An old cliche says: You can please some people all the time, and all the people some of the time. The Internet Wrestling Community does a great job of personifying the latter half of that cliche.
Sunday night at Survivor Series, CM Punk regained the WWE Championship by defeating Alberto Del Rio. Almost instantaneously, a good percentage of the IWC took to the arena it utilizes most—the message board—to decry Punk and aim their scornful opinions directly at the Second City Saint.
The overwhelming message was that Punk is just another flash-in-the-pan WWE superstar. Punk was called one-dimensional. He was criticized for his inability to sell out arenas. He was accused of being a short-term fad. And maybe worst of all, Punk was called a cheap "Stone Cold" Steve Austin rip-off.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't CM Punk the guy these same critics were vehemently supporting this summer?
Maybe they turned on Punk to be different, to go against the grain. Maybe they did it because they needed something to talk about. Maybe they did it because a certain percentage of the Internet Wrestling Community just can't be pleased.
There is no basis whatsoever for the criticism of Punk's character. Not yet. Punk has been pushed as one of the company's top faces for less than 90 days. He was the hot topic of the summer, but didn't receive his push until he took over the No. 1 spot in merchandise sales from John Cena. It was then that Vince McMahon believed Punk could be "The Guy."
How is 90 days a reasonable time frame to judge a superstar's impact? It isn't. It's that simple. Give the man some time to prove himself.
The argument that CM Punk is one-dimensional may be the most laughable. Punk is clearly one of the most talented mic workers in the business. When he talks, people listen. But Punk is also one of the better in-ring workers. He's one of the only men under contract who can provide compelling commentary, and that includes some of the guys who sit at the announcer's table.
Punk is criticized for being a "Stone Cold" Steve Austin rip-off, but the professional wrestling business is built on repeating characteristics.
John Cena is this generation's Hulk Hogan or Rock. Dolph Ziggler has borrowed character traits from Mr. Perfect. Alberto Del Rio's character directly resembles John Bradshaw Layfield. To this point, Mason Ryan has basically been a clone of Batista.
The similarities aren't something of recent history, either. Arguably the greatest wrestler of all time, Ric Flair, took his signature blond hair, finishing move, arrogance, strut and nickname from the original "Nature Boy," Buddy Rogers.
Punk is the first in a line of many superstars ready to lead the resurgence of WWE. Superstars like Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes, The Miz, Sheamus, Wade Barrett, Zack Ryder and Mason Ryan are poised to follow Punk into the rarefied air populated by John Cena and Randy Orton atop the WWE ladder.
Here's to hoping the cynical sect of the IWC doesn't jump all over the cases of these future main eventers if, and when, they get their shot at the top.
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