When reality meets Kayfabe, wrestling fans win. Some of the best promos in wrestling history were rooted heavily in reality. Let’s look back at Mick Foley’s “anti-hardcore” promos in ECW. The reality was that Foley was upset with the fans and felt that they asked too much. He believed what he said and it struck a chord with fans. Fast-forward a few years to Joey Styles’ worked shoot, in which he “quit” the announce team for Raw in order to join ECW. He was very vocal about his passion for ECW’s style of wrestling, and was unhappy with the way he was treated by some of his co-workers on Raw.
Let's fast-forward to CM Punk in 2011. His contract is up and he is upset. He has been given a few changes to shine and always rose to the occasion, yet he was jobbed out to almost everybody in the company. The guy had everything needed to be a main eventer, but was opening pay-per-views. They gave him a mic, Vince gave his blessing and Punk cut a promo that shocked the wrestling world.
Some fans have dubbed the rise of CM Punk as the dawning of “The Reality Era.” The truth of that remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: CM Punk is here to stay. We are a month removed from CM Punk’s monumental victory over John Cena to win the WWE Championship, and a rematch between the two is coming up this Sunday at Summerslam. Many people are worried that CM Punk will be knocked back down the ladder at this PPV, and the speculation as to what Triple H’s role will be in the main event has people on the edge of their seats.
I’ve been following the situation closely, as many others are doing, and I notice a trend. Many people are expecting Triple H to ruin this angle to push himself. People are saying that they have already ruined this feud, and that the only way to salvage it is for CM Punk to win on Sunday. I understand the arguments for that line of thinking, but I have a different point of view.
CM Punk is not John Cena, and he does not need to win every match to maintain popularity. If CM Punk were to get screwed by Triple H at Summerslam, it would only make the fans care more about him, because you have to admit, you would love to hear the promo he would cut on Triple H if that were to happen.
I want to see Punk walk out with the title, as Cena has no legit claim to the belt. CM Punk was never defeated for the title, and Cena merely beat a man who had already wrestled earlier in the evening. The fact is that if Cena shows up on Raw with the WWE Championship, it doesn’t mean Punk’s time is over.
One variable people seem to be overlooking is that this storyline has risen beyond being about the WWE Championship. It is about one man’s mission to change the wrestling industry and shake up the “status quo” that has become WWE. This feud is slowly shifting focus from John Cena to Triple H, who is serving as the figurehead of the WWE’s legal structure that CM Punk has been so determined to change.
One situation that has been looming in the shadows is the rumor that WWE wants Alberto Del Rio to carry the WWE title south of the border for their tour of Mexico that is rapidly approaching. Win, lose or draw at Summerslam, something is going to have to take place soon with Del Rio if that is going to happen. He could easily cash in on the winner to close out Summerslam.
On a personal note, I’ll go ahead and toss out my prediction for Summerslam. I predict that Triple H will get into a confrontation with CM Punk that will backfire, causing Triple H to accidentally help Punk defeat Cena (think back to Shawn Michaels refereeing the Bret Hart/Undertaker match a number of years back). That could easily set up for Punk taunting Triple H, leading the cerebral assassin to strike on an already exhausted Punk. This could also open the door right up for Alberto Del Rio to run in and cash in his contract. I would then assume that the following night on Raw, Triple H would start his feud with CM Punk, and John Cena, remaining a face, would go on to challenge Del Rio, saying that what he did was wrong.
In closing, I just wanted to try and offer a different perspective on this storyline. This is far from over, and we don’t know what is actually going to happen. But to those who think this is ruined, please try to remember that there were those who felt that the nWo would never work, and people who felt that Austin vs. McMahon was going to be a failure.