Unless we get another short WWE title run, it appears that CM Punk will don the WWE championship belt for the foreseeable future. I only hope the WWE does the right thing and has Punk come across as a “fighting champion,” rather than having him repeat matches consistently.
Punk pays great homage to superstars of the past. Like any of us, he watched wrestling all of his life and is one of the few to make it into the business successfully. Punk seems to understand that the WWE championship should be the most coveted belt in wrestling and at the center of most great storylines.
It will be up to Punk to make the belt credible again and I believe the only way to do that is to be presented as a champion that will take on all comers.
I remember a time when Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, among many others, fought a different opponent at every pay-per-view. There were usually two or three believable challengers at any given time; one No. 1 contender and two guys fighting to be the next contender. It will be up to the WWE to start pushing some of their young talent up the ranks to make the WWE title picture more exciting again.
CM Punk’s job will be to take on any and all challengers. If you want to be a champion of the people then show us that you are willing to give anyone an opportunity at the belt.
As champion, CM Punk needs to set the bar for the other title holders. Not many champions in the WWE defend their titles often, so the writers could send a powerful message to the audience if Punk began to change that.
CM Punk has done many promos about making the WWE and the championship exciting again. We are all intelligent enough to know Punk cannot singlehandedly do that himself, but I will hold Punk to those words when it comes to his contributions.
The Next Contender for the WWE Champion is...
I believe Punk and the WWE are on the right track since they had Alberto Del Rio’s rematch clause invoked on an episode of Monday Night Raw rather than at the next PPV. Perhaps we will eventually see the end of the rematch clause entirely.
I am not suggesting that Punk—or anyone else for that matter—should never have repeat matches. I just happen to believe that, when every feud has two or three consecutive matches at pay-per-views, the rivalry loses credibility. Instead, the WWE should be using repeat matches to show how intense that one particular feud is.
Punk needs to show everyone that he is not above the rest of the roster, which is how a lot of fans felt about past champions in recent times. I would not mind seeing Punk give a title shot to an underdog in order to relate to the fans. He does not need to do this soon, but it would be interesting to see this down the road.
CM Punk has all of the tools to revitalize the WWE, but the writers and Vince McMahon need to make the changes necessary to make him successful. We will find out in the coming months if this is the start of a “new era” or if this is just one great big tease.
Is the “fighting champion” character model the right one for CM Punk’s persona? Let me know how you feel down below.
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