Disclaimer: The writer of this article does not share the views and opinions of the below article. He is simply the messenger of a WWE fan and friend who wanted his feelings lamented upon. Here is word for word a quick conversation I had with the friend in question...
Friend (who shall remain nameless): I need you to do me a favor with your Bleacher Report status as a writer. I've been reading a lot of hate articles for John Cena on that site, and need you to set the record straight for all these bandwagon-jumping jabronies.
Me: (laughing) I don't know man. I've already written a couple of opinionated articles on CM Punk, and let me tell you...they aren't received well. I keep getting told I complain a lot, and should keep my opinions to myself. CM Punk pretty much equals Jesus Christ right about now. How about we talk about Zack Ryder instead? It's a safer play.
Friend: I'll pay next month's gas bill (roughly $25) if you do it.
Me: (without any hesitation of selling out)...Deal.
...And now for my sell-out article: three reasons why my friend hates CM Punk fans (makes the sign of the cross).
An excerpt from the poem "Falling Stars" by Rainer Maria Rilke:
"For there were countless numbers of stars: each time we looked above we were astounded by the swiftness of their daring play, while in our hearts we felt safe and secure watching these brilliant bodies disintegrate, knowing somehow we had survived their fall."
It is safe to presume that for every generation of wrestling fans each one will have their favorite "star" that will captivate them, move them and transcend everything in life, becoming bigger then reality. With every generation a star will eventually burn out, giving birth to a new generation.
In the beginning their was Bruno Sammartino, the original "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers and Superstar Billy Graham. A new era was issued in with Andre the Giant, the "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Bret Hart, Sean Michaels and the legendary Hulk Hogan. We all had a change in "Attitude" with the emergence of Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, HHH and Chris Jericho...and now we find ourselves issuing in a new era with the emergence of CM Punk and the falling star of the old but virtuous John Cena...
Unlike the generations before us, there was never the turmoil the WWE has faced as of recently. The product had waned in the previous years and was in search of a "new hope." John Cena was no longer the golden child of fans, but had become the enemy.
It was CM Punk that the people wanted, needed, respected...loved.
...It has summoned a great war between the two factions. Both loyal, steadfast and relentless. Where does your allegiance lie?
This is the story of one man's allegiance, and his unadulterated hatred for CM Punk.
A quote from my friend:
"His time will come when he will reach the "Super" status, and everyone of his bandwagon-jumping cronies who go 'yeah man, fight the system' will turn their backs and leave...just like they left Cena."
For every Republican there is a Democrat.
For every person who detests a movie, TV show or song, there is someone who loves it.
...And in my friend's case, for every CM Punk wannabe fan boy there is a handful that would like to remind you "Dude, I followed and loved Punk in his ROH days."
A direct quote from my friend:
"No one cares bro! I liked the Red Sox when they were winning 60-70 games a year, but I didn't go and remind others about that when they won two World Series"
My friend's first complaint is centered around the notion that roughly 90 percent of Punk fans fall into two categories:
1. The Bandwagon-Hopper
He claims that no one cared about Punk when he disappeared from the game due to injury, came back to commentate and then became the leader of a defunct Nexus group that already had both feet out the door. Sure people cheered when he won Money in the Bank, battled Undertaker and Jeff Hardy in great feuds, but he never had main-event-level following...
In his defense, he's kinda right. On Bleacher Report—in my opinion, one of the greatest places to read news, opinions and anything related to wrestling—there wasn't really a lot of chatter about CM Punk previous to late June. Sure he was always a darling of the underground WWE loyalists and independent promotion fans, but he always lacked the mainstream appeal and push that those around him seemed to get without effort.
Then, in one simple sitdown promo, he became the greatest thing since the invention of online video games.
My friend would also like to point out that:
"Any under-appreciated bum in the back with a pulse and a microphone could have lamented his problems with the WWE, McMahon, talent relations and direction! The WWE just gave the microphone to someone everyone already had a serious crush for...
For god's sakes, Zack Ryder could have performed the shoot promo, and we wouldn't even be talking about CM Punk right now! Woo woo woo, you know it.
Oh PS this as well: If you Google 'fan bandwagon wallpaper,' the second image that pops up is a logo of CM Punk... just saying."
That's certainly a fair point.
2. The Annoying Extreme Loyalist
"How come whenever a 'CM Punk fan' says something remotely opinionated on this site someone claims to be a bigger, all-knowing fan by pulling the ROH card...I didn't even know ROH existed until everyone claimed to be a fan all of a sudden. Do Punk fans have a leveling system to show their fan hood?...If not, this is what I imagine it to be:"
Post-Shoot Promo Fan, Level 1: Welcome to the mainstream, pink-hat-wearing, revolution...I think there's some seats in the back left...you might have to stand though.
Straight-Edge Society, Level 2: This guy is annoying, I'll like him later though. I like Cena better!
"ECW, ECW, ECW," Level 3: Wow, this kid is good...hopefully he keeps it up.
ROH Supporter, Level 4: Ultimate all-knowing fan humming "Cult of Personality."
Level 5 Fan: "Dude, I was in the room when his mother gave birth, and handed him a Pepsi—true story"
If you're offended I apologize, but he does make a good point. The Internet tends to be fickle, and in the case of the quick rise of CM Punk, there seems to be a disconnect between fans of different "generations."
Me? I stopped watching wrestling for a long while. I most recently got hooked again last November when Punk wasn't even part of the picture. I remember him winning a couple Money in the Bank's and saw him cash one in on Edge (thanks YouTube!), but that's about it.
I loved him on commentary, and when he attacked John Cena issuing his comeback to the ring...I fell in love with the way he presented himself, his heel persona and his in-ring ability.
If I follow my friend's leveling system that would make me roughly a Level 1.5 fan...The sad thing is he might be right.
The other 10 percent? Those who realize Punk became mainstream, and have accepted that not everyone has the same amount of time invested as a fan as they do. They respect Cenation, and will continue to love Punk and the WWE once the flash in the pan is smothered...
His words, not mine.
In regards to his leveling system for Punk fans, he claims that Cenation is sort of like Planet Fitness with its "Judgment-Free Zone."
He states that Cena, Cenation and everything he stands for is bigger than wrestling. They accept new fans with open arms, and do not resort to the "hating on others" that Punk fans quickly throw at Cena who, as my friend claims, "has given everything he has to this company, its charity causes, the U.S. troops and it sickens me to see anything but praise sent his way!"
Not only this, but this quote might be the purest of all his arguments:
"Whenever I read a ridiculous article on this site which bashes John Cena, I read the same five points over and over again. Talk about Cena's 'five moves of doom' and being predictable: Punk fans have their own version of the 'five moves (aka three opinions) of doom' and are just as predictable if not more so."
1. John "Super" Cena Is Boring, Predictable and Is Killing the WWE
Response: Yeah, and Hogan was too, but you know what Hogan did? He carried the WWE in its time of need and made it relevant to market to the outside world which any company needs to do in order to survive. John Cena is doing the same...
If Cena, and his character are not around post-"Attitude Era," then God only knows where the WWE would be. In the toilet—that's for sure. Good luck building around an aging HHH and Michaels! Edge and Batista are nowhere near as marketable as Cena! Randy Orton could only do so much...
Cena is the true savior of wrestling. He allowed Punk to be who he is!
2. Cena Only Has Five Moves!
Response: Austin threw a lot of punches, stomped a mud hole and then nailed a stunner. The Rock had three "slaps," a spine buster, a Samoan drop, a dance and an elbow drop, and the Rock Bottom. It's all relative...Get over it—it's how wrestling's been done for decades.
So Punk is a better "wrestler"—since when has that mattered in the WWE?
3. Only Girls and Little Kids Like John Cena
Response: And apparently only self-righteous, know-it-all, superior jack wagons like Punk. Do something!
(Again: his words, not mine.)
For the record, I once wrote in an article:
"Attention: An Amber Alert has been issued for the following; If you have seen John Cena's wrestling ability or Randy Orton's personality please contact the nearest authorities."
"How am I supposed to be persuaded to like or even enjoy a wrestler when his fanbase has become so large and pompous at the same time?"
I personally like CM Punk a lot. Am I as diehard as some others out there? No, but that doesn't mean I don't like him or the direction he's brought the company in.
Do I wish he kept his old music? Yeah, but I won't dare touch that topic again.
Does my friend respect CM Punk and his hard climb up the ladder of success? Absolutely.
Does he think the parade will one day stop, and inevitably the attention will go back to Cena? Yep!
"Go up close to your friend, but do not go over to him! We should also respect the enemy in our friend.—Friedrich Nietzsche
CM Punk himself has stated that he has nothing but the fondest respect for John Cena. So why is it that his fans show little? This is a question I posed to my friend.
"I really want to like CM Punk, but then I have to constantly be subjected to and berated by hate, disrespect and stupidity over something as foolish as having a favorite wrestler! I will not allow myself to be a part of something like this!"
This is professional wrestling after all. Not a presidential election.
He wants you all to know that once this Punk vs. Corporate angle plays out Punk will have to take an inevitable step backwards. A step so far backwards because, as he states:
"It's no doubt that CM Punk is higher than high right now, and will continue to be so as long as this current angle plays out, but eventually it will, and he will once again fall below the level of John Cena.
John Cena is one of the all-time greats, whether people want to believe it or not. He will be mentioned alongside Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, The Rock, Stone Cold and Ric Flair. Maybe one day CM Punk will be a part of that group...but he has a lot of work to do."
After my conversation with my friend—actually, it wasn't as much a conversation as it was him venting—I came to this conclusion: He actually likes CM Punk, but he hates you. He hates the self-righteous Punk fan. Nothing more, and nothing less.
So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take a hot shower, cook a fabulous meal on the gas stove and even though it's almost 80 here in beautiful New England, I might run the heat for a bit. I''m going to enjoy every bit of my "free gas for a month" and try and see if I can run the gas bill up to $100 in the next week or so. Any ideas on how to do that?
I'm sure some of the so-called "self-righteous Punk fans" might have a couple answers to stick it to Cenation....
The lines have been drawn...where do you stand?
My friend wanted me to end this article with this quote—I had to oblige him:
"Will the real Cenation please stand up!"