Believe it or not, it has been one year since CM Punk's "shoot" heard around the world.
Many thought it could spark big change in the WWE, and in my opinion not much has in the 12 months since. Sure, Punk is WWE champion and has been for months, but you could argue that'd happen anyways eventually whether he had his shoot or not.
I'm curious to see if anyone else has noticed any other changes.
I'm glad he has the belt, and I'm glad he gets big cheers. But he was dropped from the Big Johnny storyline, and he's playing straight man to AJ.
Maybe he got what he wanted with that rant: He's been the champ for a long time. He won his Mania match against Jericho. He's got that theme song and the bus, and he's making public appearances for the company. He's a main eventer in stature, if not in booking.
But he's still not the face of the company, which is what he demanded. As far as the WWE presentation is concerned, he's got new props, but his prominence hasn't changed.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
I have not noticed any changes at all since last summer. I remember EXPECTING alot of changes back then though. I genuinely thought that that promo was a sign of a shift in the WWE's booking style. Feels silly to say that now, but that's what I thought back then. It was so "out of the box" compared to everything else they were doing at the time, it didnt make sense to me that they would do it then go right back to the same-old-same-old afterwards.
Of course that's pretty much what they did for the most part. I must say though that there have been some bright spots for mein the 12 months since. I wont list them out now for fear of harsh reprisals when everyone else thinks they sucked though. So yeah.
But back to the lecture at hand, I remember a few months after the promo talking to my neighbor about it all. It's pretty neat to have someone so close to me (proximity-wise) to talk about dumb wrestling with, I must say. He was crying and complaining about how badly WWE had dropped the ball AGAIN, and Punk must be in the dog house with Vince over something he did/said, and why would WWE have something so good on their hands then just piss it away, etc. And it occured to me that as awesome as that "shoot" promo was, what did we really expect? That Punk would come out every week and trash Vince for real? Just be this loose cannon rebel and stay off script all the time from now on?
In hind-sight, none of that was sustainable in the WWE Universe. Putting the Vince-bashing-shooty stuff aside for a second, that type of angle just isnt what the WWE does. Late-90's Vince Russo might have done it, late-90's Paul Heyman might've done it. Hell, late-90's Bischoff might've done it! But that's just not how current WWE programming is booked. As unbelieveable as this may sound, I think Vince's #1 goal in life (maybe #1a after "make money") is mainstream exposure, mainstream acceptance, mainstream attention. I guess that's 3 things, sorry. That promo certainly appealed to us "already fans", but I dont know if it would've done much to bring new non-fans to the TV. And THAT, my dear friends, is why I dont think it ever couldve lasted.
The potential of the July angle was squandered, but it changed Punk's career and life immeasurably. He went from the #5 heel to #2 babyface. Went from a program with Randy Orton where he wasn't allowed to win a match to passing Orton on the depth chart. In May 2011 he was teaming with Mason Ryan and losing to Big Show and Kane. Now he almost never loses.
The company hasn't changed, although it now features CM Punk and Daniel Bryan (who's going on seven straight PPV world title matches) among its top five full-time acts. I don't think anyone saw that coming even after the big promo.
I rewatched the promo after Punk RTed Joey Styles linking to it for the anniversary and he did get some of what he wanted: he complained about not being on the collector cups and the programs? Now he's on the cover of WWE '13 and autographs a zillion pictures before each show to sell at the merch tables. And until the promo, Punk was seriously on his way out...he hadn't signed the contract extension yet.
They're still ending the show with Cena's angles but Punk is still the champ and having Bryan along for the run is something also unthinkable a year ago. Bryan said in that "The Ryback" interview he truly believed he was going to be the first MITB winner to fail upon cashing in the briefcase. Both of them walked into Mania as champs, which was also unimaginable a year ago.
At his Wizard World Q&A, Punk also talked about how you can't just drop "pipe bomb" work-shoot promos like that all the time because then they don't mean anything. So it wasn't going to be like *that* all the time. But there have been changes.
(He also said he's done everything one person can to make the ice cream bars happen, short of making them in his own home.)
I waited over two hours in line to meet Punk, this year. I was one of the lucky ones to be first in line for the non-VIP tickets. It was as a friend put "The most ridiculous line I have ever seen and I go to a lot of things to wait in line for."
The promo changed Punk from sorta cool IWC bad guy into The Man. He is the hero that all the fans, not the IWC or kiddy fans want, but all of them. He has elevated the product and those around him like Daniel and to some degree Ryder to the point, the fans actually care about them. Now, has it set the world on fire like it did when Hogan, Austin or Rock or even Shawn or Bret? Who knows. The ratings and buyrates say No, but there seems to be more people in the media who like Punk or at least know who Punk is. Its a mixed bag. All of the fans have something to cheer for at live events, but apparently some of them turn it off for whatever reason.
I think we put a lot of stock in one amazing promo and followed up by another great promo, a better one in my opinion with Vince and Cena til Cena said Terrorist, but Punk still manage to save it with his Yankee line. Then followed up by the MOTY and a few weeks of awesome shit of Punk doing random shit. The problem is , WWE has no idea what to do with success. They either panic and do something quick like put Punk back on TV or they purposely sabotage it, because someone backstage felt it hit a little too close to him. Its your call on that one by the way.
If they were smart, They should have let Punk keep doing the random things and fired Cena. Get them both off TV and have Rock demand Cena back at SummerSlam maybe even push HHH or Vince around a bit while Punk photo bombs the SummerSlam Main Event with Rey and Miz. Then bring Punk back via Linda or if they were smart had another face not named HHH on the board of directors to bring them back. But not having a face on the board of the directs like that has been a major problem for years with this company. Let Punk face ADR and then Miz and then Jericho. Instead of playing as he put in Hershey, Hot Potato with the damn thing for three months for no damn good reason. Would this lead to bigger ratings, probably. Shit have him interact with Rock at Survivor Series. There was a bunch of things they could have done to make Punk more of a superstar, but the reality is, he did it all himself with that promo.
The promo while did not lead to having a new title which I think it may a year later or ice cream bars or even No Cena main events. It did make one guy a superstar and really with a company that no longer knows how to make a superstar in 2011 or 2012 or since 2006, that is not too bad. On top of the awesome moments with Punk, I still think it lead to good things on some higher level.
The Wee Baby Sheamus.Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
I think the only things they did wrong with CM Punk were having him face and then lose to HHH too early and distancing Punk from Cena. Not by feuding with each other, but teaming up. Sure, Cena and Punk teamed up on RAW once or twice in a throwaway main event, sure, but distancing Punk from Cena like they did and having Cena always in the main event and giving Punk the lesser spot on the card made the WWE Title seem less important.
Even if Cena always has to have the main event, they could have at least been like the Mega Powers against Johnny L. and his dudes. That way, Punk is still top tier by association.
Then, we'd get to right about now, and if the SummerSlam rumors are true, they could break the team up for the big Punk/Cena rematch.
Yeah, that might be my WWE fan fic, but I think my point is that treating Punk as if he's in a completely separate universe from Cena has been the wrong way to go. Make him the anti-Cena, but still have a mutual respect between the two.
I don't think they botched Punk as badly as they did the Nexus, though. They very quickly realized their mistake and gave Punk a mega-title run at Survivor Series. He got the highest spot on the card next to Cena/Rock at WM28 and they've very clearly tried writing stories for him which, for the most part, have been interesting and led to great matches.
Nexus was dissolved by this time last year, CM Punk is still on top and popular. Did WWE break new ground? Not really. Could they have? Sure. But either way, they still have built two main event stars over the last year and there's at least still potential.
Originally posted by SKLOKAZOIDI think the only things they did wrong with CM Punk were having him face and then lose to HHH too early and distancing Punk from Cena. Not by feuding with each other, but teaming up. Sure, Cena and Punk teamed up on RAW once or twice in a throwaway main event, sure, but distancing Punk from Cena like they did and having Cena always in the main event and giving Punk the lesser spot on the card made the WWE Title seem less important.
Once Punk happily put on Hunter's jacket this whole deal was done. Punk still got to be the #2 face and he is a big deal, but that whole Punk is anti everything we hate vibe just died. Punk has had some clunker moments since then, but that was really awful even if he knew that it was time to ease up and fall into line that was just a terrible way to do it.
I would agree that he should have never feuded with Hunter so early, but that jacket moment just made his character seem like such a fake.
Originally posted by lotjx, Raw #947 recap I am not really sure why Vince is out and Cena is employed? Unless they are going to say Vince was the GM then it would probably make sense, but to me this is all Cena's fault for calling Punk, a terrorist, losing his cool during the contract signing and agreeing to a match that he knew if he lost he would get fired.
Originally posted by lotjx, Raw #948 recapThe real heel is John Cena. He demanded a match that was off putting Vince in a corner. He forced Vince to deal with Punk then demanded he not deal with this "terrorist".
Originally posted by lotjx, Raw #955 recapSo, I am wondering if we are now getting angry Tea Party member Cena. Doesn't like Mexicans, does over patriotic videos and gets cheered for calling someone a terrorist even though they are not.
Originally posted by lotjx, Hell In A Cell 2011 recapCena also got nailed by GLAAD for his promos. After that, he also played the God card on Rock and then the terrorist card on Punk.
Originally posted by lotjx, Raw #970 recap I am just sick of Cena using the sympathy card along with the terrorist card and the God card to get the fans on his side.
Originally posted by lotjx, Raw #979 recapIf he is vocal backstage fine, but the terrorist comment he made about Punk was way out of line which is the other problem with Cena.
According to dictionary.com, one definition of terrorist is "a person who terrorizes or frightens others". Doesn't that include at least a quarter of the roster?
Of course, lotjx was probably referring to the first definition, "a person [...] who uses or advocates terrorism". Terrorism is defined as "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes".
Doesn't that include at least a quarter of the roster?
Originally posted by Matt TrackerMaybe he got what he wanted with that rant: He's been the champ for a long time. He won his Mania match against Jericho. He's got that theme song and the bus, and he's making public appearances for the company. He's a main eventer in stature, if not in booking.
But he's still not the face of the company, which is what he demanded. As far as the WWE presentation is concerned, he's got new props, but his prominence hasn't changed.
Punk's prominence is far higher now than a year ago. He's been WWE champ for the majority of that time, and he's the clear #2 guy in the company behind only Cena. I think the "I want to be the face of the promotion" stuff was just to make it more wrestling-angley, since overall, Punk obviously knows they weren't going to just throw Cena aside for him overnight. I don't even think Punk would've thought that made sense, given Cena's importance to the company and the fact that Punk seemingly has a lot of respect for Cena's work.
The shoot nature of Punk's promos laid in the fact that he was legitimately in contract talks with the company at the time and I think the heat and interest he generated (remember, that match was just supposed to be a roadblock for Cena en route to being champ for a year and defending against the Rock at WM) convinced WWE that he could be a top-level guy. Punk got everything he personally wanted and I've got to believe he's more than satisfied with how things turned out.
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
Today is also the 10 year anniversary of Cena's WWE TV debut- answering Kurt Angle's challenge on Smackdown. So weird to see him in wrestling gear and not jorts and sneakers.
I think Punk's success can be measured by the amount of t-shirts you see in the crowd at events. There's still a lot of them. Hell, even I wear one. I think he's been as successful as one can be given his looks, size, and the fact that he's not John Cena.
I wish they would have let it play out a little longer with him "going rogue" with the title. Just keep showing up at Cubs games and other places.
I'm really glad they dropped the whole CM Drunk thing. It was kind of embarrassing watching him "play drunk" for Jericho. Last year's Punk might not approve.
Originally posted by dwatersToday is also the 10 year anniversary of Cena's WWE TV debut- answering Kurt Angle's challenge on Smackdown. So weird to see him in wrestling gear and not jorts and sneakers.
Which makes it the 9 year anniversary of Orlando Jordan's debut answering Cena's challenge.
In my opinion I think that promo helped finally cemented Punk as a top level guy in the company. It did not turn the company 180 degrees however. I'd like to think that since CM punk is now seen as a valuable commodity it's helping former ROH/indie wrestlers get in the door or in Daniel Bryan's case given a chance to showcase themselves in the main event.
Not saying D-Bry wouldn't of gotten to be champion and got himself over(which he totally did), but I think before the CM Punk shoot Vince saw the "indie wrestlers" as too small, or unable to work a promo, midcard material, whatever. It was more like:
"That CM Punk promo kinda got us some attention. That Daniel Bryan is Mr. Indie King too, will give him a quick main event run while Mark Henry heals."
Months later whole WWE crowds start chanting "Yes" at every show when Bryan comes out.
Unfortunately I still believe Vince, Triple H and Johnny still have resentment for talent that get themselves over organically as seen by WWE's version of Sisyphus Zach Ryder, or the fact that Punk's matches often open Raw rather than main event it. To me it still feels like Punk is booked, even as the current heavy weight champion, as a midcarder.
I'm willing to wait until the many, many upcoming anniversaries such as the anniversary of Cena stealing the belt from Rey, Nash's return promo, HHH inserting himself into the angle, HHH beating Punk and The Worst Episode of Raw Ever to dwell on the bad stuff again.
Instead, I'm happy to take a moment to remember just how great of a viewing experience the promo really was and how exciting the weeks after it were. Everything he did from the second he sat down cross-legged on the stage until the big match at SummerSlam was incredibly fun to watch on a level that the show hadn't been since, what, around 2000. And I don't think anybody else could have been the person at the center of it, because it counted on that combination of feeling completely unpredictable while also feeling strangely familiar because it was a guy who was able to reel off the specific complaints most of us had about the company. And, missed potential aside, Punk the guy really did get everything he deserved as an employee out of it, and even if it felt like there was so much more that could happen, yeah, I'm very glad that we get regular Punk/Bryan matches, got some Punk/Henry and see creeping side effects of the skill and energy that Punk and Bryan bring by seeing a guy like Kane step it up out of nowhere (compare the current Punk/Kane/Bryan matches to the terrible Punk/Kane feud on SmackDown).
So, with Raw 1000 coming up, where does the Punk Promo fit in as a Great Raw Moment, historically speaking? I'd have to give it more thought, but my immediate reaction is that it's a Top 10 Raw moment, possibly even on the higher end. I don't want to send this into a "list random things with no attempt at discussion" trap, so I'll refrain from making any comparisons unless there's an actual interest in doing so, but I can really only think of a handful of "moments" that really stand out on the same level.
All that positivity aside, though, still sad that we have officially seen the June Surprise streak broken and that we passed the Cena 10th Anniversary without something big there as well as the sadly overlooked one year later for Truth's brief moment as the best thing in the company.
Also, a Homeland angle where Cena does an appearance for the troops, goes missing and returns as a hero with someone accusing him of now being a brainwashed terrorist would be amazing, so let's make that happen. TERROR.
The company's direction hasn't changed a whole hell of a lot, and it still more-than-occasionally produces mediocre television, but That Promo and the subsequent feud has definitely managed to elevate Punk to a higher level than he was.
That Promo, by itself, was an unforgettable moment for those who witnessed it, and the four weeks that followed (youtube.com) were absolutely glorious. He certainly has everybody's attention now. Punk's stock has risen, and though he is booked more as a midcarder than a main eventer, there is no doubting that he's no longer lost in the shuffle. Creative/Vince/Powers that be see him as a valuable commodity, and he's been champion for months in an era where we'd be surprised to see the average world championship reign last more than 2 PPVs (I think Cole brought it up recently, that this is one of the 3 longest World Title reigns in the last decade).
More than anything else, it gave me incentive to put a little bit of faith back into a company that was rapidly losing my trust. I can still go on youtube and watch that video, and it still brings a smile to my face. I've happily forgotten the negatives of the Summer of Punk, but I won't easily forget That Promo or the feud with Cena leading up to Money in the Bank.
February 1 at Cowboy's in Calgary (where staff breast implants are not only encouragted, but paid for by management) there's a "special tribute" to former Stampede Wrestling announcer Ed Whalen...who passed away recently.