It goes without saying that summer 2011 in WWE was clearly the Summer of Punk. And actually, the fall has been the Fall of Punk, but I’m not talking about seasons in this regard.
I’m talking about the way that WWE has failed to maintain the momentum that CM Punk single-handedly generated within the company this past summer.
After going off on the WWE brass during a memorable Raw rant this past June, Punk blew up and became the biggest sensation in pro wrestling since the days when Stone Cold Steve Austin ushered in the Attitude era. Punk’s rise culminated in his memorable WWE Championship victory over John Cena at Money in the Bank.
Since then, though, Punk has lost the title and has yet to gain it back. Meanwhile, the buzz is back around wrestlers like Cena and the Rock, who will team up to take on Awesome Truth in Survivor Series’ main event.
It seems to me that WWE tried to undermine Punk's relevancy by taking the belt off him. But why do they want to compromise his popularity? After all, Punk has topped the merchandise rankings for much of the fall.
Believe it or not, Punk could actually become even more popular amongst the fans if he leaves Survivor Series with the WWE title. Putting the title back on Punk would be an easy way to catapult the Best in the World back into the permanent ranks of main event status, right up there with the likes of Cena and Rock.
Plus, an extended WWE Championship run would validate Punk as truly one of WWE’s biggest draws. Even during his remarkable summer, Punk only held the title for roughly one month (between MITB and Summerslam) and part of that stretch saw him share the belt with Cena. The WWE bookers need to keep Punk hot and having him beat Alberto Del Rio for the belt will go a long way in doing so.