Rebellious characters only work when they have something to rebel against, correct?
Punk said it himself after Money in the Bank. By winning the title and getting Vince removed from direct power, he caused change to happen. Real, tangible change. Maybe it's not as tangible for us at home watching as spectators, but it's real to those who work there, even in kayfabe.
Like I said earlier, though, many are doubting Punk's quality simply because it seems like he's slipping back into a typical spot on the roster, a spot usually inhabited by a strong face without a belt who won't make it. But that's not true.
The real issue is that the conspiracy isn't strong or clear enough just yet to challenge Punk's ethics. Thus, as I said, he's hanging back and waiting.
Once the conspiracy reveals more of its members and intentions, and Punk has someone specific to hurl pipebombs at, the good guy/bad guy relationship will be something more to analyze.
And given that CM Punk is one of the most animated characters on the roster, who better to pair him up against than the most straight-laced employee WWE has ever had?
CM Punk can go off on numerous tirades, make fun of Laurinaitis, his clothes, his family, his business decisions, and in the end, Laurinaitis can always chuckle, shrug and wield nearly unlimited power to put CM Punk into unfair problem after unfair problem.
After all, when it comes to Corporate vs. Rebel relationships in WWE's past, the best twists haven't been the ones where firings were the payoff. They were the ones where the entity in power wanted the rebel to suffer unending pain and frustration, pushing the good guy to either A) give up and join the bad guys or B) focus enough to pull out the win.
In both instances, it pushed the rebel to unbelievable limits and that surge gave both the rebel and the bad guys character.
Maybe Punk/Laurinaitis doesn't compare to how good Austin/McMahon turned out to be, but the dynamic can still work the same. Vince didn't need to be charismatic to be a good foil for Austin, he just had to be straight-laced enough to be pissed when Austin would raise Hell.
Think about it. How much fun would it have been if Vince came out and said, "Hell yeah, everybody's favorite, Steve Austin, how about him? All right, tonight's gonna be a good night!" Would've sucked. Austin was a fun character, and he was made more fun because of how ruffled Vince's feathers got.
Thus, with Laurinaitis being extremely straight-laced and likely to have fairly massive backup once the conspiracy is unveiled, and Punk being the ideal opposite with absolutely no desire to quit fighting, yelling, talking and winning, this is one potential war that should not be underestimated merely because the storyline isn't moving fast enough for some people to handle.
If anything, since Money in the Bank, they've been using their abundance of PPVs this year pretty appropriately. They've allowed rivalries to expand, they've put great spotlight on title matches, even featuring the tag team titles on numerous occasions.
Punk vs. Laurinaitis may not reach classic status on its own, and although I personally think Laurinaitis is a valuable character to have involved in this, he does work better as a support than as a central figure, which links back to my previous slides.
He doesn't just need one strong arch-nemesis, he needs a force. Punk's that good and that dangerous to what "management" thinks WWE should be that they need to work in stealth in order to force him out of the title race.