Thursday, January 30, 2014

The unusual fan reaction to CM Punk....

So the big news of the week is that CM Punk walked out on Raw and has insisted that he's gone for good and not coming back to the company.  While CM Punk has been on the backburner for the past six months, having taken a back seat to Daniel Bryan, John Cena, Batista, and even Randy freakin' Orton....this is still a big deal.  A REALLY big deal.  And while I do have feelings on the whole thing, this post isn't really going to be about that.  It's going to be about the surprising reaction from the fans on the Internet.

While the majority of fans seem to be in support of Punk, there is still a fairly sizable portion of the audience that seems to think Punk is in the wrong.  You have the typical "take your ball and go home" comment, but more than that, you have people saying stuff like "Ryder and Ziggler and 90% of the roster would kill for Punk's spot!"  While that's likely true, it basically gives the message that Punk should be happy with where he's at and not worry about where he should be.

Isn't that essentially what WWE has told Daniel Bryan?  And as fans, isn't this the very thing we've been rallying against?  And further, haven't we WANTED Daniel Bryan to take that very stand that CM Punk just took?  WWE has started having to rewrite their shows because they're worried about fans hijacking the show.  We haven't gotten exactly what we want, but we're closer to getting it.  The next strongest thing to getting to that point is a significant wrestler taking a stand.  And a very firm stand, too (something stronger than John Cena saying, "Hey, give the guy a shot").  Punk walking out and saying, "You guys don't know what you're doing and you're out of touch with what your fanbase wants" is about as strong a message they can receive.  If their fans AND their own wrestlers begin turning on them, they're going to have a major problem.  And WWE may be smart enough to realize that the only thing that could calm a pro-CM Punk/anti-WWE rebellion is to give them the one thing they want:  Daniel Bryan.

To be perfectly honest, I don't believe that Punk deserved to be in the final match main event of this year's WrestleMania.  That SHOULD be Daniel Bryan.  But that doesn't mean Punk's frustration is off base.  Batista -- who has been gone for four years and, quite honestly, never was THE man -- came back and the company had a set plan for him (which included a Royal Rumble win and a WrestleMania main event) and stuck with it come hell and high water.  Meanwhile Punk, who was never given the title of "THE man" despite his ability to carry it, hasn't really had any direction whatsoever since the summer.  He's been beat up and burnt.  He DOES deserve better.  And the arrogance of Triple H to essentially say, "Hey, a match with me is a big deal" is disrespectful.  And that's ignoring the fact that his prior feud with him could have potentially destroyed all of his momentum.  Not to mention that they've probably put more thought into who Triple H will face than who Punk will face.

So, in short (too late), I guess I don't really get why ANYBODY would be against Punk.  Whether or not you agree with his personal situation is more or less irrelevant -- the fact of the matter is that CM Punk basically took a stand and told the company everything we've been complaining about.  He may have done more for the cause than any of us have.

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