Does CM Punk Deserves to Face The Rock at WrestleMania

CM Punk has held the WWE Championship for 379 consecutive days as of this writing, a feat that has placed him firmly in the record books.

He has held nearly every major championship in WWE and worked some of the biggest names in the business including the Undertaker, Chris Jericho, Triple H, Randy Orton and of course, John Cena. But he has one opponent left to face and one mountain left to climb.

The time has come for CM Punk to face The Rock in the main event of WrestleMania.

To be honest, I have long held the opinion that Rocky will square off against Cena, in a rematch from this year’s Mania.  Though Vince McMahon had advertised WrestleMania 28’s epic showdown as “once in a lifetime,” I for one was not convinced that would actually be the case.

After all, this is WWE we’re talking about here, where anything can happen, right?

Rock vs. Cena at WrestleMania 28 was a huge moneymaker for WWE, and was the biggest WWE pay-per-view of all time.  Why would any promoter, especially McMahon, stop with just one match?

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Why not cash in one more time?  Certainly every issue between Rocky and John could not have been resolved with just one bout, why not give fans another great WWE moment?

A win over Rocky would vindicate John from this year’s loss and would once again reestablish him as the undisputed top dog of WWE.  No doubt about it, that was definitely my train of thought when considering what the main event of WrestleMania 29 should be.

But after the way recent storylines have played out on Raw the past month or so, I have really changed my mind on this one.  Why?

Because of the two Superstars, I believe that CM Punk is the one headed in the right direction for a prime spot against the People’s Champion on the grandest stage of them all.

Punk is the champ.  Period.  He has defeated every opponent placed in front of him, consistently turned in one great match after another, and done it all while still being as effective on the microphone as he was since he first entered the business.  And with the addition of Paul Heyman by his side, Punk is stronger than ever before.

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He is at the pulse of the company, the featured attraction on Monday Night Raw.  As the champion, Punk holds the richest prize in the industry and has become the biggest heel on WWE programming.

Though Ryback has put him to the test, Punk always finds a way to come out on top and despite any criticism he receives due to ratings, the fact is that WWE has showed a real commitment to keeping Punk at the top.

Add to this the jabs that both Rocky and Punk have thrown at each other via Twitter over the past few months, and you have a brewing rivalry that I believe will not end at the Royal Rumble.

CM Punk Would Have Ruled In The Original ECW

“I’ve been the best ever since day one when I walked into this company, and I’ve been vilified and hated since that day because Paul Heyman saw something in me that nobody else wanted to admit.  That’s right, I’m a Paul Heyman guy.”

CM Punk has never shied away from the fact that he owes his career to the creator of Extreme Championship Wrestling. It was through the resurrected version of ECW under the WWE umbrella where Punk first found success in the company.

Years later, we have watched Punk rewrite the history books of the WWE Championship.

It has been nearly 12 years since the original incarnation of ECW went bankrupt and finally folded, after a long battle with two companies much bigger and wealthier than the Little Philadelphia Promotion That Could.

The reach of ECW’s influence is immeasurable, and wrestling today would not be the same had Paul Heyman not been at the helm.

Had CM Punk been born just a few years earlier, he would most definitely have played a key factor in the success of Extreme Championship Wrestling.

First and foremost, CM Punk remains a Paul Heyman guy.

Heyman demanded that Punk be brought up from Ohio Valley Wrestling, WWE’s developmental territory at the time, with both his name and character intact, as soon as he was ready to debut for the new version of ECW. Back before the days of YouTube and social media, wrestling relied on the art of tape-trading and simple word-of-mouth marketing to bring in new talent and create new stars.

Had Heyman caught the scent of CM Punk, who began his professional career in IWA Mid-South in Louisville, Kentucky (founded by ECW alumnus Ian Rotten), it would only have been a matter of time before he was brought him into the ECW Arena and made him into one of the newest sensations.

Making a character out of his straight-edge lifestyle and rubbing it in the face of people whom he considered beneath him would have worked incredibly well in almost any venue. In the heart of South Philly, where the audience reveled in violence and pure wrestling, Punk could have turned into the company’s top heel overnight.

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Punk was involved in a feud with Raven during his time with Ring of Honor in 2003. It was a feud which saw Punk compare Raven to his father, starting a bitter rivalry that finally saw Punk defeat Raven inside a steel cage in November of that year.

It’s entirely conceivable that this could have taken place inside an ECW event years earlier, molding Punk into the performer we know now, and allowing the character of Raven to naturally evolve in a free environment.

Who else could he have personally attacked for their lifestyle choices and wrestling styles?  The Sandman comes to mind, as does Tommy Dreamer and a multitude of other men who passed through ECW and made a name for themselves by brutalizing each other until the canvas looked like a section of Hell.

One battle I would like to have seen while still a viable option would have been Cactus Jack/Mick Foley vs. Punk. In the late ’90s and even the early 2000s, this would have been incredible. Today, however, I feel sad whenever I see Foley hobble into the ring just to speak. I pray he doesn’t try and wrestle again.

Punk no doubt would have reveled in the notoriety that came with the ECW name. For all the controversy that he sparked for mocking Jerry Lawler’s heart attack, he would not only have the ability to generate 10 times the heat in a Paul Heyman-run company, he would have the same desire.

Had he been able to start a Straight-Edge Society in ECW and attempt to convert people in small venues one at a time, he would have been chased out of buildings.

This is not to say I don’t like what he has been doing for years in WWE.  Coming as far as he has and holding the WWE Championship for over a year has been nothing short of incredible to watch, and after next Monday he will dethrone John Cena in his continuing conquest of the longest reign with the title.

Still, it’s fun to imagine what could have happened if Heyman had discovered Punk before anybody else.

WWE ‘Not Impressed’ With Champion CM Punk

On Thursday morning, WWE champion CM Punk served as grand marshal for the annual Thanksgiving Day parade in Chicago.
(See Previous Posts: https://picturesofcmpunk.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/cm-punk-confirms-he-faces-the-rock-at-the-royal-rumble/
https://picturesofcmpunk.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/are-lita-amy-dumas-and-cm-punk-still-dating-november-2012/)

On Sunday, he will be appearing on “Talking Dead” on AMC to discuss its show, “Walking Dead.”
https://picturesofcmpunk.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/cm-punk-appears-on-the-the-talking-dead-and-rumors-of-a-cameo-on-the-walking-dead/

Whereas the WWE often sets up media appearances for its stars, Punk set up both appearances on his own. Now the WWE and Punk are upset with each other.

The WWE is furious that Punk went over its head to reel in his two appearances because it likes to control when and where each star goes.

It is said that Punk went out on his own because he felt that the WWE would have given both spots to other “company friendly” stars.

It is truly amazing that Punk has been the WWE champion for more than a year when you consider that he is about as “anti-establishment”as any WWE star of the last 20 years.

Punk’s view the last few months on TV has been that he is disrespected. The funny thing is it isn’t just part of the storyline. He legitimately feels that way. A prime example is that Punk’s likeness hasn’t appeared on any WrestleMania 29 material released thus far.

Does he have a point?

The WWE is champion is always featured on advertising for Mania.

Always, that is, until this year.

It was fitting that Punk wore a “Paul Heyman guy” shirt on Raw on Monday because Heyman is truly the poster child of “anti-establishment.”

Possibly the greatest wrestling mind in professional wrestling since he debuted with the NWA in the late1980s, Heyman has never been a “yes man.”

Punk is anything but a “yes man,” but maybe if the WWE had more of them, storylines wouldn’t be so stale.

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