As WWE Monday Night RAW came to an end this week, wrestling fans all over the world were buzzing.
And with good reason.
CM Punk, one of the greatest mic workers in the business today, delivered what many are already calling one of the greatest promos in the history of professional wrestling. It was as shocking a moment as you could imagine seeing in today's WWE and Punk's performance was incredible.
Even though this whole thing is clearly a work, Punk meant every word and he made you believe that. It was a great moment that will be talked about for years to come and it did exactly what WWE wanted it to do: It convinced people to buy the Money in the Bank pay-per-view event on July 17.
Not surprisingly, this great ending already has the Internet Wrestling Community buzzing about what could possibly happen as a result of it. Many are jumping to the conclusion that this is the beginning of a new era in WWE, citing that WWE cannot possibly go back to its PG product after this promo. They think that this is a sign of the return of the "Attitude Era."
Some even believe that Punk wearing a Stone Cold t-shirt is an indication that Punk will be the new Stone Cold or that, somehow, Stone Cold will return to face Punk in a dream match at WrestleMania XXVIII. The most ridiculous theory, though, is that this angle will lead to the much-anticipated heel turn of John Cena.
It's understandable that a moment like this—one that shakes the wrestling world—would get new and old fans excited enough to start declaring that this is the start of a new era or a return to an era long gone. And if there is one thing that I've learned, it's that you can never say never. One or even all of the things that I mentioned above could happen. I would never say that any of those things are impossible. However, it's not unrealistic to be realistic, so with that having been said, all of those things are highly unlikely.
Was Punk's promo a sign of a new era in WWE?
WWE is comfortable with its PG era. It is profitable because of the WWE's ability to reach out to entire families as an audience and it allows for more sponsors. The Attitude Era was a great time in wrestling, no doubt, but it will not be dug up at the expense of WWE's comfortable PG setting.
Stone Cold has shown no indication that he can or will wrestle again. And finally, John Cena will not turn heel. He is the biggest star in the company and there is no way the WWE of today would even consider turning him heel with the amount of merchandise he is selling and the great image he has. He is the face of the company and the star that best represents the company's current direction.
Don't get me wrong, though. I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade. I'm just trying to prevent wrestling fans from having their parades rained on. I'm here to be the voice of reason. I loved the promo and I think it's great that it's got the entire wrestling world buzzing. We need more moments like that, quite frankly.
But I implore wrestling fans to hold their horses and see how things play out. It was, after all, only a year ago that the beginning of WWE's Nexus angle got many wrestling fans jumping to the same sort of conclusions. That angle turned out to be quite the disappointment to many fans and, in the end, it didn't do much at all to change the landscape of WWE.
And while the things that Punk said were definitely shocking, they weren't so shocking that WWE has been put at a point of no return. It was a safely worked shoot.
Keep in mind that the man saying those things is one of the biggest heels in the company and when it comes down to it, he was really just an angry heel wrestler voicing hatred for the fans and some higher-ups. Nothing he said can have any long-term effect on the company. After Money in the Bank has had success as a PPV and Punk is gone, WWE can forget it happened and go back to normal.
The announcement of Punk's suspension on WWE's website shortly after the show ended is just more proof that this was indeed a work, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens in the coming weeks. I have no doubt that no matter what happens, it will be a great angle and it will lead to a great match at the Money in the Bank PPV (I expect that Punk will still wrestle).
However, after it's all over, I wouldn't expect to see much changed as it pertains to the world of WWE. John Cena will probably still be WWE Champion. The Spinner Belt will likely still be the design. Cena will likely still continue as a face. Punk will likely be done with the company. And the current direction will live on.
I'm just trying to be the guy with a little perspective here.