The professional wrestling industry has no shortage on the embittered and rant-happy. Sure, it can be an ugly business with unhappy endings, and those who choose to sound off about its pitfalls have every right to be heard. But there eventually comes a time where it becomes necessary to move on.
When I see fit, I will single out those who have abused their piss-and-moan privileges, and request that they cease all complaints and/or diatribes and live what's left of their lives. Taking cues from an old Chris Jericho catchphrase, I implore you—the disillusioned wrestling personality—to please shut the hell up.
CM Punk is the embodiment of those who feverishly support him. Brutally honest, never shying down from a good opinion, a chronic complainer and rabid in his criticism of the wrestling business.
It is part of what has made him one of the bigger stars in today's shrunken professional wrestling landscape as he hardly ever seems to be completely satisfied with much of anything.
Punk's in-ring work is rivaled only by his unmistakably good promo skills that are always dressed up with sharp delivery and a rather potent ambiguity as to what's real and what's for show.
CM Punk's chronic complaining is mostly productive between the ropes, but it is his rather perplexing, ignorant comments out of the ring that have been enough to incite a collective rolling of the eyes from the WWE Universe.
Known for his rebellious and anti-establishment ways, CM Punk's problem with The Rock coming back and soaking up all the glory—only to selfishly have all that glory translate to a big, fat residual paycheck in Punk's pocket—has peeved Punk to the point of delusion.
It all started during a pseudo-shoot promo that once upon a time was considered the undisputed favorite for promo of the year. Throw in promos from Chael Sonnen over in the promotion that shall not be named, and The Rock (whom Chael shamelessly rips off) this past Sunday at Survivor Series, and Punk's promo from June is no longer deserving of such a distinction.
During his "shoot," Punk referred to "Dwayne" as an ass-kisser. A relatively harmless jab, but a jab nonetheless. The shot was given even more depth when Punk came out during this interview with Mark Madden on his Pittsburgh radio show, and said the following of Dwayne:
"I have no personal problems against Dwayne. It's very frustrating being here and watch a guy come in and get credit for a WrestleMania buyrate when he didn't do anything on the show. He certainly didn't do anything entertaining. There's a line he crossed at some point where I think he is just as out of touch as the Vince McMahons and everybody else. I'm not calling Rock old, he's still obviously a young physical fit guy but his ideas are old and his shtick is corny in my opinion. Hopefully when my ideas are old and my shtick is corny, there's some young punk that's going to call me out on it."
Anybody with the ability to read a quarterly report and/or a Nielsen rating can enjoy a condescending giggle at Punk's sentiments towards The Rock.
Not only was it nonsensical for Punk to feel that The Rock did not deserve credit for an increased WrestleMania 27 buyrate, judging solely on The Rock's antics during the show (the pre-show build-up/advertisement typically constitutes a weak or strong buyrate and The Rock's announced return before the event contributed to an overall strong buyrate), but for CM Punk to call The Rock's shtick old is hypocrisy only a WWE's anti-bullying campaign can love.
CM Punk, whose most memorable promo was already sermonized by Joey Styles essentially five years ago, calling The Rock's shtick old is like Vincent Kennedy McMahon being chosen as the spokesperson for B.A. Star.
It's worth noting that following Punk's aforementioned shoot promo, where many of the no-no names mentioned eventually found their way to your television set, thus devaluing a once-golden rant, CM Punk went on to take barbs at Triple H's wife Stephanie McMahon. This is something that Chris Jericho made a mini-tradition way back when during the Attitude Era.
Now who's getting old?
Oh, and that WrestleMania 27 buyrate that The Rock supposedly doesn't deserve credit for? Over one million buys for the first time in three years. Not to mention the second-highest grossing WrestleMania in history. Don't be fooled, those figures are 90 percent Rock and 10 percent grown men in tights.
Such healthy buyrates and pay-per-view revenues mean more money for the guys and gals of the WWE who are featured on said pay-per-views—guys like CM Punk who find the need to complain about The Rock's entertainment value anyway.
Those who want to get all "WrestleMania II" with the WWE's financial numbers can refer to ratings trends when it comes to The Rock instead. The WWE's ratings are drastically higher when The Rock is featured on RAW, and have hit record lows as recently as September when, of course, Rocky was long gone.
CM Punk, on the other hand, is a proven ratings dud. The follow-up to his shocking promo earlier this year that was supposed to turn the wrestling world on its ear did one of the worst RAW ratings ever. The ratings continued to lag as the WWE tried its best to appease his cult-like (but not mainstream) following by featuring Punk as their top guy.
Even the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, centered around the culmination of CM Punk's bellicose journey to the WWE Championship and widely regarded as the pay-per-view of the year, only saw modest increases in buys but nothing special.
Certainly not Rocky numbers.
Punk's acrimony towards The Rock all seems to come down to ego, frustration and ultimate jealousy. And why not? A great wrestling superstar without the ego is like a barefoot Malibu Barbie with no house, car or Ken. Consequently, blind bitterness comes with the territory—bitterness that is only amplified when one is outperformed at their craft.
CM Punk represents a currently struggling pro wrestling environment. One that is bolstered only by the return of stars from the past like The Rock who represent wrestling when it was cool. Stars who bring back a temporary audience that will only watch only while they are featured. Lucrative band-aids who occasionally return to do ratings charity work.
As a lifelong fan of the G.I. Joe franchise, it has to have only heightened Punk's malevolence towards the wrestler-turned-Hollywood-actor to be reminded that The Rock will have a featured role in an upcoming G.I. Joe sequel. Kind of an insult-to-injury type deal.
CM Punk's most recent barb at The Rock came when the current WWE Champion played the morale card. Punk appeared inexplicably baffled at the fact that The Rock refused to say hi to him after all his unfriendly overtures towards Dwayne:
"He came back, he did WWE Raw after that. He said he was never gonna leave. And the next time we saw him is a month later. Yeah, it does bother me. A little hello would have been nice. He could have run by with his own entourage."
For a genre that once personified what it was to be a tough guy, to hear that the WWE Champion is peeved because Dwayne Johnson didn't say hi to him is quite disheartening, and further proof that maybe Governor Ed Rendell was right.
The Rock doesn't owe a "hello" or "howyadoin'" to anybody. He's the reason many WWE superstars will make up their otherwise lackluster pay-per-view paychecks on the strength of two or three inflated buyrates (Survivor Series, WrestleMania, Royal Rumble?).
The issue isn't whether or not The Rock should say hi to anybody, but if and when the WWE locker room should say "Thank you, Rock." Diva Dwayne just bought your daughter a Malibu Barbie for Christmas to play with while you're on the road. You're welcome.
CM Punk is barking up an old fabrication of a tree with his inflammatory comments toward The Rock. It's a tree that Randy Orton has already climbed down from, and rightfully so.
CM Punk's rebellious personality is already compromised by the fact that he gladly accepts a corporate WWE paycheck twice a month. His "man of the people" act is even more duplicitous based on the fact that he has wanted to become a nationally televised, WWE Superstar since childhood—far from the normal lifestyle of the common man he often claims to sympathize with.
The WWE Universe, however, just goes with it because CM Punk is very good at what he does. Unfortunately, CM Punk's logic and otherwise adept talking skills seem to diminish once he is exposed to the real world.
Perhaps it is best that some pipe bombs explode underground.