Is WWE Building Toward a CM Punk Versus John Laurinaitis Rivalry?

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2011

Vince McMahon versus Stone Cold Steve Austin.  Just the mere mention of this rivalry conjures up some great memories.

Remember Vince wetting himself when Austin stuck a prop gun in his face?  How about the infamous beer bath with Austin holding the hose like a volunteer fireman?

One word: bedpan.  Man, I still love that one.

Austin versus McMahon was not only big for business, it was big for both men as personalities.  

Vince’s desperate attempts to stop the Rattlesnake further cemented him as the villain of the company, the most hated heel that WWE has ever seen.  Power hungry, ruthless and controlling, McMahon’s prowess was on display, as was his ability to get over with just a facial expression, or threatening growl.

Austin’s run as the reckless rebel who cursed authority was only successful because of the man he rebelled against.  Both men benefited from this feud, and it went down in WWE history as one of the best of all time.

Could we possibly be seeing a reboot in the works?

From the moment that John Laurinaitis came into power on Monday Night Raw, he has been consistently challenged by one man.  One man has dared to buck the system, to laugh defiantly in the face of strict authority.  

Man, this is starting to sound familiar.


CM Punk is the rebel that WWE has needed since Austin hung up the boots.  Brazen, confident and totally without fear, Punk has weathered the storm of every attack leveled against him, and has emerged without a scratch.

He says and does what he wants, when he wants to do it.  No one has been able to stop him, though a few have tried.

Chief among them was Triple H, the man who replaced Vince for several weeks on Raw.  Hunter represented the old guard, the guy who had already seen the best days of his career come and go, and was now interested in preserving the status quo of the company.

Punk was the younger, hungrier Superstar who was tired of the way business was being done, and longed for the days of true athletic competition to return.  He wanted WWE to be fun again, and set out to do just that.

Even if it meant poking fun at the Game’s wife, and dropping “pipe bombs” whenever he was on TV.

With Hunters’ unexpected removal as the man running day to day Raw operations, many fans who thought of Punk as the modern day Stone Cold began changing their tune.  After all, with no Vince, and now no Triple H to rebel against, how would Punk get over in his new gimmick?

Enter John Laurinaitis.

With the infamous Johnny Ace in the picture, Punk’s opportunity to push back against the establishment had come again.  And, this time, he would have some real fun with it.

Let’s face it, John’s character is an easy target.  He doesn’t say much to defend himself, he does not get physically involved, and his matchmaking abilities are questionable at best.


In other words, when it comes to TV, he’s no Vince McMahon.

But, that doesn’t mean it can’t work.  And, it also doesn’t mean that his heat with Punk cannot be taken to the next level.

Right now, it’s all fun and games for Punk.  The fans have a laugh at John’s expense, he’s made to look foolish, then we move on to the next segment.  But, at some point, Laurinaitis may decide he’s done with looking like the clown.  When and if that moment comes, we could indeed be looking at Austin vs. McMahon part two, in some form or fashion.

Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon made some great WWE history, some memorable moments that fans will never forget.  Years from now, we will still be talking about their famous feud.

Will the same be said for CM Punk and John Laurinaitis?