WWE SummerSlam: Is CM Punk Really Becoming the New Face of the Company?

Luis HerreraAnalyst IAugust 7, 2011

Photo: WWE.com
Photo: WWE.com

CM Punk made the WWE interesting in the last couple of months.

His worked-shoot promo, victory over John Cena, departure and return to the company has been the best storyline in years.

Already compared with Stone Cold Steve Austin, many expect CM Punk to become the new top dog in the WWE, putting an end to the Super Cena era.

I really hope he does, but there are certain issues which make me worry.


John Cena never loses a feud

When was the last time John Cena lost a feud? Has it happened once?

We know the drill: a new challenger appears, beats Cena, he celebrates a bit and then Super Cena strikes back to get the victory.

It can happen in a single match or over the course of a four-month feud; the point is, the WWE always have its poster boy on top at the end.

CM Punk hasn’t been a typical Cena challenger, but we also have had high hopes in the past (Wade Barrett, Randy Orton, The Miz…) and it always ends the same way.

Of course, CM Punk could win again at SummerSlam, but in that case I wouldn’t be surprised if they fight again at Night of Champions (after all, we’ll get Christian vs Randy Orton for the fourth PPV in a row) and even at Hell in a Cell.

It’s widely expected that Alberto del Rio will cash in his Money in the Bank contract on time for the Mexican tour in October; it seems much more likely that he would cash in on Cena than on Punk, which would mean that sooner or later Cena will be the “undisputed” WWE Champion.


It’s all about The Game

If feuding with Cena is not enough, let’s add another superstar of the same level—Triple H.

In his new role as COO, The Game already hinted a feud with Punk in their first interaction past Monday.

The problem is, Triple H rarely puts other wrestlers over.

His last feud was with Sheamus and he ended it crushing the Celtic Warrior in two minutes. Before that he and Shawn Michaels took care of Jeri-Show and The Legacy. 


To be an anti-hero, you have to battle heels

CM Punk’s biggest marks see him as the second coming of Steve Austin—the anti-hero that challenges the system.

Again, I really want him to reach that level, but we this is a different era. The last “anti-hero” in the WWE was Randy Orton, a heel that the crowd turned face.

But let’s not forget how it happened: At Royal Rumble 2010, he challenged Sheamus for the WWE Championship in a rare “heel vs. heel” match.

Of course, the crowd was on his side against the almost unknown Irish; that trend continued in his break-up with The Legacy, which led to his face turn.

In this case, CM Punk is not only feuding with two faces; he is feuding with the two top faces of the last six to eight years.

Stone Cold’s big break came with a double-turn: he became the new face while Bret Hart turned heel. In this case, Triple H and John Cena keep acting as faces, although it would make a lot of sense to turn The Game heel in the next weeks. 


The audience’s reaction hasn’t been enough

Yes, CM Punk created a lot of buzz for the WWE, but it hasn’t translated into huge numbers.

RAW ratings are virtually on the same level of before Punk’s promo; Money in the Bank had 20 percent more buys than last year, which is good but not huge.

And the number that should worry us more: John Cena still has more support than CM Punk.

While Punk got huge support in his home town and in his return, Cena clearly had more backing in their stare-down last Monday. It has also happened in house shows.

Cena also won the poll posted on the WWE website and Facebook, even considering that there shouldn’t be much doubt about Punk being the “legitimate” champion.

The WWE didn’t hesitate to screw Rey Mysterio just to make John Cena champion again as soon as possible.

Are we sure they will give Punk a chance to win if most of the PG audience keeps supporting Cena?


Follow me on Twitter: @luisrha