WWE SummerSlam 2011 Will Be a Passing of the Torch and the Start of a New Era

Joe SchmoContributor IIIAugust 9, 2011

If the WWE wanted to end the PG era, five days from now would be the perfect time.

They’ve finally figured out how to please both sides of the spectrum.

Fifty percent (or 54 percent if you believe WWE.com’s polls) of the people love John Cena and what he stands for: hustle, loyalty, and respect. He stands for never giving up and for working hard within an organization to achieve what’s best for the organization.

The rest love CM Punk and what he stands for: stirring the pot by trying to achieve what’s best for the people within the organization.

This storyline has been in the works for quite awhile now. It started when CM Punk was injured and began calling out and attacking Cena, continued through to the New Nexus storyline, and finally boiled over when Punk won the triple-threat match for the label of No. 1 Contender to the WWE title just a few weeks before Money in the Bank.

Since then Punk has said many things that have made us wonder just how scripted his rants are. He claims to be the “voice of the voiceless” as he says things that have been hashed and rehashed millions (and millions) of times on sites like Bleacher Report. 

He is an anti-hero in every sense of the word, which is why I believe Sunday may be a passing of the torch. Cena—Mr. Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect—has led the WWE in the PG era for what seems like ages.

On Sunday, when Punk puts him to sleep, we will have the beginning of a new era. 

What that era will be called we cannot know yet.  There are too many uncertainties in the air right now.

What I do know is that the WWE has been much more open with backstage happenings as of late. 

As I stated earlier, Punk has said some things about the WWE’s inner workings that many kids would not understand. The continuous acknowledgement of the backstage part of the WWE is what leads me to believe that we will be ushering in a new era on Sunday—an era in which more segments like this happen; an era in which the line between what is right and wrong is a little more blurry than the line that exists today.

The main reason I believe we are heading into an edgier, more mature era is that such an era allows the WWE to have its cake and eat it too. 

Many people believe that Cena’s Superman gimmick could not survive in a more “attitude-like” era. 

I have to disagree: Cena will always be the knight in shining armor for the kids and women in the audience. He can continue to stand up for everything that’s right as displayed by his arguing for Punk’s reinstatement.

The thing about the new era is that it can have the maturity that some are looking for (the acknowledgement of backstage happenings) but keep the dumbed-down ideologies that the children understand.

The reason this storyline is working so well is due to the complete polarity in the audience.

Everyone is interested. 

Punk’s fans are looking for their voices to be displayed. They want the real-life things in the WWE to be fixed. 

Cena’s fans (mostly the kids) believe the WWE is still a semi-real entity. They don’t understand that most of what is being said is true. They are backing the guy whom they can grasp easier—the one who clearly is fighting for the right reasons.

One thing you must notice about Punk’s character is that he has become quite absurd at times. 

His demands for a private jet and ice cream bars amongst other things show that he is an embodiment of the IWC. 

Sure, a lot of what the IWC says is true, but let’s be honest: They can get a bit out of hand sometimes.

Punk is cocky, brash, and pretty rude. He thinks he is smarter than the WWE. He seems to honestly believe that, if put in charge, he could run the WWE in a better fashion than Vince McMahon and “his doofus son-in-law.”  Right now, Punk is the grey area.

To the younger audience, Cena is the right, the WWE is the middle, and Punk is the wrong.

To the more “mature” audience, Punk is the right, Cena is the middle, and the WWE is the wrong.

In this era, the WWE could expertly pull off what it has been unintentionally pulling off for years now. 

The era polarizes the fanbase, but the reason it works is that it gets everyone involved. We can have Punk as the anti-hero who will need to be kept in check by the knight in shining armor that is John Cena. Sometimes they will be against each other, but sometimes they will be alongside each other. 

Either way, the people who have been rooting for Cena will continue to root for Cena, and the people who root for CM Punk will continue to root for CM Punk. 

Either way, they will both be in the spotlight.