There's no question that CM Punk can play both a heel and a face very well. He is an immense talent and has all the tools to be a top player in the WWE.
That being said, from a storyline standpoint, CM Punk has sold out.
Punk has been riding a white hot wave of popularity ever since the "Summer of Punk" kicked off with the "shoot heard 'round the world" in June.
None of us thought that Punk would walk away from Money in The Bank as the WWE Champion.
Little did we know Punk had used the WWE's desperation for top-tier talent against them, and the contract negotiations had already determined Punk was staying.
For once the WWE threw us a good curve after the deal had been inked, and CM Punk did indeed win the championship and "leave".
Then, WWE dropped the ball and had CM Punk come back a couple weeks later after a new championship was more or less bestowed upon John Cena.
Even then Punk continued to roll by getting a clean victory over Cena at SummerSlam. He was unceremoniously dethroned as champion after Kevin Nash attacked him and Alberto Del Rio cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase, thus embroiling him in a fight against management.
After pretty much carrying the angle for a couple weeks against the new COO Triple H's best friend Nash, it was announced that Punk would face Nash to squash the feud.
However, since Punk had been insulting Triple H's family (read: Nash wasn't cleared to perform), Hunter replaced himself in that match against Punk set to take place at Night of Champions. He would lose this bout as well.
All through this time Punk has claimed that he is going to be the catalyst for change that a dull and boring WWE needs. The "Straight Edge Savior" was now "The Voice of the Voiceless". (Which isn't true, all of us Bleacher Report writers and readers have this community. We just don't get to talk to Vince directly.)
Then it's decided that the entire WWE locker room, save for John Cena, Sheamus, CM Punk and Randy Orton, are going to walk out on Triple H due to unsafe working conditions.
With the way that supposedly "fired" employees kept getting into WWE shows and wreaking havoc, this made sense as far as the storyline went—if this happened in real life, I'm sure any of us would do much the same.
Triple H then decides that they're all a bunch of wussies who "just can't do it anymore", and all of a sudden all grudges are forgotten and CM Punk is one of the few who stayed by Triple H's side.
Not only does he stay behind, he sings the praises of the company he works for and co-signs to Triple H's logic and proceeds to call the protesters "hippies".
But the crown jewel moment came before the match between Sheamus and John Cena, when Triple H put his arm around CM Punk and he became giddy about doing commentary.
What the hell?
You would figure that Punk would be one of the most vocal in favor of the walkout. Wasn't it Triple H's friend who pretty much cost Punk the WWE title?
Wasn't it under Triple H's watch that Awesome Truth invaded his match against Triple H and cost him that match as well?
Wasn't it CM Punk himself who said that he wanted to see Triple H out of the COO seat?
All of these things were professed by CM Punk himself.
Now, for some unknown reason, Punk just lets all that fall to the wayside and stands diligently by "the doofus son-in law" as all of the workers in the WWE take flight to protest Triple H being in management.
Then this past week on Raw, whether it be in uniting against a common enemy, or just simply not liking Awesome Truth himself, Triple H comes out for CM Punk's match to back him up.
Make no mistake, I applaud CM Punk for strong-arming the WWE into getting him more exposure. If you aren't striving to be the best in the business you really have no place being there in my opinion. That's how stars are made in the wrestling world.
For me, it's just laughable to see the supposed rebel, the "voice of the voiceless", "this generation's 'Stone Cold Steve Austin'", sit right alongside the established status quo.
Guess CM Punk gets to hang with the big boys now, just like he always wanted.
Until next time, I'm Merlot Williams, and that's my opinion.
On a side note, this is my first article as a Bleacher Report Featured Columnist. I want to thank all of you guys for reading my work and helping me to get noticed by Bleacher Report's editors to help me get this position. No one in media makes it without fans and feedback good or bad. So thank you all so much, and if you guys have any ideas you want to see me write about in my weekly A or B Series of articles, drop me a line on my writer page!