CM Punk’s Title Reign: Clash of Personalities?
[Hey ramblers, this column was written by myself and George. The column came about when a writer for Bleacher Report posted a column on how ''CM Punk is a weak champion'' so George and I decided to write a chat-format column for everyone to read. My writing is bolded and George's is normal text. It was fun to write and we hope to do another one sometime. Enjoy.]
Hey George, how are you today?
Recovering from a monstrous FATP this week mate, but otherwise pretty good. How’s things with you?
That’s good mate. I bet you are, nearly 6000 words for one column is bound to burn you out. I’m doing great, have a day off today so spending it by relaxing at home, watching TV and doing some reading online. I was on Bleacher Report today and came across this column - http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1348274-wwe-why-cm-punk-is-a-weak-champion. It has got to be the most ridiculous column I’ve ever read on B/R. Have a read of it and tell me what you think.
I’ve got permanent days off just now. Believe me, the novelty wears off! Wow.. That column really surprises me. Normally the writers have to go through an extensive process to get accepted just as a writer, never mind being a Featured Columnist. I don’t think that there’s anything I agree with in the entire column.
Agreed fully. His writing is good, we have to give him that. His wrestling knowledge on the other hand is mind-blowing, and in a bad way. When I first started going to Bleacher Report, I found it to be a quality site but it seems to degrade itself with ridiculous columns like this one in recent times. I love reading some writer’s work there but I am starting to get less fond of the site by the day. You wouldn’t see a column this KayFabe on WWE.com for Christ sake. CM Punk is the complete package. I don’t think anyone can argue with that. He can wrestle as good as Shawn Michaels. He can talk as good as The Rock. He’s as interesting as Stone Cold Steve Austin. Would you agree with that?
Definitely. If he wasn’t a good writer, he wouldn’t be on the site, however, the column today was poor at best. It’s as if he’s confused between what’s a storyline and what’s reality. In the cold light of day, CM Punk is possibly the best wrestler in the world right now, definitely in the WWE and he’s busted his ass to get there. He took a chance last summer and WWE capitalised on it. I completely agree that he’s the total package in terms of charisma, fan appeal, mic work and in-ring ability.
Bleacher Report has a huge amount of traffic, and sure they have way more than Wrestling Rambles at the moment, but I think we should remind wrestling fans how great CM Punk is. The guy worked his ass off to get where he is today and did not deserve the lack of respect from that writer. I’m beginning to wonder if that writer even watched WWE over the past few months? Because if he really did, he would of seen CM Punk stealing the show almost every time he appeared. His feud with Chris Jericho was awesome, sadly it was overlooked by The Rock vs Cena at WrestleMania but will still go down as an epic feud. He arguable had a 5-star match with Daniel Bryan at Over The Limit. He brought out the best in Daniel Bryan and look where Daniel Bryan is now. One of WWE’s most interesting talents and it all came from his feud with Punk and AJ. Punk allowed him to showcase his talents.
Definitely. I don’t want to come across as a Punk mark, but looking at it objectively, he stole the show last summer. EVERYBODY was talking about him and WWE made the right decision to put the title on him at MiTB 2011. Do I think they brought him back too early? Yes. Did HHH beating him at Night of Champions take a lot of his heat away? Yes. Since then, Punk’s gotten back to the top of the mountain, beating everyone that WWE’s put in front of him.
I wasn’t as entertained by the Punk/Jericho feud as you were, but that might have something to do with HHH/Taker and Cena/Rock being on the same card, along with Lesnar returning. Punk has the uncanny ability to put on great matches with men of all shapes and sizes, whether it’s Kane, Mark Henry, Jericho, Bryan or Cena, Punk ALWAYS delivers.
Exactly. I don’t want to come across as a mark either, but there is no doubt CM Punk is one of the best in the world. He is WWE’s most important heel and is what WWE have been lacking since the attitude era; an arch nemesis for John Cena. Stone Cole had The Rock but it’s only now WWE has filled that void for Cena. They tried it with Orton but it just didn’t work out. Orton’s MIC skills just aren’t on the same level of Punk, which was probably the biggest factor missing. Therefore the programs/feud between them is ultimately more interesting even though their matches are just as epic. Do you think I’m right in saying that, George?
You’re spot on about Punk having the capability of working with ANYONE in the ring. Punk can make his opponent look strong whether it’s against Zack Ryder or The Big Show.
Yeah, I’d say that’s fair. Punk is what WWE thought Orton would be in terms of a rival for Cena. Orton has all the talent in the world, but his promo’s bore me shitless. Punk draws you in to what he’s doing! Comparing Punk & Cena to Stone Cold & Rock is a great example. They work well together because there’s chemistry there, on the mic and in the ring, and it’s not often I’ll say that about Cena.
I think the argument that Punk is a weak champion is pretty flawed. Here’s why. When Punk won the belt back at Survivor Series, the Cena/Rock feud was in full swing. To be honest, Rock wasn’t gonna take a backseat to anyone. However, when that feud was done, Punk should have been top of the card. The champion is supposed to be the focus. Cena being booked so dominantly is partly to blame for Punk not being as strong a champion as he could be. What do you reckon?
”They work well together because there’s chemistry there, on the mic and in the ring, and it’s not often I’ll say that about Cena.” That’s a point in itself. How many guys can we honestly say that about with Cena? A ”weak champion” would not be able to do that. You make a second great point, George, as John Cena was ”above” the WWE title at one point but now that he is fighting for it, the belt is more relevant and especially because it’s with CM Punk. I think that’s an important point. The ONLY time Rock would take a backseat was if it was Taker vs Lesnar at WrestleMania and that’s the only case IMO. Although Cena is being booked so dominantly, Punk defeated him cleanly on a number of occasions. The last two people to defeat Cena cleanly were The Rock and Batista in a meaningful storyline? I don’t know if Batista’s one counts but Rock’s does. Come to think of it, have many people even defeated Cena the amount of times Punk has?
To a point, I agree with that, BUT since his needless heel turn, Punk hasn’t beaten Cena cleanly. I looked at Cena’s win/loss record a while ago. If you take away gimmick matches, interference, triple-threats etc, Cena has only been pinned CLEANLY twice in five years. Against HBK in London 5 years ago, then against Rock at WM28. That’s the problem. When he’s SO dominant, everyone else looks weak by contrast.
Getting back to Punker though, if he wasn’t as strong as he is, people wouldn’t still be cheering him. The only time he gets booed is when Heyman is with him, because he’s like a heat magnet. Punk needs a decisive, clean, dominant win over Cena at Hell in a Cell to cement this title run.
I think that’s a fair point. Cena is booked too strongly but I guess WWE will one day market him as the ”Biggest Star of all time”, even above Hogan. I honestly can’t boo Punk, even if I was in attendance. Does that make him a bad heel? No it doesn’t. He’s a tremendous heel and an incredible all round wrestler therefore it’s bound to be difficult for fans to boo him. Bringing Heyman in just proves that. If your research is correct, that just says it all. HBK is a wrestling legend and so is Rock, so regardless how fans look at it, it didn’t make Cena look weak. That’s how strongly the guy is booked. But you do agree Punk probably has the most consecutive ’not-so-clean but clean-enough’ wins against Cena? I hope Punk wins at Hell in a Cell and cements his title run as you said.
Sometimes, a “heel” wrestler is just so good that you can’t boo him. Punk falls into that group. It’s not “smark” fans fucking with WWE, its Punk’s fans refusing to boo him because he’s amazing at what he does. Yeah, the research is right. I watched every PPV from April 2007 onwards and the only 2 clean pinfall losses Cena had were against HBK and Rock. Yeah, Punk probably has more wins than anybody else on the roster. I think only Big Show comes close to it. Punk needs a decisive win to cement his legacy.
Of course they wouldn’t put the belt on someone for almost a whole calendar year if he was a so-called “weak” champion. If he was heel for the whole run and WWE booked him like a chickenshit heel that runs away from people, then yeah I could see the point. Right now, everything Punk is doing is designed to draw heat. Demanding respect, clutching his title, bitching at referees, beating up Lawler. That doesn’t make him weak. As you said with Swagger, there’ve been far weaker champions than Punk. Punk’s heel run with the belt so far reminds me a bit of Edge’s runs on Smackdown. Is that fair?
I think that’s very fair to say. I think he will win at Hell in a Cell. I also think it would be silly if he doesn’t win because he’s ‘hot’ right now and he has been since Money in the Bank 2011 (excluding 2-3 months maybe). Him now being so ”hot” is possibly another sign of him being a ”weak champion”. ~Sarcasm~.It’s just so absurd saying CM Punk is a weak champion. What I would LOVE to know is what that douche writer defines as a ”strong champion”.
My final thoughts? Punk has been as strong a champion as possible under the circumstances. He won the belt when Cena/Rock was heating up and had to take a back seat. Same when Brock came in. Since then, he should have been main-eventing, but he’s anything but a weak champion. I think he’s the total package for this generation. Promo work, in-ring ability, charisma. Punk has it all. Cena might be this generation’s Hogan, but Punk is this generation’s Randy Savage. I know which one I’d rather be. The latter.
Exactly. Punk has done a great job of keeping the title relevant under the circumstances and also the way the show is booked. That writer is a good writer, but I think Bleacher Report should be more careful with who they allow to write for their site. It’s like a very literate 10 year-old wrote that column. I’m not trying to sound nasty just being blunt about it.
Saying CM Punk is a weak champion is like saying Emily Heskey is a world class footballer.
George – it’s been a pleasure having this chat with you. Cheers mate.
Couldn’t agree more about Punk. Are there things that could have been done better? Absolutely, but they were out of his control. I don’t think it’s about who they allow to write for them, I think it just depends on what slips through the net to be fair. It must be difficult to keep an eye on everything that’s posted there in an hour, never mind a day!
I genuinely laughed when I read that quote about Heskey! Sums it up perfectly!
Yeah, it’s been a blast Ray. Hopefully we’ve managed to argue that Punk’s been as strong as he could be during his 300+ day title reign. Long may it continue!!
I guess I needed to add a cool metaphor
Follow George on twitter – @George_SLTD and myself @RayTheRambler. Its truly been a blast writing this and we hope you enjoyed reading it. We tried our best to defend Punk as a strong champion. Now Ramblers, we need to know YOUR thoughts on this. Is CM Punk a ”weak champion”? Leave your thoughts below. Thanks for reading.