CM Punk is NOT wasting away.
Despite what many fans and critics have said lately—myself included—the WWE appears to know exactly what they’re doing with CM Punk.
In my Survivor Series recap, I stated that I felt his talent was being wasted in subpar midcard feuds with the likes of R-Truth and referees.
I’ve since been involved in many conversations regarding Punk’s future direction, and I’ve found myself repeating the same dream scenario for Punk.
I want Punk to become a cult leader.
His recent ranting and raving on Smackdown has him coming off as preacher of sorts and, logically, the next step should be to acquire followers.
The WWE took the first step in the right direction on last week’s Smackdown by having Luke Gallows, formerly Festus, accompany Punk down to the ring.
Punk then proclaimed that he had “saved” Gallows from a life of drugs and neglect.
Festus—who was last seen as a balding, overweight mental patient—was “born again” as Luke Gallows, a menacing giant with newfound loyalties to his personal savior, CM Punk.
Gallows aided Punk in his match with Matt Hardy and eventually laid Hardy out with a sloppy yet effective new finishing maneuver.
When it was all said and done, fans saw a brilliant pose as Gallows sat overtop of a fallen, beaten Hardy, and Punk stood over Gallows as though he were his personal hound who had done his master’s dirty work.
Punk figures to continue his “crusade” to convert those in need to a straightedge lifestyle.
My hope is that they’ll use this as a chance to build Punk an army of his own, a church of followers much like Raven’s Flock from ECW/WCW.
This would serve multiple purposes.
First and foremost, it would allow Punk the chance to shine as the leader of his cult.
He has become a more impressive heel with each passing week and having an army of ruthless—and eternally loyal—minions would only paint him as a more despicable heel as he works his way back into the World Heavyweight Title picture.
Imagine a Royal Rumble that consists of Punk and half a dozen of his reborn, straight-edge slaves. The thought is very intriguing.
The second major purpose of a CM Punk Church of Followers would be to put over some lower midcard talent.
Rebranding Festus as Luke Gallows is the first of what could be many superstars shedding dead-in-the-water gimmicks to be “reborn” as Punk’s disciples.
The list of superstars currently going nowhere in WWE is a lengthy one, and if WWE pushes through with a CM Punk faction, superstars like Carlito, Primo, Chris Masters, Evan Bourne, and dozens of others could be brought in to revive their faltering careers.
Thirdly, this faction would provide opportunities for other midcarders who are currently searching for a storyline.
John Morrison is currently without any real direction. The same could be said for Matt Hardy and, for the most part, Christian in ECW.
Any of these midcard faces could use a feud with a diabolic heel stable to push them to new heights in the WWE.
In the end, the WWE may decide that Gallows is all Punk needs for a sidekick, and that’ll be the end of the story.
If the WWE decides to press on with this storyline and give Punk the reins of his own heel stable, it could finally be the move that puts Punk on top for good and helps rebuild an otherwise floundering midcard in the process.
Either way, I’m very impressed with what I saw out of CM Punk last Thursday, and I now know for sure that Punk is not wasting away on Smackdown.
Rather, he’s still evolving, and we’re all going to be the benefactors of his evolution.