punk defeated Morrison with a GTS, much to my delight and the live audience. When I later found out Punk won the title because Morrison violated the WWE Wellness Policy, I questioned if Punk would've ever won the ECW Title. "Oh well, he's still the Champ," I thought.
So Punk defended his title against The Miz, Morrison, and even Big Daddy V on some occasions, but no true fan wants their favorite Superstar to lose the title; not even me. But the time came when Edge assisted Chavo Guerrero in a win over Punk.
Kinda disturbed that they let La Familia spill over to ECW. Another thing would be Punk was almost always the Underdog in his matches with John Morrison. After Morrison lost the title to Punk, it seemed as if Punk wasn't able to fairly defeat Morrison in rematches.
Even having the help of Miz on one occasion.
But hey, it's WWE Management.
After it was apparent that Punk was not regaining the ECW Title, Punk went on to bigger and better things. Winning the MITB Ladder match at Wrestlemania. I consider that a pretty big feat because Chris Jericho was the predicted winner.
I also couldn't ignore the fact that Jeff Hardy had been suspended and taken out of the MITB match that year. It was kinda obvious that the WWE planned for Hardy to win the title. Oh well.
Punk was drafted to RAW during the 2008 WWE Draft. Wow, Punk finally hit the big time and now my only reason to watch to ECW was Miz and Morrison. Though I couldn't quite place my finger on who he would cash in on, Punk wasted little time, cashing in his first night on RAW.
When Batista was destroying Edge in the ring, never once did I consider Punk would cash in once he was done. But he did and it was one of the greatest moments in RAW history in my opinion.
I couldn't tolerate the criticism Punk was already facing for cashing in the MITB. From JBL to Snitsky it was all there. He proved them wrong, besting both in numerous matches. I didn't expect Punk's reign to end the way it did but I was pleased with him saving face.
He never truly lost the World Title. Afterwards Punk pursued and won the Intercontinental Title. Punk became the fastest Triple Crown Champion in WWE History. When he lost the title to JBL I wasn't surprised because Punk was in that year's MITB.
When he won it again I wasn't surprised at all. WWE made it way to predictable. Let's fast forward to Extreme Rules 2009, shall we?
Jeff Hardy's the new World Champion. He's on top of the World but then Punk comes out and cashes in on Hardy, easily winning the World Title. This was a bittersweet moment for me. On one hand, my favorite wrestler was the World Champion. On the other, one of the guys who got me into wrestling had just lost his World Title.
When Punk cashed in on Hardy, I knew it was a sign of things to come. WWE ruined my vision of Punk. He was taking the easy way out with dq's and walking out on matches. He also taunted Jeff's drug problems. Yeah I know this was standard for a heel, but it was just exploiting Hardy's problem in my opinion.
It only made things worse when I learned Jeff was leaving the WWE. So the winner of their TLC match to obvious. I hated Punk at that moment. Not because he was heel, but because of what the WWE did to his character. His in ring work was deteriorating, and his moves were becoming a lot more botched than usual.
But I still watched Smackdown because of him. After he lost the title to Taker he formed the SES. At first I had high hopes for the SES believing it would be like Randy Orton and Legacy. Aiding their leader in matches for the Championship. But it was nowhere near that.
Punk was preaching and shaving heads every week. Instead of putting on the great matches I'd come to expect from him. It was upsetting to see how hard he was going to fall. I noticed it when he dominated the earlier portion of the Royal Rumble only to be eliminated by Triple H.
I figured Punk would come out on the losing end of his feud with Mysterio. WWE had also ruined Mysterio. He wasn't the Underdog anymore. He was winning the majority of his matches and Punk was no exception.
Mysterio practically destroyed Punk at WM. The rematch was way too predictable. I would've never guessed that WWE would force Punk to shave his head. Punk beat Mysterio only to lose to him at Extreme Rules. Embarrassing Punk in front of the audience.
As Punk sat there, handcuffed to the ring ropes, I just sighed in disbelief.
I ignored the Kane/Punk feud but was slightly intrigued by the Big Show feud. Though Punk was embarrassed by Show, he was destroying the SES and I believed Punk needed to break away from his disciples.
After SES was long gone, Big Show was still knocking Punk's head off every week. Finishing him off at Night of Champions.
I couldn't imagine Punk like this. Almost bald, laid out, and just matches away from official jobber status. Now that I'm done with the history lesson.
Well a few weeks ago, when Punk got up to answer one of the Anonymous GM's Emails, the crowd exploded in cheers and CM Punk chants. That's when I thought..."Finally." I figured the WWE would've placed Punk back in his face role.
Not meant to be. I wasn't entirely disappointed when Punk was set to feud with Cena. All the signs were there but then Creative decides to incorporate the Nexus. Nexus/Cena is stale and my opinion on that situation will stay the same, but I expected Punk to feud with Cena alone.
I'm pretty sure half of those Punks fans called Punk boring before he turned heel like they call Morrison now. Yes, I might be guilty of criticism towards Punk, but it's because of the bad decisions the WWE decided to make involving him.
As a guy who's followed his entire WWE Career, I'm just disappointed by the past year and if it meant he would return to same character he was in those ECW days I'm all for a face turn. I would rather him be the "boring" guy he was then have him destroyed by John and held back by the failing Nexus.