For the last two weeks, there have been many people complaining that WWE brought CM Punk back to television too soon.
I politely and respectfully disagree.
CM Punk came back exactly when he should have, and that's when the WWE crowned a new champion.
Now, if you want to argue that the champ should have been someone besides John Cena, I'm willing to listen, but Punk needed to be there to greet the new champion and not via satellite, either.
If Punk wanted to keep his status of being the true champion, then he had to meet the paper champion face-to-face in the ring.
As far as that man being Cena, the only thing I can offer you is that the WWE has always had their top guys around the title.
In the 80s and early 90s, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and the Ultimate Warrior were always around the title. Then in the mid-90s, it was Brett Hart, Diesel, Shawn Michaels, and the Undertaker. During the Attitude Era, it was Stone Cold, The Rock, and Triple H.
Sure, other guys were sprinkled in there once in a while, but it was primarily the same two or three guys holding the belt.
Nothing has changed except that the fans of the Attitude Era have grown up and hate the WWE for doing with John Cena and Randy Orton what they cheered the WWE for doing with The Rock and Stone Cold.
Can Punk still get over with the fans even if he loses?
My hope is that the WWE uses this rematch as an opportunity to further put Punk over because RAW desperately needs another big time face/heel in the main-event picture.
I say face/heel because, as far as the character is concerned, Punk hasn't really changed much from the heel who drew a ton of heat three months ago, but, due to his shoot/work delivery, he's begun to gather a steady following, much like Stone Cold did during his feud with Brett Hart.
One thing I'm not going to do is call Punk the next Stone Cold because, frankly, he isn't. They have similarities in their characters, but they are only similarities—they aren't copies.
Now, when I say the WWE needs to put Punk over, that doesn't mean he has to win. He can lose and still get over with the fans.
Remember, what pushed Austin over with the fans was the fact that he lost to Brett but never actually quit; he passed out while in the Sharp Shooter due to blood loss (kayfabe, of course).
Punk could lose the match and the title, but if the WWE does it in a smart and controversial way, a loss could get Punk over more with the fans than if he just beat Cena outright.
Well, had Austin beat Brett, he would have gotten a bump with the fans, but because he never tapped out, showing his toughness, while he lost the match, he won over the fans.
If, say, Triple H, John Larinaitis, or even Vince McMahon comes out to screw over Punk, that would further his anti-establishment character, and the fans would back him because he lost his title unjustly.
So to everyone saying the WWE blew it or the story has lost steam, you should probably wait for the conclusion. Every good book has parts that lag before the story picks up again.
I feel this story is far from being over and will carry on past SummerSlam.