This weekend, thanks to Daniel Pena of WrestlingINC.com and Dave Meltzer’s radio show, word has spread around the internet and the professional wrestling world that CM Punk will make his WWE return (wink wink) after walking out the organization in the wake of January’s Royal Rumble tonight on Monday Night Raw, which is to take place in his hometown of Chicago.
Punk has left the WWE prior to this latest dip-off, complaining of been “burned out” or “not happy” with the company. Back in 2011, Punk kicked the WWE to the curb after beating John Cena for the WWE Championship at the Money In The Bank pay per view in — you guessed it — Chicago. That instance was revealed to be more of a story line, one featuring Punk parading the title he just won outside WWE events while the company went on doing shows without him temporarily.
As a proud Chicagoan, I would just like to say thank you to the WWE for continually making Chicago a hot bed of controversy and surprise in the WWE universe when it comes to CM Punk. Listen to any WWE/wrestling podcast in recent days and no one could really tell you if Punk was really fed up with the direction of his character or the characters WWE is pushing in main events or if this is just another storyline to build up the hype for Wrestlemania XXX. The question, to put it simply: is CM Punk’s recent departure (and impending return) a legit beef or another sell by the WWE?
I don’t think I’m alone in believing all this was another great “work” by the WWE, but quite frankly these games they’re playing with their fans are getting pretty damn stale.
You can’t fault anyone in believing that Punk actually walked away from the WWE for the second time in three years but…COME ON SON! The problem with this recent work is WE’VE SEEN THIS BEFORE! Here, let me play Mr. Celo, the VERY distant cousin to Ms. Cleo, and I will tell you exactly what will go down if Punk actually shows up for Raw tomorrow night: the announcing team of Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler and John Layfield will talk about the “recent reports” of CM Punk possibly showing up for Raw from ringside.
Meanwhile, a conveniently-placed camera waiting in the parking lot of Allstate Arena will provide sporadic views of the area trying to capture just when Punk will arrive, teasing will occur during the first two hours of the show (and charged-up Chicago wrestling fans will make themselves known) until time comes for the main event, likely involving either Batista or Randy Orton, the two disliked current scheduled contenders for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania.
As their continued tug-of-war with the crowd continues, Punk will, 1.) come out and GTS at least one person in the middle of the ring and play to the rabid crowd as the announcing team loses their shit and the broadcast fades to black or 2.) Punk’s theme music will explode throughout the Allstate Arena (maybe even at the show’s beginning to pacify everyone right away) and the Second City Saint will stroll down to the ring and run off a detailed promo, cursing “The Authority” to the high heaven and laying down the foundation for his triumphant full return as part of the headlining match at Wrestlemania..
My scenarios do not sound too far fetched, I believe. There’s a potential problem though in the fact that if I can call tonight’s results so easily (and I bet I’ll at least be close) there is a major problem with delivering CM Punk back to the WWE Universe tonight (and maybe even at anytime before Wrestlemania) and that should not be the case.
The WWE Universe loves CM Punk to death. I saw they love him as much as the fans of the Attitude Era loved Stone Cold Steve Austin, in many ways they see Punk and his persona as a dwindling reminder to those unpredictably creative days. To use this latest BS storyline of Punk leaving the WWE and making his triumphant return home is lazy at best. There is a way the writers in WWE could have saved a lot of time with an effective story, a much more compelling set up for their biggest PPV of the year and not have insulted the intelligence of its fan base — this is the way the last few months you start by putting the titles of the World Heavyweight Championship (a combination of the “Big Gold Belt” and the WWE championship) on Daniel Bryan, which should have been the case months ago, but could have been rectified as recently as the Elimination Chamber PPV just over a week ago.
With Bryan sporting the straps, he would have been set up to face the winner of the Royal Rumble at Wrestlemania for all the marbles, that person should have been Punk instead of Batista, whose recent return to WWE after four years away to start an acting career featured his winning the Rumble even though that was his first sustained effort in that entire time. Batista’s return in and of itself isn’t bad but he shouldn’t have been thrown in the middle of the championship mix just yet, he could have just feuded with a scorned Orton, just coming off losing the title and that could have been stretched to Wrestlemania at least. In this scenario you have a decent mid-card match for Mania in Orton-Batista and a Punk-Bryan headliner for the unified title would be the biggest main event at the biggest PPV in YEARS!
I’m always happy to see CM Punk on Monday Night Raw, he just makes the show better, and I love it when he comes back home to Chicago, I’ve even been lucky enough to attend a live Chicago Raw taping featuring Punk. Still, I have to ask the Second City Saint and the WWE to not to play us as fools anymore. Wrestling fans are now just as smart as ever and its been too recurring a theme in recent months that fans are sick of not having their intelligence catered to while also seeing set-ups in the ring that are pretty much done out of spite by the powers that be.
With that being the case, what should be a great homecoming for the Best in The World has been reduced to just another cynical work turn around the WWE universe.